Earlier this month, we decided to drive up the Mount Mansfield Toll Road in Stowe, Vermont. We walked the Long Trail from the Mansfield visitor’s center up to the summit of Vermont’s tallest peak! It’s certainly different seeing this mountain in the summer rather than in the winter. All those ski trails were covered in beautiful wildflowers and the icy winds were just a cooling summer breeze!
I’m officially in Colorado and couldn’t be more excited. I flew in to Denver this past Monday. It was a little bittersweet to leave Vermont, but I’m excited for what my new home has to offer. Since landing, I’ve been hard at work setting up my apartment. Between DMV trips, Comcast headaches, and unpacking a moving box, I haven’t been able to get into full adventure mode just yet. I’ve ventured into Boulder for a couple rounds of disc golf, but that’s been about it. Despite staying close to home base I have to admit, after spending 29 years living in New England, almost everything is feeling like a new adventure. I’m amazed every time I drive out of my apartment complex and I can clearly see snow still hanging onto the Rocky Mountains. I’m also really intrigued by the flora and fauna of the area, that seems so different from the ecosystems I’m so used to. I even bought a used book on birding when I visited the bookstore in Boulder. It seemed like great coffee table material and I figured that birds might be a good place to start learning about Colorado’s critters.
I start my new job on Thursday, but I’m hopeful that over the course of the next couple days I can get outside a bit more and really start to find what the area has to offer! Stay tuned!
On the news this week, I learned that Lake Champlain is officially completely frozen over! This is something that doesn’t happen every winter. In fact this is the first time since 2015 that this has happened. Last time, I was pretty bummed that I didn’t take the opportunity to walk out in the middle of the frozen lake. So, to avoid that same regret this time around, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and walk onto the ice near Oakledge Park in Burlington, VT.
There were a number of other groups on the ice as well. People were taking pictures, going for bike rides, catching fish, and overall enjoying the spectacle of the State’s largest lake being frozen. My favorite thought was remembering summer days spent swimming at Oakledge, and comparing that mental image to how far from shore we had walked. Luckily, we were able to take some pictures and videos all while staying quite dry.
Lake Champlain certainly seems locked in the icy grip of winter, but surely that wont last for TOO much longer. Spring will come soon!
While I am still working on putting together the video for the last ski day in Colorado, my roommate Rob and I got in some beautiful skiing at Stowe this past weekend! I think this is the first season in recent memory where we have had so many sunny and beautiful winter ski days. Usually, 9 out of 10 ski days in Vermont seem to be overcast and dark, but this season it seems like every other trip has been beautiful blue skies. Just check out this earlier blog entry! I’m not complaining, and it certainly makes for some much nicer looking GoPro footage. Enjoy!
Whenever I head out exploring, whether it be a day of skiing in the winter or fishing in the summer, I want to start my day with a good breakfast. Usually for me, this is either a Bagel and Cream-cheese or a Bacon, Egg and Cheese type sandwich as well. There are a number of different places in my “home base” city of Burlington, VT so I figured I would share my favorite 4 Breakfast stops! Without further ado, and in no particular order:
Many times, if you were looking for a good breakfast sandwich, you might not think to check your grocery store. In Burlington though, City Market is not just a grocery store! Inside, the deli has fantastic lunch sandwiches to order, but also their “Breakfast Bagelwich” is available to order from 7 to 11am. I usually order the “Deluxe Bagelwich”, adding sriracha and sprouts. Once I get one of these sandwiches in me, I’m ready for a day in the mountains!
Burlington Bagel Bakery
On Shelburne Road, less than a mile from the highway on-ramp, is Burlington Bagel Bakery. Conveniently in the same parking lot as a gas station, you can fuel up not only your car, but also yourself. This place is popular on the weekends after 9, so if you made a late start, be ready to wait in line. Burlington Bagel Bakery has a wide variety of bagels as well as flavored cream cheeses. A great sandwich to order here is the “Triple B” which is a Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich with a hash-brown and chipotle mayo added on!
If you’re making an EARLY morning of your adventure, Meyer’s might just be your best choice of breakfast stop. At 4am Meyer’s opens its doors for hungry adventurers to get their breakfasts. I usually get the “Conquistador” sandwich which is sausage, egg and cheese with avocado and sriracha on the signature “Montreal Spice” Bagel.
Kountry Kart Deli
Perhaps more famous for being the last stop of the night after a night downtown in Burlington, “KKD” is also a fantastic spot to stop for your breakfast before a road trip. Not only do they have a great selection of sandwiches, portion sizes are pretty large. Do you normally think of a breakfast sandwich going on a foot long sub roll? At KKD, a large breakfast sandwich comes on just that!
My friend and I got out for some skiing today at Stowe! The conditions were fantastic. The sun was shining, and the snow was soft and easy to turn on. Unfortunately I crashed pretty hard, but conveniently I left that out of the video I made! I hope you all enjoy.
Instead of writing an article this weekend, I published a video to YouTube! Check it out and let me know what you think.
After a day of blustery geocaching and letterboxing, Sunday was spent disc golfing with some friends at Wrightsville Beach Disc Golf course. It was nice to spend the day outside in fairly mild temperatures compared to the bone chilling wind the day before. I managed to keep my feet mostly dry, but pretty soon I’ll be needing more than regular hiking shoes to stay dry out there. I didn’t have my camera out much, but at the end of the day, I was able to catch part of the group taking some ace runs at hole number 11. Enjoy!
Today, I thought I would explore the Burlington Bike Path and perhaps find some geocaches. When I got to the waterfront however, I was met with conditions I wasn’t really expecting! I was only able to take a few pictures of Lake Champlain and some angry looking water before I needed to retreat to the car.
Despite the sun and fluffy clouds, the temperature was in only the high 30’s and the wind was howling so it felt much colder. I attempted to find one geocache, but the cold and the wind made me retreat back to the car for warmth. At first, I was disappointed in myself for not being prepared for the conditions, but the wind by the lake was just a little too strong for me to enjoy spending much time away from the car. Rather than giving up on a bright and sunny afternoon, I decided to change my plans and go for a different adventure. I decided to go for a drive away from the lake and go letterboxing!
Similar to Geocaching, Letterboxing is another outdoor scavenger hunt game that I have enjoyed for some time. I was more involved in the game while I was in high school, but since moving to Vermont, I had never been able to find one of Vermont’s most famous letterboxes! The Prayer Rock Letterbox was originally placed in 1998, right after the sport started in the United States. In fact, this letterbox is famous for being the first to feature a piece of hand-carved stamp art for each finder. Today, this practice is commonplace and so clearly, I needed to find the first!
The exact location of this box is shrouded in a small amount of mystery, so I wont be the one to spoil the fun for you, but as someone who has been a part of this game for over 15 years, finding a letterbox that has existed for 20 years was very exciting. If you are interested in finding this original Letterbox, find its clues here.
After we found the box, we hopped back in the car and proceeded to get lost on Vermont dirt roads making our way slowly back to Burlington. On the drive alone, we saw 3 new parks and trails that I had never noticed before. Looks like more new places to explore next time!
Two weeks ago, I went the lazy route of mountain climbing. It was the last weekend of “Summer/Fall” lift service at Stowe Mountain Resort and so my girlfriend and I went to check out the Vermont fall colors. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to see a different color at the tops of the mountains.
When I moved to Vermont 10 years ago, it was because I wanted a longer ski season than the 3 months of slushy conditions I was used to in southern New England. Whenever I see the hills go white early in the season, I know its almost time. In years past, I had hiked up Stowe to get a few “very early season” turns. But this year, I didn’t have the skis in the car yet. This year, I got to use my new Epic Pass in order to get a free lift ride to the top. The Stowe Gondola delivers riders up to an elevation just over 3000 feet above sea level, and we needed almost all of that elevation before we got to the snow zone, but it was a treat to watch the seasons transition from the base area, to the top of the lift. We snapped a few pictures, made a tiny snowman, and enjoyed this tiny preview of winter.
The valley looks pretty colorful! But looking further up the mountain?