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18 Aug 2008
Vermont Travel Ideas on Waymark . com

I've been poking around the Waymarking.com website from time to time and enjoying what I have found. There are more than 1700 entries on 70 pages in the Waymarking Vermont category.

I'm not sure what order everything is presented in. The Vermont listings start with covered bridges for no apparent reason so I suspect all the entries are posted in order that they are received. There is a good search function on the site so it should be easy for you to narrow your search.

"Secret Waterfalls"

The screen shot above shows a listing for "local secret" the Old City Falls waterfalls that sounds very inviting and larger than most of the falls in Vermont (first step of 25 feet and a second step of 20 feet). It is located near Stafford VT.

We have what I would guess are a million waterfalls here but most of them are not large. I suppose most of them are a "secret " to folks from out of state but all are certainly well known to locals. Quite often they are part of popular local swimming holes too. Ask around wherever you are and most Vermont locals will be happy to share the information and give you directions.

If you don't want your children (or yourself for that matter) to see some of the locals swimming "in the buff," just ask what the usual practice is too. Most of the time, everyone will have on swimming gear but occasionally you will find a swimming hole, often a more remote one, where there is a greater chance to see people in their birthday suits. Don't get excited about this prospect. If you have not experienced it, you will quickly learn that the vast majority of people look a lot better with their clothes on.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  21:18 | permalink

3 Mar 2008
"Do Y'all Still Have Some Snow Left in VT Now?"
That's the question I got from a wonderfully cheerful person somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line who had never seen snow and was calling in early March. He wanted to know if he had missed the snow this year or if there was still time left to travel to Vermont and see snow. I was happy to tell him that most years we get the greatest amount of snowfall in March compared to other months.

Most of the people I speak with are surprised to hear we get more snow in March. When they are seeing the beginning of Spring where they live, Vermont is building to a grand winter finale.

To see what I mean, take a look at Stowe Resort's five year weather history. Not only is March the snowiest (I guess that is a real word), but it's the end of the month when the largest amounts of snow are falling. The last week in March averages 32 inches at Stow, far more than any other week there.

Stowe's Snow Report shows 309 inches of snowfall so far this season, just short of the season average of 327 inches.

It's been a great year for skiing and other winter activities but don't feel that you have missed it if you have not been here yet. There is plenty of snow here for you to enjoy and more is on the way.

In fact, this is a good time of year to enjoy winter. The days are longer, temperatures are higher, and there aren't as many people skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, etc. I wish more people were aware of how good it can be here in March. It would be great to see the ski areas and the Vermont's Department of Tourism getting the word out about March. I'm sure more people would come if they knew what it is like here this month.

For the more technically inclined, and maybe a few inexperienced skeptics, you can view a current snow depth map from the National Weather Service to see how much snow you can expect when you travel to Vermont or other New England states.

The areas in dark blue represent depths of 20 to 39 inches (50 cm to 100 cm), and the purple lines, which you can see run along the mountain ranges, represent 59 to 98 inches (150 to 250 cm). Those are current snow depths, not the amount that has fallen this season. The map is updated every day.

Plan a trip to Vermont and enjoy this great winter season we will continue having for the next month.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , General , Nature
posted by  grunhaus at  21:16 | permalink

28 Feb 2008
Dog Sled Rides and Skijouring in Vermont

Photo courtesy of October Siberians

I read today that the famous Alaska Iditarod race is starting this Saturday and it lead me to thinking about all the sled dog activity here in Vermont. (Side note: many participants in the sport prefer the term "sled dog" rather than "dog sled" but you will see both terms used even by the people who run professional operations.)

In fact, if you would like to see a sled dog race and won't be in Alaska this week, there is a race you can watch at Burke Mountain Ski Resort in East Burke VT. There will be races both Saturday and Sunday.

A number of operations around Vermont offer sled dog rides and a couple of them offer skijoring too. Skijoring is done on skis and involves the dog(s) pulling the person via a harness attached to the dog. I've seen skijor racing a couple of times and it's impressive how fast they get going. You certainly don't want to fall down . . . I'm not sure the dogs would stop for a while - they're pretty enthusiastic.

The best one-stop source of information about sled dog rides in on the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association website. Atii is listed as one of the sled dog outfits but they are taking a year off from sled dog rides because they are rebuilding their group of dogs. Many of the current dogs have gotten too old to pull. However, Atii is still offering skijoring this year.

It's a unique adventure. Give it a try.

(c) 2008 [except the October Siberian photo] Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  21:13 | permalink

26 Feb 2008
Discount Carrier AirTran to Begin Vermont Flight Service

AirTran has the newest fleet of Boeing 717's in the US

On May 21, AirTran will begin nonstop flight service three times a day between Burlington, VT (BTV) and the Thurgood Marshall Airport, Baltimore/Washington (BWI). The airline will be using Boeing 717-200 planes which seat 117 passengers, 12 in business class and 105 in coach.

There are 14 AirTran destinations available from BWI, plus service to about another 50 cities you can view on the AirTran website Destinations and Route Map pages. Boston is one of those cities and is a popular airport for visitors to Vermont and other parts of New England.

AirTran is kicking off its Burlington service with a low introductory fare of $59. It must be booked by March 17, 2008, for travel through June 11, 2008. Fares listed are one way, available daily and are valid in either direction. There are some other charges such as $3.50 segment fee, $10 Sept 11 fee, and $18 airport passenger facility fee so be sure to read the fine print. You can book online or call 1-800-AIR-TRAN (1-800-247-8726) (extra $7.50 fee for phone calls too).

Currently, the Burlington airport has service to and from Atlanta, Cleveland (CLE), Cincinnati (CVG), Chicago (ORD), Detroit (DTW), Newark (EWR), New York (JFK), New York (LGA), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), Washington DC (DCA), Washington DC (IAD). To see details on these flights, go to the Burlington airport website

Winter tip: if you are flying here, we recommend renting a four wheel drive car. One of our recent guests requested one but it was not available when he arrived so he got a front wheel drive substitute . . . which he greatly regretted when we got a lot of snow during his visit. Be sure to insist on no substitutions for your four wheel drive car. None of the rental car companies have winter tires for some unfathomable reason but four wheel drive will help you get around much more safely. Remember, you are coming to the mountains of northern New England: we get a LOT of snow.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  22:08 | permalink

25 Feb 2008
Big Storm On The Way Will Make For a Great Ski Weekend in VT

Most of the weather forecasts I've seen for north central Vermont call for about six to ten inches of snow Tuesday and Wednesday. However, Josh Fox at The Single Chair Weather Blog is forecasting 13 to 18 inches. The upper elevations, such as the Mad River Glen ski area he is forecasting, get more snow than standard forecasts because of their altitudes. That seems like quite a disparity between 10 inches and 18 inches but it is not unusual for the upper elevations to get twice as much snow as the standard forecasts call for.

The headline in Fox's blog entry yesterday says: "Here we go !!! Big mid-week dump is now in the making !!"

I enjoy reading Josh's blog because he writes in a very friendly and well constructed conversational style. The entries are often detailed but when I find the writing has gone into more detail than I have time for, I just move on to something else.

And he is not perfect. But when he does have a cold streak (pun intended), he owns up to it and often explains how it happened. It gives the non-meteorologist interesting insight into how weather forecasting is done.

Roger Hill is a popular Vermont meteorologist located here in Waterbury. His web site is Weathering Heights (pun intended). He is not saying much about accumulation yet. His web site has lots of colorful weather maps if you enjoy getting into the details of weather.

Another popular weather forecasting service is put out by the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury VT. It is called Eye on the Sky and is produced by Chris Bouchard. His forecasts are the ones used by Vermont Public Radio.

Eye on the Sky is calling for one to three inches of snow Tuesday east of the Green Mountain and two to five inches west. The snow could mix with rain at times over the far southern valleys. On Tuesday night, Chris expects an additional three to seven inches.

Whatever the snow accumulation ends up being, this latest storm should make for good skiing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, etc. We have deep base almost everywhere except I noticed snowshoeing at the lowest elevation in the Mad River Valley yesterday that the snow is only a few inches deep there. Most upper elevations such as our inn have a couple of feet of snow on the ground and the ski areas have much more.

For weather forecasts in other parts of Vermont, you can use the weather do-hickey in the right hand column of this blog. Just enter the zip code of the place you would like to visit or use one of the samples I supplied.

As a side note, I noticed on the Eye On the Sky website that on this day in 1936, three inches of BROWN snow fell in Vermont. It was most likely due to dust storms in the Great Plains. So I guess that was a "dusting" of snow (pun intended).

There's snow time like the right time to stop writing before I pun again.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  20:28 | permalink

22 Feb 2008
This Is A Good Time To Buy Winter Gear On Sale

Vermont's Tubbs Snow Shoes

I just received an email from my friends at Umiak Outfitters in Stowe VT that they are having their annual 30% off sale on skis, boots, snowshoes (20% on Tubbs brand) and sleds this weekend.

In addition, Umiak has a online retail store page with discounted prices plus a clearance sale page on their website you might be interested in if you can't make it to their sale.

In fact, in your travel to Vermont over the next few weeks, it's a good idea to drop into the local ski shops and outdoor outfitters to see what they have on sale. Most of these shops have their summer gear on order and their new stuff is already starting to arrive.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  22:38 | permalink

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