I've been asked by GreenMountainLines to make regular contributions and hope my first post below is a good start.
Several Montpelier friends and I headed up to a portion of the Catamount Trail in Stowe with three dogs and four pairs of Karhus, evenly divided between Guides and Tenth Mountains, right after noon on Tuesday. Though it was pretty cold out we were all venting on the way up and maintaining a steady pace. We stopped at the top for thermoses of tea, Clif bars and dried fruit at a great spot where someone had taken the trouble to rig up several porch swings facing Southwest into the sun, overlooking the Mansfield range. We could see the slopes of Stowe from where we sat munching and the sun warmed us until we began moving again. We made a quick loop around the summit and headed down. It was a pretty quick trip on the way back with a detour at the car to check out the ice in a small gorge that is a popular climbing spot in the winter. There were several pumps going that constantly spray water on the cliff face and had produced some pretty impressive ice for climbing. By this point I was pretty cold and beat and struggled back up to the car, looking forward to some Alchemist food and brews.
The Alchemist is worth the fifteen minute drive and arranging of a DD: they rotate through a variety of high quality microbrews that they produce themselves, coupled with an interesting and eclectic mix of appetizers (try the sweet potato fries), entrees and desserts. The dining room is a little small and the wait for a table can be significant (usually worth it) towards the weekends. But on a Tuesday night apparently we can start with a table for 5 and end up with one of 10 without much trouble.
Once the word got out, we had a lot of takers for dinner and drinks last night: LN and Katy showed up post hip hop class and best buds Sarahbear and T cruised up in the new sled to join us. Pretty good for a random Tuesday night...