Vermont Bliss

What a weekend in Vermont. Technically, it was a long weekend, and Livingston Style,  it was jam-packed with excitement. The main event was Saturday’s USAT Age Group National Championship in Burlington, but when stacked against all of the other highlights, it just blends in. We hit so many of our favorite spots, towns, and roads, that it will be hard to cover all of it.

On the drive up, we visited the Guilford Welcome Center just north of Brattleboro on Interstate 91. I love that building.

We had lunch at the Putney Co-Op where we are members.

Other than a quick pit stop for gas, we didn’t stop again until we reached Burlington. Our time in the city was brief, but action packed. We hit a South Burlington playground with our kids. I did the race. We stayed with our friends, the Padgett’s. After the race, we toured the Amtrak 40th Anniversary train and exhibit, which was right next to the finish of the triathlon. This was a fascinating look at American rail travel.

Then, we walked through the city center and visited the Farmers’ Market. We had lunch at American Flatbread. The Canton, Connecticut Flatbread is a sponsor of the Horst Engineering Cycling Team, so it is good to visit the other locations and return the support.

We left Burlington and drove through Shelburne, where we toured the world-famous Vermont Teddy Bear Company. What a business. It seems far less complicated than manufacturing aerospace products. We enjoyed the factory tour and all of the cute little aspects of their customer oriented culture. Our kids each built their own bear, which was the correct tourist thing to do.

We hit the road again and drove south on Rt. 7 to the quaint town of Middlebury. We went through Middlebury Gap on our 2006 Long Trail hike, but I hadn’t been in Middlebury proper for years. They have a great co-op and some really neat shops on the main street where the Otter Creek cuts through town. We had dinner at a new restaurant called Jackson’s on the River. It is only a year old, but according to the proprietor, a restaurant has been at that location for 40 years. Eating on the deck with perfect Saturday evening weather was a fine experience.

Our final destination for the day was Branbury State Park in Salisbury. Located right on picturesque Lake Dunmore, Branbury is a true gem. I hadn’t been in Lake Dunmore since the 1990’s when I frequented Vermont bicycle races, including the Killington Stage Race, Mad River Road Race, and Burlington Criterium. I miss all of those events. My aunt and uncle had a beautiful family camp on Lake Dunmore. I visited them several times as a kid and again during my road cycling years. We really enjoyed our stay at the park. We camped in an open field after calling ahead for site. We were fortunate to get a spot. We swam with the kids and then went to bed.

On Sunday morning, we took a three-hour hike through the park in to the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, which is part of the Green Mountain National Forest. We visited the Falls of Lana and then did a loop hike on the Aunt Jenny and Rattlesnake Cliff trails. We enjoyed some great views and our kids did a fair amount of walking. When they were tired, we put them on our backs. I had the heavier five-year old load while Debbie got the little one. After the hike, we cooled off in Lake Dunmore, and got the party bus rolling south again.

We drove through Brandon, one of my favorite towns, and then stopped for lunch in Rutland at another new restaurant, Roots-the Restaurant. They had all kinds of fresh local vegetable dishes to choose from. Both Jackson’s and Roots were vegetarian/vegan friendly. The Rutland Criterium is one of my all time favorite bicycle races. I did it many times and had some great results on the technical course. After lunch, it was time to head home. We hit some massive thunderstorms on Rt. 100 and Rt. 103 as we went through Rutland and Ludlow. The downpours were torrential in spots and the chain lightning was impressive. Both of our kids slept for two hours. The roads were wet all the way until the Massachusetts border.

Overall, we had a fantastic trip. It was great to spend a few days in the Green Mountain State.

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So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
We just launched the #cxnats edition of #crossspikes News and it is chock full of great information. Click our profile for a link to the newsletter and info regarding @renocxnats pre-orders and on-site sales. See you at the Race Expo! #crossisboss 🚴🏽🏆

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