We’ve all heard of the Green Mountain Boys, famous for their “Live Free or Die” motto. However, few know that they weren’t actually from the Green Mountains of Vermont, the heavily forested mountains that led Champlain to name the area Vert Mont, which deliver glorious fall colors every year. They hailed from New Hampshire and came to defend the New Hampshirites who had been granted land in Vermont, only to have it claimed by New York grants. It took 130 years of squabbling for the three colonies, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire, who claimed the state, to sort out their differences and make Vermont part of the United States. After the French claimed the area in 1647, Dutch-British settlers arrived in 1690. The British attacked and things went back and forth until at some point, to show their independence, Vermont declared itself an independent sovereign Republic! Their independent thinking was further illustrated by Vermont being the first state to abolish slavery, the first to recognize same-sex marriage, and the first to have every citizen covered by health insurance. Alongside all this innovation, traditional Vermont is alive and well. The Interstate through the mountains is so beautiful, its a Scenic Byway. Quaint crisply groomed New England towns sit quietly around the village green. Shelves are filled with maple syrup, Ben and Jerry’s is constantly inventing new flavors, and the double diamond ski slopes at Killington are groomed and ready. Then if you’d like to be independent, try learning falconry, snowshoe in the moonlight, learn to bake, hone your craft skills, or anything else that suits your fancy! Think unique. Think Vermont.