The Great Northern

Following US‑2 through wide-open spaces is guaranteed to bring new meaning to the expression “getting away from it all.”

Danville and Peacham

Heading east, the next place you’ll pass is Danville, yet another picture-postcard Vermont town, set on a hill surrounded by farmland. The center of Danville is a classic New England village green, with a general store and the customary churches. Just off the green you’ll find the headquarters of the American Society of Dowsers (184 Brainerd St., 802/684-3417, Mon.-Fri.), whose members have refined their talents for finding water or mineral deposits using a dowsing rod. The building houses a small exhibit on the history and practice of the art, and a shop where you can buy dowsing books and rods.

South of US-2 from the center of Danville, enjoy the lovely pastoral drive toward Peacham, a perennial contender for the “prettiest village in Vermont” title. During the fall color sweeps, the mountaintop village is likely to be crowded with sightseeing tourists, but most of the time it’s a somnolent little place. In fact, Peacham is so timeless that the producers of the movie version of Edith Wharton’s Victorian fable Ethan Frome filmed here (without having to remove any streetlights or other signs of modern life!).

American Society of Dowsers (184 Brainerd St.)