Last Run of the Season

12 April 2014

This time of year is always somewhat bittersweet in Stowe, Vermont.  While I enjoy the longer days, warming temperatures, the emergence of our garden beds, and the opportunity to bring out the bikes I recognize my ski days are coming to an end and I’m not really looking forward to that last run.  I still keep the skis in the car and try to sneak in a few early morning runs when I can.  This past Thursday, 4/10, was one for the books; a bluebird day, clear skies, temps. in the mid 50’s with soft snow and a wonderful sense of solitude (just a few fortunate people on the mountain able to adjust their life schedules to fit in a ski day).  Now, also have to admit by noon the conditions got a bit like mash potato but that’s when the tailgating begins!

Now that the snow has finally all but disappeared from down here in the valley, I get to reconnect with the gardens that have been asleep under a blanket of snow since late November.  I know this may sound strange but without our winter white we now long for some color.  Yesterday, I stopped off at our local plant nursery and picked up some pansies to dress up the front entrance  with some hanging baskets as the ground is still too firm for a shovel. 

I know I will ultimately be happy to move the skis out of the vehicle soon to make room for the golf clubs and planned-for mountain bike!  These days I like to drive past the Stowe Country Club on my way to Mt. Mansfield to “check on things” and make my guess as to an opening day for the golf season here in Stowe. 

Our last run for the past couple of years, has coincided with Easter Sunrise Service at the top of Mt. Mansfield.  This year, due to the generosity of a neighbor here in town, we will actually be in Boston on Easter Sunday for a Red Sox/Orioles game!  So, last run, sometime this week, and look forward to another fabulous spring, summer and fall here at the Brass Lantern Inn in Stowe.  Come join us for an escape from the ordinary! 

Happy Spring, George

Left Turns in Stowe

2 April 2014

I love small towns on so many levels. Just one attribute of this peaceful, New England town that draws us closer to its heart ever day; left turns in Stowe, Vermont.

Moving here from a major metropolitan area of the Baltimore/Washington D.C. we were immediately struck by the courtesy and politeness of drivers with “green plates” (of course that would be Vermont). One of our frequent errands includes going to the Post Office, which, from the Brass Lantern Inn, requires a left turn off of Main Street onto Depot St. A driver with green plates, with several cars behind them, stopped in front of me, flashed their lights, and gave a nice little wave yielding the right of way.

Of course this is just one of those infectious courtesies that can be discovered in Stowe, Vermont. Like holding the door open for the next person behind, you immediately realize this is not the big city and to feel part of it your responses and actions should reflect those around you in similar regard.

Downtown Stowe is marked by the only “traffic light” in the town, a flashing red, three way, stop sign. I am consistently amazed at how efficient this system of traffic control is to our community’s needs. In fact, the nearest full red, yellow, green traffic light is a good 10 miles from here. And if there is ever even the slight discussion in town to add a light at a particularly busy crossing (“busy” being a relative term where you might have a back up of say 4 or 5 cars), you are met with some polite local response of “we like our small town feel just the way it is, thank you very much!”

So, if you are traveling through Stowe and need to make that left turn, don’t be surprised if someone flashes their lights and gives you a friendly wave. And don’t forget to pass along the courtesy. – George

“Spring” is here, well, sort of…

22 March 2014

What a winter it has been here in the north country of Vermont. And while the calendar says we are into day 3 of spring, the snow and the conditions for outdoor enthusiasts are probably the best they have been all winter. Truly!

All outdoor activities of skiing, riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ok, you name your favorite winter activity, is still on here in the month of March (and most likely well into April) in Stowe, Vermont.

There are signs, however, that winter is losing some grip as our recent warm sunny days, cool crisp nights are also perfect for the true spring event in Vermont; Maple Sugaring. The sap is running now that we have the temperatures swinging from below freezing overnight and well into the 30’s and 40’s during the day. Have you ever tried “sugar on snow?” It is an amazing “culinary” experience and the whole experience of how those maple sugar farmers turn maple sap into maple syrup is well worth the trip to a local sugar house/shack to see for yourself.

And preparations for spring in Stowe and here at the Brass Lantern Inn are well underway. We plan to expand our wildflower meadow out back as the 8 pounds of flower seed mix has just arrived (now just waiting for the couple of feet of snow to melt…). Building Plans are being drawn up from retired architect, George, for a new deck off the dining room. We are looking forward to offering breakfast “al fresco” this summer with Mt. Mansfield as the perfect backdrop to that setting!

We hope you had a wonderful winter and if you haven’t had your fill of winter activities or perhaps you were too busy with life and just couldn’t fit us into your calendar this past season there is still time to enjoy it. The Stowe Mountain Resort is scheduled to be open for skiing and riding until April 20th. We know, great stuff, huh?

Mid-Winter Report from Stowe, Vermont

26 January 2014

We have had quite the range of weather conditions here in Stowe so far this winter season. Starting out with several good dumps of snow in late November and early December, we were again skiing well before Thanksgiving 2013.

The season started out so promising and even with a few rainy weekends in late December, early January, our guests have certainly pulled a wonderful time out of each stay.

As one guest told us, “It’s never the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes.” We think that is a great motto to consider in northern Vermont, especially during the transition periods of each of our wonderful four seasons. With so many outdoor activities to choose from and some amazing scenery as your backdrop, and while we do everything we can to make your room a sanctuary, we recommend getting out and experiencing our unique location.

Downhill skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort has clearly benefited from the Mountain’s $8.5 million investment over the past two years in snowmaking equipment. We have experienced some wonderful ski days, everything from spring-like conditions to cover-all-exposed-skin-surfaces types of conditions and can report a great time was had by all with each trip to the mountain.

The Stowe Arena, our new, fully enclosed ice arena (that will also be used for “turf” sports in spring/summer) opened in December to rave reviews (locals and visitors). Hockey is huge here in northern Vermont and while you are sure to see lots of this activity in the new arena there are daily open ice skating sessions each day to allow our guests to get out on the ice.

With all that there is to do in Stowe, in any of our seasons, it’s important to also remember the benefits of Rest and Relaxation! Remember we do our best to provide that warm, inviting home away from home atmosphere in your guest room and our common areas. We understand if you just want to curl up in front of the fireplace and read a book, take a nap, and just relax. We get it!

Oh, and don’t forget to follow/Like us on the Brass Lantern Inn, Bed and Breakfast Facebook page as we keep you updated on the seasonal scenery and any last minute specials and packages.

Vermont and the Town of Stowe by the Numbers

28 July 2013

Vermont is known as the “Green Mountain State” and rightly so when your consider some of the following stats –

• There are 223 mountains in Vermont with Mt. Mansfield topping out at almost 4,400 ft. elevation and within view of our back porch and most of our guest rooms
• While one of the smallest states in area, 9,200 square miles, our state truly earns that “green” status when you consider that 76% of scenic state is forested

Have a desire to get outside? Check out just a few stats regarding some of our outdoor options –

• 5.5 miles of paved bike path, the “Stowe Rec Path,” from the center of our idyllic New England Town center to the base of Mt. Mansfield. Stunning views all along the way
• 50 + miles of Mountain Bike Trails within the Stowe area alone. We can also direct you to Mountain Bike Riding Centers nearby in the Northeast Kingdom
• For the kayakers/canoeists – there are over 7,000 miles of rivers and streams with connections to the 740 mile long Northern Forest Canoe Trail
• Hiking your passion? Take on sections or the entire 273 miles of the Long Trail stretching from our southern border with Massachusetts to our neighbors to the north in Canada

More of a Winter person? Oh, do we have that covered –

• 287 inches – total amount of natural snowfall on Mt. Mansfield for the 2012-13 winter
• Stowe Mountain Resort provides 485 acres with 39 miles of skiable terrain so get out early and plan to stay late to get it all in
• Like to glide on skies (as in cross country)? Take on the Catamount Trail, a 300 mile, state long trail

And did you know? -

• Vermont is the second least populated state in the country (625,000 residents, about the same amount of people in the city limits of our old hometown, Baltimore, MD)
• The 6th largest lake in the country is in Vermont – yep, Lake Champlain is just a short, scenic 45 minute drive away from Stowe
• There are more than 30 breweries in Vermont and 5 of those are within a 5 to 10 mile radius of our Inn
• Stowe is 250 years old – being chartered in 1763 by Royal Governor Benning Wentworth originally as part of the “New Hampshire Colony”

This and so many other features of Vermont add up to one amazing place to experience a vacation you know you deserve! Please let us know how we can be of service and we look forward to welcoming you to Stowe.

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