Took Max on the Quiet Path again today. He is having more interactions with dogs, being a condo dog most of his life, this is good for him. We dropped him off and drove through town and out up Mountain Road. As you get NW of town you have Mt Mansfield on your left, which is where Stowe Ski resort resides and then you come up over the mountain through Smugglers Notch. This is also the name of the ski resort on the back side of Stowe Resort, so some people hold passes for both. We stopped just short of the Notch and hiked a short trail to Bingham Falls
Only about half mile in total. As you can see the leaves are still green, but the weather is turning a bit chillier. I had thoughts while sitting near the base of falls, what it would be like to stumble on this place as an early explorer. Maybe you camp by the falls for a few days, even swimming in the pool. Were there battles fought near this spot? Was it a point of reference where people met before going out on a hunt?
We continued to the Notch where the road wraps around house sized boulders they chose not to move. We found a pull-out and hiked up to Sterling Lake. Like many of these Alpine hikes, it follows a stream bed carved by spring snow melt.
It was a challenging hike just due to the fact that you were heading one direction, up, not meandering on switchbacks up to the top. We aimed to sit by the lake for a bit, but other hikers were so loud it seemed to ruin the setting.
We followed a part of the Long Trail around the lake. The Long Trail bisects most of the state vertically. I would cross it a few times while hiking in Vermont.
We came to an opening with a chair lift and shack
Our host later told us that this is the spot where people with passes for both Stowe and Smugglers Notch can ride up the chairlift from one resort and down the hill on the other. The wind was whipping in the exposed section. I could feel my back hurting and knees aching just looking down this Black Diamond run.
I am glad we got up there early. We saw a lot more people on the way down. Since most of the people on this hike were from the nearby resort, very few had masks, making it hard to keep our distance in a tight stream bed.
On the way back down towards town we drove through the Stowe Resort to see how the other half lived.
We would see these visitors later in the month as they would climb into their NY plated Porsche and BMW and drive down to town or pull off on the road to take a few Fall pictures, then scurry back into the walled confines of the sterile resort.
Below are a smattering of color shots from our drives this week as we get near peak season
After we hit the pool early, we drove into Burlington for a bike ride. It was Saturday so we parked near the Farmer’s Market and sampled some Dim Sum.
We rode a paved path along the East shore of Lake Champaign. This was the site of an early battle in the revolutionary war as American forces moved south, retreating from Quebec and the important supply line provided by the St Lawrence River. This battle was commanded by Benedict Arnold, before he became the less than exemplary soldier. It is so hard to judge these towns during a pandemic, but Burlington seems pretty cool. College town like Ann Arbor, but the lake adds a nice dynamic as well as close proximity to mountains.
When we got home I took the dirt bike out and rode up to the Trapp Family Lodge . Everyone knows the story from the Sound of Music. It is mostly accurate from what I read, albeit with your typical Hollywood embellishments. I was more impressed with the turmoil and rebuilding that occurred over the years. I mean it is one thing to have an impressive individual who creates a life and an unbelievable legacy, but to have generations follow without missing a beat, building on previous success instead of squandering the opportunities, that left me more in awe.
I rode around the grounds on my dirtbike much to the delight of the guests I am sure. There is a grand Bavarian Lodge and a number of smaller chalets to rent. I did not look up the prices, but I am sure they are up there. They have maple syrup and family history tours. There are hiking trails and mountain biking. A Bier-haul to slam glasses and sing songs. Would have been a nice afternoon set of activities, but not to be this time around.
We closed out the day walking main street, briefly listening to a band performing across from the Public House
It is downright cold for the middle of September. The host says this is not normal. They are even covering up the flowers downtown. Sunday was the local Stowe Farmers Market.
We stopped at another Asian stand and got Scallion/egg pancakes and dumplings. The lady working the booth thought she knew Amy and called her "cousin". Amy played along in attempts to get the “Friends and Family” discount. We saw her every week for the next month and Amy played along the entire month.
It was chilly, but warmed up in the afternoon and I sat in a plastic chair out back and read a book. New couple moved in next door. They asked us what there was to do. I said we can tell them lots of the hiking trails, but they commented that they were, “not big outdoor types”. Seems like a good vacation spot for you guys? I also mentioned the Green Mountain Inn had an interesting ghost story attached to it. His response, “Are you being serious?” Reminded me of Cousin Eddie when he asks Clark in Christmas Vacation if Clark is serious when he states that the news ran a story on airplane seeing Santa’s sleigh.
Amy made soup with vegetables from the market and I grilled up chicken on the grill. Vermont has a similar feel to Maine. No Ocean, but friendly people with lots of nature to appreciate. We will fit in here just fine.