Island Pond, Vermont

After the Ultimate XC: Vermont Edition, we made our way from Jay over to Island Pond. Deep within Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Island Pond is a nice community with a great pond as its centerpiece. Deb and Shep made the drive while I rode my bike. I thought it was 30 miles or so, but with my roundabout directions and one major missed turn, it turned into a 50+ mile slog over the course of three hours in fading sunlight. I ended up riding around the pond in Island Pond on a dirt road with a major thunderstorm brewing. My mobile phone had no signal, my map was only a little help, and my nerves were frayed as my skinny road tires bounced on this dirt road. Fortunately, I figured it out and met up with the family at Brighton State Park, where we spent the night. 


Brighton is on Spectacle Pond, a slightly smaller body of water next to Island Pond. Yeah, it is pretty confusing. Island Pond refers to both the pond and the name of the town where the pond is located, but it isn’t the only pond. Deb and I have been trying to get to Island Pond for nearly five years. We first learned of the community through the Appalachian Mountain Club. At an annual meeting, there were representatives from Island Pond Woodworkers, a recently (at the time) formed company of former Ethan Allen Furniture employees. The EA factory was shuttered leaving many locals without their jobs. Apparently, several employees banded together to reform a company. They sold furniture made from sustainably harvested wood and had received grants to give business a go on their own. One of their larger customers was Dartmouth College.

I love stories like this and we vowed to try them out. That chance came when we built our house and needed a custom butcher block for our own island…the one in the center of the kitchen. We phoned them up and they came through. Through a contact at a good Horst Engineering customer, Vermont Aerospace, in nearby Lyndonville, we arranged a pickup. So, we had never been to Island Pond until Saturday. Interestignly, I’m not sure what has become of Island Pond Woodworkers. I heard an investor had bought them out, but I’m not sure if they are still making furniture. On my ride, I passed a large blue industrial building on Rt.105 that was vacant with a “for sale” sign out front. I figured that there aren’t too many factories in Island Pond, a town originally known for its railroad and logging businesses. Hopefully, they aren’t out of business. That would be a real disappointment.

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I ❤️ the @eastcoastgreenway ### #eastcoastgreenway #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #carfreecommute
Finally made it to the @breakawaybrewhaus in time! Technically I was late, but Matt and Cindy are Bolton neighbors. I left my empty bottles a month ago and now they are full again. You can easily fit three in a @dillpicklegear pannier. I’m STILL waiting for my pannier’s lost mate to find its way home. #carfeecommute @horsteng #teamhorstsports #crossspikes @seven_cycles #sevencycles #bicycle #beer 🚴🏽🍺
A fun filled day of #mountainbike goodness at the West Rock Superprestige Short Track final. The @the_ccap #teamhorstjuniorsquad and the older dudes on #teamhorstsports all rode like champs. We gave it our all and left it all out there on the gnarly course. There must have been at least 15 of us in a variety of categories, plus a couple of runners; and our families, who cheered like madmen/madwomen. Big thanks to the Laurel Bike Club/D’Aniello’s Amity Bicycle. @horsteng #crossspikes
A 5K #trailrunning race was a great way to kick off today’s West Rock Superprestige Short Track #mountainbike finale. It suited the Livingston women just fine. @trailrunningmom and Little D were both on their respective podiums after two laps of the gnarly course. It was a small but dedicated group of runners who came out for the inaugural run. Good work by the Laurel Bike Club/D’Aniello’s Amity Bicycle crew. #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders 🏃‍♀️⛰🏆
Old Lyme to Bolton with a diversion to see one of my favorite barns. #madeinusa @horsteng @seven_cycles @dillpicklegear #sevencycles #horstengineering #crossspikes #teamhorstsports #july4th #independenceday
Anytime a #triathlon swim is canceled (due to a #thunderstorm ⛈), the advantage goes to the Livingston’s. We rarely lament a run 🏃‍♀️when it replaces a swim. 🏊‍♂️ @trailrunningmom took the victory in the mud. 🚲 Shep notched a Tiny Tri win. Boy did it rain ☔️at #windingtrails tonight! 🌩 ### #Duathlon #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes
I rode from @horsteng to Cornwall Bridge to see @trailrunningmom finish her 36 mile (+8,094 feet ascent/-8,048 feet descent) solo training run on the Mohawk Trail/Appalachian Trail Loop. Better her than me! She crushed it on a hot day in 9h38m. I had a lovely ride on some of the best roads in #Connecticut and arrived at the trailhead 20 minutes before she did. We followed it up with a date @floraweha ☀️ 🚲 🏃‍♀️ #trailrunning #cycling #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders #ultrarunning @seven_cycles #sevencycles @appalachianmountainclub @ctforestandparkassociation @ultraspire #ultraspire #veganathlete
Passed through #Toronto late in the day yesterday during a short biz trip and discovered #dufferingrovepark the fabulous #reflexologyfootpath and the farmers market.
#nembafest was an absolute blast. This morning, #teamhorstjuniorsquad and #teamhorstsports put in one more monster #kingdomtrails ride. These #trails are awesome. We saw so many friends out there. The rain calmed down Friday’s dust. We missed some other big events like #manitousrevengeultra and @wser , but this event is on par. 3,000 riders in the hills of #vermont Today was the #mountainbiking equivalent of a #powderday 🚵‍♂️⛰ ### @nemba_mtb @kingdomtrails @horsteng @the_ccap #horstengineering #crossspikes

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