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 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 18: ARE WE HIBERNATING?

This morning I was paying the bills, one of which is the electric bill. Green Mountain Power helpfully (?) includes the average temperature for the most recent cycle on each bill. The average temperature for our last cycle, which was mostly the month of January, was 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

That sounded kind of cold to me, and in fact it was. The normal average January temperature for Montpelier is 16 degrees. And, as we learned in Episode 16, even that is four degrees colder than Brunswick’s average January temperature.

So we are adjusting, but sometimes having a difficult time doing so. Continue reading

EPISODE 17: OLE’S NORDIC CENTER

Ever since we moved to Vermont and I started to research the state’s Nordic skiing venues, I have been excited to ski at Ole’s Cross Country Center in Warren. Why? Because it’s fun to say. Also because they have a Norway flag in their logo. They seem authentic.

Luckily, Ole’s is located less than an hour from Montpelier. And thanks to Ski Vermont’s Nordic Reciprocal Program, our Morse Farm season’s pass gets us in for free. (What a fantastic benefit!) So just after lunch this afternoon, we packed up the car and headed to Warren. Continue reading

EPISODE 15: SKIING AT MORSE FARM

After a day of errands and beginning to obsess about where to live, we decided today would be a good day to initiate our Vermont nordic skiing careers. We are in Vermont, we are committed to embracing the winter. Given the relative lack of snow in recent weeks, with some rain mixed in to boot, I was concerned about the conditions in the area and we were considering heading north. However yesterday we drove by Morse Farm, just a couple of miles up the road in East Montpelier, and saw folks skiing on what looked like pretty nice trails. So we decided to go there instead.

Our last few winters in Maine we made a habit of skiing on free trails around Brunswick – places like The Commons or Crystal Spring Farm. We skied these sites partly because they were free, and therefore attractive for an hour or two of skiing, but primarily because they were close. The fact is that the closest “real” cross-country skiing area to Brunswick was a good 45-minute drive to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.

But despite the fact that I am a cheapskate and love to do things for free, there’s a clear downside to the free skiing. Continue reading