Friday, February 8, 2013

XC Skiing - Annual Vermont getaway

For about 20 years now, Holly and I have been spending a few days every winter in the Londonderry/Weston area of southern Vermont.  For most of those years, we've been returning to the Landgrove Inn, an old Vermont inn with lots of charm, and hidden away in the small community of Landgrove.  There are no paved roads in Landgrove, and it's about as rural as it gets.  It's a quiet place to spend a few days away and get in some XC skiing and snowshoeing, even if, like this year, we have no snow at home.

Upon arrival, our first outing was to the Wild Wings XC Center, in nearby Peru.  This is an old-time cross-country center, classic skiing only (no skating), and is located in something of a snow bowl that gets and holds more snow than the surrounding area.  Skiing was a little crunchy underneath, but with enough fresh snow to make the conditions at least fair to good over most parts of the trails we skied.

After a great dinner back at the Landgrove, some quiet reading by the fire filled out the rest of the evening.

The next morning, temps were pretty cold, so we made a trip to the Vermont Country Store, in nearby Weston.  I'm not much of a shopper, but it's easy to spend an hour wandering the aisles here looking at all of the unique hard-to-find items for sale.

In the afternoon, we decided to ski up Forest Road 21 to Mad Tom Notch.  Here, the road intersects the Appalachian and Long Trails on the ridge between Bromley Mountain and Stiles Peak.

It's a gradual uphill climb, but the downhill run back to the car is especially sweet.  The road was firmly packed by snowmobiles with just enough fresh snow on top to let us feel safe and in control.  This trip was over so quickly that we stopped at the Hapgood Pond Recreation Area on the way back to Landgrove to add on a little snowshoeing.  Dinner at the Swiss Inn and more reading finished off another great day.  

Today, we got an early start toward home, with Winter Storm Nemo (stupid idea, Weather Channel!) heading our way.  Looks like we may have some local skiing for a while, at least until possible rain messes it up again after the weekend...

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