A WEEKEND IN STOWE VERMONT

The top of Mount Mansfield in Stowe Vermont.
The Stowe Mountain Lodge, our home base for three glorious days.

I took this week off for a bit relaxation – oh, who am I kidding. I took it off to catch up, both in the garden, and in the house (I actually cleaned out 2 closets and filled a dumpster!). I also wanted to catch you all up on some posts that I had been meaning to post, but which never seemed to make it from iPhoto, to Photoshop, to Blogger in time. So – a bit of catch up from what’s been happening this fine summer here in New England.

Two weeks ago, Joe and I took a three day weekend since we were given tickets to attend the Vermont Cheesemaker’s festival. I wanted to make the weekend more special, so we splurged and stayed at the gorgeous Stowe Mountain Lodge – a new ski resort at the base of Mount Mansfield in Stowe. Aside from the fact that it was unfortunately lacrosse week in Stowe ( why didn’t anyone -like the hotel-tell us?) we still had a great time, even though we only spent a few hours in the hotel itself. This hotel reminded me of a Disney resort (not unlike the Grand Californian or the GRand Floridian) at least in scale. The weather was spectacular, except for one day when we had thunderstorms for most of the day, but all that meant was that a cold front was moving through, making way for clear blue skies on the following days.

The Stowe Mountain Lodge makes a great escape even in the summer.
We took the gondola up to the summit of Mount Mansfield, the views were incredible.

On the way up in the gondola, we could see most of the Green Mountains of Vermont. I think I could live here!
Attention NARGS members – I think I have an idea for local chapters looking for a way to give back to the community – can you guess what it is? I think NARGS should sponsor some signage for area trails.
On the top of the mountain, huge granite rocks were so slippery, that we had to cancel our hike – they were slippery due to the thundershowers the night before, which made the lichens slimy. We could not get a foot hold on one of the trails, and had to turn back.
On one precipice however, Joe was able to make it up onto a pointed outcropping. Look at the fir trees growing on the rock.
I’ve forgotten the magic of the northern woodlands. These Cornus canadensis, a relative of the dogwood, were in full bloom under that rocky ledge. Known as Bunchberry to locals, these higher elevation woodland plants remain precious and should never be picked.
Here is a better picture of those Cornus canadensis under that rock. Hmm, a bear could be hiding in that cave!
Not a great photo as I was using my iPhone, but I found this Oxalis montana or Northern Wood Sorrel growing – reminding me that one of my favorite genus exists even in New England as a wild flower.
Some Hawkweed, or what many here in New England call Indian Paint Brush (not to be confused with Castilleja, this Hawkweed is indeed more weedily, growing on road sides and on disturbed land, such as this ski trail. Still, it was beautiful.
Some False Hellebore, along one of the trails on top of the mountain.
Back down from the mountain trails, we headed over to the Von Trapp family lodge for some dinner, and swiss delights. I loved this red barn on the road over to the lodge.
This was also corn country. In and around Stowe, the farmers fields were lush and green with all of the rain.
On the second day, the rain moved on after fierce thundershowers – leaving us this – – bright, blue skies and dryer air.

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