Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall is Bestival

I had grandiose plans for covering all of the fun stuff we've been doing this fall, but things got busy with the business and the blog slowly drifted to the bottom of my to-do list. Ultimately, this indicates that my leisure time has dwindled and the beautiful New England fall has passed. We turn the clocks back this Sunday (composition of this post took place on 10/30 despite the date listed above) and I've allowed the season to slip by with not nearly enough time spent outdoors. But all is not lost—there are a few autumn highlights to share, namely, the Mount Snow Beer Fest, which occurred so long ago I can barely recall it, and the visit from my folks several weeks back.

First thing's first: beer is best when it's served in small, commemorative glasses and drunk in the great outdoors with a boatload of strangers. This was the 15th annual beer fest at Mount Show but a first experience for Andrea, Liz and me. The weather couldn't have been better—sunny, bright, and breezy. Here are a few photo highlights:

Liz has arrived!



I love love love trying new beers and the festival had a lot to offer. Additionally, we were able to meet up with some of Andrea's college friends, with whom we raised many a delicious glass.

A few weeks later my parents—our first family guests—came for a visit on the way home from their vacation in Maine. Liz had to work for two of the three days they were here, so I showed them around the area. I think my parents would all agree that the most memorable part of the visit was our hike on Putney Mountain. I suggested that we take advantage of a gorgeous fall day and go for a short hike on the same trail Liz, Andrea, and I had trekked for our August mushroom hike. Since that tour was led by an elderly German woman, we had only hiked so far and I was interested in reconnoitering the trail system to plan future hikes. Examining the map in the parking lot, I planned a short, circular hike to the Pinnacle—an area that I'd heard offered great views—but the trip was extended far beyond what the map had indicated.

Honestly, I can only blame myself; I should have paid way more attention to distance and topo lines. All told, we hiked slightly under six miles—no small feat for an out-of-shape thirtysomething and her parents—but Bill and Karen were really great sports. We trudged along, certain that we would eventually meet the trail that would take us back to the car. We soaked in vast expanses of fantastic Vermont scenery, repeatedly passing an old stone wall that appeared and disappeared with far more ease than it must have taken to construct it. We looked for moose, talked and laughed, even worried, but never complained. Finally, we found the parking lot, climbed into the car, and proceeded to the nearest bar, where the drinks tasted as though every step had been worth it.

Bragoniers on the move

Vermont hills

Unidentified bracket fungi

The following day, Andrea invited us up to Jamaica State Park for the bi-annual dam release on the West River. This is a huge event for paddlers, and Andrea planned to take her new canoe for a spin. Another gorgeous day with lots of friendly folks out and about.

Vermont's West River

Reunited (minus Alison)

All together

It's experiences like these that remind me why we moved here. I'm so thankful that we took the chance.

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