EPISODE 25: GREEN MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL (PART 1)

I am familiar with March in Vermont.  Every year from 2006 – 2013 I spent a week in Montpelier to work on the Vermont chapter annual budget.  March weather varies greatly year to year.  Sometimes spring makes an early appearance, other years winter maintains its icy grip.  One year downtown Montpelier was on a flood watch.  Every year there seems to be gray skies and dingy gray snow.  And some years I was lucky enough to be in town during the Green Mountain Film Festival.

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EPISODE 24: TRAPP FAMILY LODGE NORDIC SKIING AND LAGER

One of the more famous inns in this part of Vermont is the Trapp Family Lodge. Founded by the von Trapp family of Sound of Music Fame and located high on a hilltop overlooking the ritzy town of Stowe, the lodge is a four-season resort that draws as many curious tourists who are fans of the movie as it does guests who are there to enjoy the five-star accommodations.

Among the many outdoor activities available is an excellent cross-country ski trail network.  Very early on we learned that Trapp has a reputation as the best nordic facility around.  The premium trail pass fee ($25) certainly suggests this place is one of the best – even with a captive audience of inn guests, there is too much competition nearby to not deliver good skiing.
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EPISODE 23: AN ADAMANT EVENING

Working late on Friday afternoon, my co-workers Jennifer and Rose popped into my office. “Hey, we’re going to a concert tomorrow night in Adamant. Do you and Doreen wanna come?” Of course we want to see a concert in Adamant! You may remember Adamant (pronounce ADemANT) from the Art Tour in Episode 10. It’s a funky little village on the border of Calais and East Montpelier, and is certainly worthy of it’s own Episode. Perhaps we’ll pop over in a couple of months for the Black Fly Festival.

After an afternoon of clothes shopping in the greater Montpelier-Berlin-Barre metroplex, we were off to meet Rose and Jennifer and their partners George and Paul at the Whammy Bar in Calais. Continue reading

EPISODE 22: SKIING IN CRAFTSBURY

Since we arrived in Vermont we’ve been hearing about the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury. The Center is a four-season athletic training ground that specializes in running, skulling and cycling in the summer, and nordic skiing, including biathlon, in the winter. The COC offers very good value With nearly 100 kilometers of groomed ski trails and a very reasonable day pass of $10, though we skied for free thanks again to the Ski Vermont reciprocal program.

Last weekend we hopped in the car and headed north. Continue reading

EPISODE 21 – TOWN MEETING DAY

Town Meetings are a longtime tradition in New England, though a seemingly dying one in recent years. At its core, Town Meeting is democracy in its purest form – people gather to decide the direction their town will take in the coming year. Most votes wins. However 18th-century democracy has been met with increasing apathy in the 21st century. Furthermore, many towns have adopted a council-style government and dispatched with town meetings altogether. It’s a different story in Vermont, however. Continue reading