April Snow Showers on Mt. Mansfield bring…?

Our days are certainly getting longer here in Stowe, Vermont

…May projects!

Here at the Brass Lantern Inn, and especially on Mt. Mansfield, we recognize that there is typically quite a back and forth response in the tug of war between winter and spring.  We tend to just leave the skis in the truck (till closing day) to give us that last minute option to sprint up to Stowe Mountain Resort and put in as many turns as we can as the snow changes from packed powder, corn to mashed potatoes.  Spring skiing is definitely here.

We recognize that most people south of our latitude are either looking forward to or are already in the midst of the typical spring weather and scenes.  We get that, and will certainly be happy when spring does arrive here, but, for now, we are happy to ski on a mostly quiet mountain.  Many times you can find yourself gliding peacefully, without another person in sight along some of our favorite trails; Nosedive, Rimrocks, Sunrise and even the quiet reflection permitted on Toll Road.  Admittedly, it is a bit of a cat and mouse kind of game to predict best skiing conditions and certainly a clear indication that the last, last run of the season is drawing near.  April 23rd is final day for lift operations…

We have received some surprise snowfalls, twice already in this month of April.  On 4/1 we received well over 12″ of snow on the mountain and just yesterday morning we picked up another 10 to 13″.  Down here in the valley, much less, and with this time of year the snow here in Town melts quickly exposing the outline of our gardens and even the beginning sprout of our tulips.  Yesterday, I noticed that the grass is even doing its best to poke through the thin cover of snow on the front lawn.

The sap from the Maple trees is still running.  As long as the temps. keep this seesaw pattern of below freezing at night to the bright, warm sunny daytime temps. in the 40’s to even 60’s those who produce our wonderful maple syrup are taking everything that this season is providing.  The traditions of the Vermont seasons help us recognize we are so fortunate to have landed in this little corner of paradise.

April snow showers will ultimately make way for several spring projects.  On the drawing board right now are the plans for a new breakfast deck just off the main breakfast room.  You know, that area that is the crushed stone patio?  Our plans include adding the new deck that will be at the level of the current breakfast room floor with a door added such that we can go straight from the breakfast room to the outside deck.  We can’t wait to be able to serve you breakfast, outside, on those gloriously beautiful mornings in full view of Mt. Mansfield.  Follow us on our Facebook/Instagram feeds as we chronicle the construction of our breakfast deck!

Later this year we plan to fully gut and renovate our game room!  Watch for updates and stay tuned.

See you outside,

George

 

Spring is a Great Time to Explore Stowe

The skis, snowshoes, snow shovels and winter gear have all been put away.  We took our last turns on Mt. Mansfield at the Stowe Mountain Resort on the last Sunday in April followed up with a great tailgate party with friends to celebrate the passing of winter and the full onset of spring.  The bikes have now been tuned up with tires inflated back up to optimum road/trail pressure.

We have begun to turn some dirt preparing our garden beds for the summer season.  The daffodils are now in full bloom and the tulips that we snuck into the ground before the hard freeze of last November are just about ready to break open in bloom.  Pansies have been added to the window boxes adding some welcomed color to the front of the Inn.  Vegetable seeds will go into the freshly turned soil by this coming weekend.  We have to be careful, though, and not get too far ahead of mother nature as our last frost can and has come as late as Memorial Day Weekend.

We do truly enjoy our four distinct seasons here in Vermont.  We feel a bittersweet sense of loss with the passing of the winter season though we are more than encouraged by the signs of spring as his new season upon us brings a whole new set of opportunities to get outside.  While spring is typically a quiet time here in Vermont the secret of all that there is to do and see here in this follow up season is quickly becoming a secret that is being spread far and wide as though dandelion seeds of the season.

Mountain Biking is our new sport to explore this spring/summer.  George is taking a six week Skills Clinic through our friends at Four Points Mountain Bike School and Guide Service.  He is very excited to check out our mountain trails from the seat of a bike versus the hiking boots on the ground.  We are so fortunate to have the Stowe Mountain Bike Club here for outdoor recreation development and advocacy for mountain biking in our community.

And we have readied the Inn to be bike friendly with an outside, bike, hose off wash station, dry/secure storage areas within the Inn, and lots of maps and recommendations for rides from a light stroll along the 5.5 mile rec. path to the wide variety of terrain options in places such as Cady Hill Forest.

So, pack your bags and your bikes (or rent here) and join us as we get outside and enjoy life.

George and Mary Anne

“Spring” is here, well, sort of…

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

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

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.