We have now spent a couple of days here in Woodstock after having travelled up from New Haven in fine weather. Along the way we by- passed Hartford and stopped off in Springfield to visit the old Armory. George Washington ordered the construction of the Springfield Armory after the War of Independence. Up until this point the former English colonies had imported their weapons (muskets and cannons) from Europe and so the Armory was constructed to manufacture weapons so as to relieve this dependency. It opened in 1794 and continued operating up until 1964 when it closed down. The museum here contains an enormous collection of hand guns and rifles of all types and vintages, including those used in the Vietnam War. There is also a display of the machinery and technological innovations that occurred over these 174 years. The grounds outside it are magnificent.
The Fall colours are also starting to show up as we headed north although it does appear that we have missed the peak. There is not a lot of reds, plenty of yellow and orange though. The big trees are particularly good.
Here in Woodstock we have visited the Marsh, Billings, Rockefeller National Historical Park. This Park is a ‘living’ example of a degraded landscape and farming environment being rehabilitated over many years, starting in the 1870s, just after the end of the Civil War. There is a magnificent mansion which was the home of the 3 families that owned the property. The Rockefellers ultimately giving it to the National Estate in 1997. It was originally built in 1805, but modified over the years.
The Woodstock area is extremely photogenic, what with its old properties, farmland, forests and the river flowing around the town. We have had a couple of drives around looking at the covered bridges and a craft brewery, great lunch of fried onion rings and a local lamb/pork sausage in a bun with accompaniments.
We leave tomorrow for Bethel, if we survive the balloon flight at 7.30 in the morning. The weather today has been really good, sunny, blue skies, wind dropping away and a bit of scattered cloud.