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28 Feb 2008
Snowshoe Marathon Race March 8 in Pittsfield VT

Peak Adventures is a Vermont company that puts on extreme races several times a year. Their snowshoe marathon is coming up next weekend on Saturday March 8 starting at 8:00 am in Pittsfield VT.

The course is a 6.5 mile loop with 7,200 feet of elevation change along ungroomed and snowmobile trails. See the topo map on the website for more detail. The marathon runs four loops, the half marathon runs two loops, and there is a one loop fun run for those who just want to give snowshoeing a try. There is a ten hour time limit for all racers.

For beginners: I can tell you from personal experience that running in snowshoes takes twice the exertion of road running so plan accordingly! It's not enough to be in good shape. You have to be in great shape.

You can register online at peakraces.com and click the link to runrace.net or register that morning at the General Store in Pittsfield from 5:30 to 7:30 am. Registration costs $75 and includes a beanie hat and the post race meal.

The post race celebration begins at 6:30 pm and includes lobster and shrimp dinner, "plenty" of Long Trail beer, the awards ceremony ($1200 for the marathon only to the top three men and women - $300 for 1st place, $200 for 2nd place, and $100 for third place; plus unique finishers awards for everyone and a special award for top three male and top three female in the marathon and half marathon).

(c) 2008 [except the photo from Peak Adventures] Jeff Connor
posted by  grunhaus at  16:55 | permalink

27 Feb 2008
Ben and Jerry's Winter Festival This Saturday

Ben & Jerry's Homemade has a winter festival every year but this year is a little special because the company is celebrating its 30th birthday.

On Saturday, March 1, from 11:00 to 4:00, there will be free tours at the Waterbury VT manufacturing plant, plus games, snow sculpting, cake, music, food, snowshoeing, and other fun stuff - there may be a small fee for some of those.

When you are there, they will give you a small pin to put on your shirt or jacket. Show that pin to some of the many businesses in Waterbury to get a discount. Some restaurants, gift stores, an antique store, and even the local pharmacy are participating.

Who knows, maybe Ben and/or Jerry will show up. They both still live in the area and stop by from time to time even though they are retired from full time work now.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Events , Food
posted by  grunhaus at  21:21 | permalink

27 Feb 2008
CNN Article On Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

I've written Vermont Travel Notes entries about Stephen Huneck's unique dog chapel in St. Johnsbury VT as well as his artwork and galleries around the state (the newest is in Stowe). His whimsical and sometimes touching artwork is very popular with dog owners all over the world. As a result, he has received publicity in a large number of places, the most recent being CNN and its website. The article is entitled "Doggy Disneyland draws animals, owners by the pack" and it's a good description of Stephen, his artwork, and his 175 acre farm with widely known dog chapel. It's quite a structure, requiring an expenditure of several hundred thousand dollars, and well worth a visit if you are a dog lover. From our inn, it is a little over a 45 minute drive to Dog Mountain..

Another great place to visit in the St. Johnsbury area is the Fairbanks Museum. I also recommend a drive north to Lake Willoughby and then over to the area around the town of Island Pond to do some moose spotting.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Attractions , General , Shopping , Unusual , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  15:15 | 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

26 Feb 2008
Mardis Gras at Jay Peak This Week

Jay Peak's Mardis Gras is taking place this week with ski races, Louisiana style dinners, and music performances. I guess this is as far north from New Orleans as you can get in the USA to celebrate Maris Gras.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor

posted by  grunhaus at  14:23 | 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

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