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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Two days of #crawfordnotch views sandwiched with @appalachianmountainclub meeting. Cycling on Rt. 302, #trailrunning on the Crawford Path, and Mount Willard. #newhampshire 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ Sites and sounds from Day 2 @gpgloucester #gpgloucester The fog was burning off by the end of the Cub Juniors 9-14 year old race.

#horstspikes #cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸 It was great to see so many friends at today’s Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race. We all ran the 2-Miler. We couldn’t stay long after the finish, but we did see Kelsey Allen win overall in the 10.5 Mile main event. Hooray! #trailrunning 🏃🏻 Before and after the Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race in the #Berkshires I rode (very wet) over from Savoy Mountain State Forest where we camped last night. On the ride along the #DeerfieldRiver I checked out #ZoarGap and then we walked down to the river to see the Tooth. Sadly, the kayakers had already passed through. The foliage turned overnight. #trailrunning #cycling 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ #Cyclocross racing in the morning and downhill #mountainbiking @thundermountainbikepark in the afternoon. We got in two late afternoon runs on rental bikes and are pumped to return for more fun in the future. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #thundermountainbikepark #berkshireeast 🚵‍♀️⛰ 30 kids in the 9-12 year old Race at the #mansfieldhollow #Cyclocross That’s just awesome! @the_ccap #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #crossspikes #crossisboss This image was from pregame, but approaching halftime @uconnfootball there aren’t many more fans than you see here. 35 (Memphis ) to 21 (UCONN) is a lot of points in 30 minutes of #football #uconn This morning I got to hear Warren Rustand, inspirational entrepreneur and fellow @ypoglobal member, speak at a #ypo Connecticut River Valley Chapter meeting. It was fitting that the event was @riverfrontrecapture and literally ON the #connecticutriver I walked from @horsteng via my favorite train bridge. The 10 minute trip back to the plant was ample time to reflect on the #leadership lessons that he shared with our group. @garyrome and I decided that we should memorialize our time with this dedicated athlete, by requesting that he join our photo. #horstengineering #business Fantastic but FRUSTRATING race at The Night Weasels Cometh #cyclocross Was charging hard but punctured with two to go and rode 3/4ths of a lap on my rear flat before getting to my pit bike. I just glued this tubular two nights ago. Grrrr! Gave up more than a dozen spots. This string of bad luck will end and my fitness will pay off. Still not a bad ending to a work day. Onward! #teamhorstsports #crossspikes #nightweasels 🚴🏽 🌕

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