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Hidden treasure in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom

Clayton Collins spent the weekend in St. Johnsbury, VT

September 2, 2005



Where did you go? St. Johnsbury, "capital" of Vermont's lush Northeast Kingdom.

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Where did you stay? Ten miles south of town, at Harvey's Lake Cabins & Campground (sites $30 per night). Horizontal rain had the two little girls in our party not-so-cheerfully recounting Weather Channel "Storm Stories" - and led us to abandon our tent for a dry RV rented on the spot ($90 in a special deal).

What did you do? Stumbled across the remarkable, dark- paneled Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. Just $5 per adult ($3 per child) opens the door on surprising collections that range from native-American and Civil War relics to miniature Japanese sculptures and an assemblage of taxidermy that includes 131 species of hummingbirds. (Resist the temptation to pat the bears; the alarm is quite shrill.) Well worth a stop for a peaceful meadow walk: the Karme Choling Buddhist Meditation Center in West Barnet, just south of St. Johnsbury.

Where did you eat? Piccolo's on Railroad St. It's a notch above a standard sandwich shop; curried tuna and hummus wraps provide a break from camp food, and the root beer floats are formidable.

Would you go back? Would and will - for the panoply of stars unseen by suburbanites, and for fall's technicolor trees.

Where have you been? What did you do? Let us know at: Weekend

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