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NOVEMBER 2020

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Horsing Around

Hoofing it with Lajoie Stables

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Mountain High

Pre-ski season in Stowe

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Weather or Not

Tips for hiking into winter

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your staycation

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The more you play, the greater your chance to win. Visit participating Vermont attractions starting through November 14 for a chance to win a Vermont prize package worth over $1,000!*

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Looking Outward

N OVEM B ER 2020

Ah, November, that ornery, ashen month of plunging temps and four o’clock sunsets! Winter is coming, all right, and under the shadow of a global pandemic that prevents cozy, light-filled indoor gatherings, the season ahead might seem very dark indeed. But November is also traditionally a time for gratitude, and this month’s Staytripper aims to remind you of Vermont’s windfalls: a relatively low statewide infection rate; locally owned businesses working hard to serve their neighbors; close, ample access to Mother Nature; and, of course, the sweet promise of snow and all the fun to be had in it. This issue is a road map to continued safe exploration and enjoyment of Vermont, from horseback riding and indoor rock climbing to a luxurious stay at a historic estate with cute farm animals. As writer Chelsea Edgar notes in her story about winter hiking, Norwegians embrace the concept of friluftsliv, or the uplifting effect of getting out in nature, whatever the weather. It’s a spirit well suited to Vermont, and one we hope will help you embrace this season.

TAKING THE REINS..................... 4 Lajoie Stables guides horseback riders through the Green Mountains all year long BY KEN PICARD

— CARO LY N FOX , E DITOR

ROOM WITH A EWE.................... 6 Find scenery, creature comforts — and comforting creatures — at the Inn at Mountain View Farm BY DAN BOLLES

PRE-SKI IN STOWE..................... 8 Cows, art and empanadas in the mountain town BY SALLY POLLAK

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DON’T BE A POSTHOLER........... 12

Jen and Kip Roberts share winter hiking wisdom

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BY CHELSEA EDGAR

Burlington

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NOVEMBER 2020

6 Jeffersonville

SLIDE RULES................................ 16

Stowe

East Burke

St. Johnsbury

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Seven winter driving tips even some Vermonters don’t know — or observe BY KEN PICARD

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Montpelier

DESTINATIONS Petra Cliffs Climbing Center............... 19 Fleming Museum of Art...................... 21 The Daily Catch................................ 23

ON THE COVER: Maura Wieler with her two dogs atop Stowe Pinnacle PHOTO BY GRANT WIELER

Exploring the state?

Middlebury

KIDS’ ACTIVITY PAGE................ 24

Follow the pins to find the fun in this issue.

Fill-in-the-blanks, coloring, word search and more! 23 Woodstock

Rutland

Bennington

Brattleboro

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Taking the Reins Lajoie Stables guides horseback riders through the Green Mountains all year long BY K EN P IC A R D

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ew recreational activities are more pandemic-proof than riding a horse through an open meadow overlooking the western slopes of the Green Mountains. Social distancing is a breeze because the horses don’t let riders get too close to one another. At Lajoie Stables in Jeffersonville, nearly anyone — young or old, novice or expert — can enjoy a gentle trail ride any time of the year. Or, when Mother Nature delivers snowfall, you can snuggle beneath a warm blanket for a wintry horse-drawn sleigh ride. Visitors to Lajoie Stables park at the front gate and climb a short hill to the weathered gray barn, where the front porch is decorated with horse tack and antique snowshoes. Guests are greeted by a pair of donkeys — they

I love being able to offer an experience to people that maybe they hadn’t expected. AMANDA LAJOIE-SCHWARTZ

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keep foxes, raccoons and coyotes at bay — and a canine crew of three dachshunds, a greyhound and a Korean Jindo. Once the pups have sized up new arrivals, it’s Amanda Lajoie-Schwartz’s turn. Lajoie-Schwartz and her sister, Krystina Hedger, own and operate Lajoie Stables. Their father started the business in Georgia, Vt., in 1988 before buying the current property, a former Christmas tree farm, 20 years ago. All of the lumber used to build the barn and other outbuildings was cut on the property. The sisters have settled into a comfortable division of labor: Hedger runs the tractor, wields the chain saw and drives the sleigh teams; LajoieSchwartz meets and greets their guests and determines which of their 50 horses is best suited to each rider.


KEN PICARD BRIAN DEWYEA PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAJOIE STABLES

Horseback and sleigh rides through the seasons with Lajoie Stables

BRIAN DEWYEA

Contrary to what one might assume, the pairing of equine and human has little to do with the rider’s height or weight, Lajoie-Schwartz explained. Obviously, she won’t put someone who’s six foot five on a pony and let their feet drag on the ground. But mostly she “reads the vibe” of her guests and matches their personality with a particular horse. If she’s got someone who’s vivacious and full of energy, for example, she’ll pair that rider with a more low-key animal. On a recent ride with my family, I was assigned to Pete, a sizable draft horse that Lajoie-Schwartz rescued from a Danville man who found him “too crazy” to ride. (He wasn’t too crazy for me.) Meanwhile, my wife, who’s far smaller than I am, was paired with Alex, an even larger, FriesianPercheron cross. Standing at more than 18 hands — or more than six feet tall at his withers — Alex is a gentle giant. Our kids’ horses were much smaller. My daughter’s horse, Cooper, had an aversion to walking through mud puddles, but other than that peculiar quirk, all of our horses proved to be docile, good-natured and sure-footed. Before we set off, Lajoie-Schwartz sat us at a picnic table outside to sign the requisite waivers and then sized each of us with a mandatory helmet — these are disinfected between riders. Due to COVID-19, Lajoie Stables takes each group separately on the guided trip through 100 acres of pine forests and mountain fields, where it’s not uncommon to spot deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. The gentle, ambling ride offers breathtaking views of nearby Mount Mansfield and Smugglers’ Notch. With the arrival of colder weather, one would think the horses might be less inclined to hit the trails. Quite the opposite, Lajoie-Schwartz said. Her horses actually prefer riding in the cold — and their passengers stay toasty because the horses’ bodies radiate warmth like heating pads. Pre-pandemic, most of Lajoie Stables’ customers were from out of state. “We had a family from Saudi Arabia who were just scared to death of our dogs,” she recalled. “By the end, they were hugging and kissing on them.” In fact, she later got a call from the family saying that they had decided to get one of their own. “I love being able to offer an experience to people that maybe they hadn’t expected,” Lajoie-Schwartz said. When the coronavirus first hit Vermont, the sisters stopped offering trail rides for a few weeks, and Lajoie-Schwartz feared that the stables might not survive the economic downturn. After all, 50 horses eat a lot of hay. “This isn’t a business that makes money,” she explained. “This is a lifestyle — to be able to interact with people, to put smiles on their faces and to be able to give these horses a good life.” However, one unexpected upside of COVID-19, Lajoie-Schwartz noted, has been getting to meet Vermonters who’d never previously considered visiting the stables. Since then, she’s enjoyed seeing families, tourists and locals alike, bond with her animals and connect with one another — without the use of electronic devices. Lajoie Stables’ trail rides are reasonably priced — $50 per person for the hourlong trip. Visitors are advised to dress for the weather and wear sturdy, comfortable shoes. No previous riding experience is necessary, as the guides help each person on and off the saddle. Finally, be sure to tip your INFO guides well, as most of these young women are volunteers who help out around the stables simply Lajoie Stables, 984 Pollander Rd., Jeffersonville, 644-5347, for the joy of being able to ride lajoiestables.com each day for free. m SEVEN DAYS STAYTRIPPER NOVEMBER 2020

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Room With a Ewe

Find scenery, creature comforts — and comforting creatures — at the Inn at Mountain View Farm BY DA N BOL LE S

INFO The Inn at Mountain View Farm, 3383 Darling Hill Rd., East Burke, 626-9924, innmtnview.com

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f there’s one thing Vermont has in abundance, it’s jaw-dropping scenery. You can find stunning panoramas in every corner of the state, from the breezy shores of Lake Champlain to the rugged peaks of the Green Mountains to the pastoral hills of the Upper Valley. And then there are the wilds of the Northeast Kingdom. One of the more dramatic vistas in this remote part of the state can be found at the Inn at Mountain View Farm in East Burke, overlooking rolling farmland, evergreen forest and, just two miles away, Burke Mountain Resort. “You really can’t beat the view,” said Carolyn Elliott, a Martha’s Vineyard transplant who has managed the inn with her husband, Steve, for the past six years. But there’s far more to Mountain

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View Farm than just, well, the mountain view. New York City hotelier Elmer A. Darling built Mountain View Farm in 1883 as a gentleman’s farm. In its day, it was one of the largest and most lavish farm estates in Vermont. More than 100 years later, it retains much of that stately charm, thanks to the efforts of John and Marilyn Pastore, a Massachusetts couple who bought the property in 1989. Along with restoring the grounds and building, they added a sanctuary for mistreated farm animals. “The guests just love the animals, especially the kids,” Elliott said. Marilyn in particular has overseen extensive renovations to the farm and estate, developing the property into a tourist destination while preserving its history. The inn’s 14 rooms and suites are split between the old creamery building

and the farmhouse. The accommodations are luxuriously appointed, evoking a modern kind of rustic Victorian chic. Ornate sitting and dining rooms and a spacious patio invite lounging, eating and conversing, from safe distances, with fellow guests — as does the outdoor fire pit, which is lit nightly. S’mores fixings are always provided. “Marilyn’s touch is everywhere,” Elliott said. Mountain View Farm has a perfect 5.0 rating on the travel website Tripadvisor, which recently honored the inn with a 2020 Travelers’ Choice award. Reviewers on the site almost unanimously praise the place for its scenery, food and welcoming staff. As one from Pennsylvania recently gushed, “The Inn at Mountain View Farm is an amazingly beautiful historic property … so peaceful with many acres to walk.” She added, “We


COURTESY OF DAVID BROOKS

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INN AT MOUNTAIN VIEW FARM

have stayed at this Inn multiple times and highly recommend it.” With its idyllic backdrop, the elegant inn and farm is an in-demand wedding venue. That’s remained true even during the pandemic, although the gatherings are smaller now, with safety restrictions and protocols in place. Spacious grounds and large outbuildings allow for relatively easy distancing, and DJs and bands make frequent announcements reminding revelers to wear masks, according to Elliott. The inn sits along a section of Kingdom Trails, a vast network of recreational paths that ranks as one of the largest and most popular in the Northeast, especially among mountain bikers. That makes Mountain View Farm a destination for outdoors enthusiasts year-round — snowboarders and downhill and cross-country skiers in the

From left: The rustic barn and farmhouse at the Inn at Mountain View Farm; a guest with a sheep from the animal sanctuary; a farmhouse guest room

What truly sets Mountain View Farm apart is the other guests, and we’re not talking leaf peepers from Connecticut. winter, bikers and hikers in the summer. The Handlebar Biergarten, renovated from an old pump house on the farm’s grounds, serves craft beer on draft trailside. “We have a lot of people out for bike rides who then stop in for a beer,” Elliott said. But what truly sets Mountain View Farm apart is not its tony accoutrements, stately brick buildings or immaculately restored cow barn — one of the largest farm structures ever built in Vermont. It’s the other guests, and

we’re not talking leaf peepers from Connecticut. In 2003, John Pastore, a Boston-area cardiologist, opened the Mountain View Farm Animal Sanctuary to provide a refuge for farm animals with tragic pasts. The nonprofit sanctuary’s first animals were rescued from a petting zoo, where they had been abused and malnourished. Guest are encouraged to visit the animals and speak with the team of four caretakers. (Area vets also regularly attend to the animals.) Education is

a key component of the sanctuary’s mission. “I think children especially will experience the humane treatment of these large farm animals and be enriched by feeling closer to them and their stories,” Pastore says on the inn’s website. Numerous reviewers confirm that experience, including one recent guest from Killington: “Our 2-year-old LOVED to visit with the goats, miniature horses, large horses, cows and farm cats.” Those Holsteins, by the way, are named Ben and Jerry. “When they come here, they’re frightened,” said Elliott of the animals. “But we tell them, ‘You don’t know it, but you’ve hit the jackpot.’” Anyone who’s spent a night or two at Mountain View Farm likely feels the same way. m

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Pre-Ski in Stowe Cows, art and empanadas in the mountain town

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pedaled past me with a pipe in his mouth. (No, he was not wearing a face covering.) But all the guests on the fresh-air cow tour at Trapp Family Lodge wore them. Poach went maskless because he had a lot of talking to do, but he kept a safe distance from his charges and sometimes stood closer to cows than people. “We are a herd,” he told us. “And I am the boss cow.” We stayed mostly clustered in our pods in the pasture while sidestepping mud and manure, keeping an admiring eye on the animals and watching the morning mist burn off the valley below the Worcester Range. According to Poach, the von Trapps have been raising Scottish Highland cattle since 1963, decades before grass-raised beef became a more common practice in Vermont. “It’s a pretty good life for a cow,” Poach said. Looking around, it was hard to disagree. “These guys get to PRE-SKI IN STOWE

» P.10 COURTESY OF CHUCK WOLF/ROBERT PAUL GALLERIES

he old adage that Vermont has more cows than people is not true: Humans outnumber cattle in the Green Mountain State by about 2.5 to 1. But if you happen to be in a pasture at TRAPP FAMILY LODGE in Stowe, the cows prevail. I was part of a human herd of two dozen people who trekked through the cow pasture on a glorious morning in mid-October. We ogled about 55 Scottish Highland cattle that generously shared their home turf with us, high in the hills, during a Meet the Cows tour at the mountain resort. As goes the song in The Sound of Music — the Hollywood blockbuster that brought fame to the singing von Trapp family, who founded the lodge — the hills are alive. “I don’t think you can go too many places, walk out in a field of 1,200pound cows and a bull, and have a tour,” observed tour leader Chris “Poach” Pocher. The cows at Trapp Family Lodge are a good-looking and well-mannered bunch. Like the people who live in Stowe — a Lamoille County resort town where 65 percent of the residential properties are second homes, according to the town assessor — the Scottish Highlands are accustomed to visitors. A shaggy calf enjoying a bottle-fed breakfast took a break to snuggle up to two little boys on the tour. A 1,000-pounder thoughtfully waited until I moved out of her path before running down the lane to water. (Thanks for the heads-up, Poach.) The cow tour was my first stop on a day trip to Stowe, an excursion that took place as foliage season came to a mild and sunny end and before the start of ski season in a town that boasts an alpine resort on Vermont’s tallest peak. Still, there were visitors aplenty on this autumn day. The STOWE RECREATION PATH was abuzz with youngsters on bicycles, couples taking leisurely strolls and a cyclist who

COURTESY OF TRAPP FAMILY LODGE

BY SA L LY P OL L A K


COURTESY OF DONA ANN MCADAMS

PHOTOS: SALLY POLLAK

Clockwise from top left: Scottish Highland cattle at Trapp Family Lodge; a cyclist on the Stowe Recreation Path; “Roger Tootie holding Kyan, and Leroy, Oklahoma Training Track, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 2010,” a photo by Dona Ann McAdams; empanadas at Burt’s Irish Pub; ”Spring’s Arrival” by Fred Swan

IN THE AREA • • • • • • • • •

BURT’S IRISH PUB, facebook.com/burtsirishpub CADY HILL FOREST, stowelandtrust.org HELEN DAY ART CENTER, helenday.com LAUGHING MOON CHOCOLATES, laughingmoonchocolates.com LINTILHAC PARK, stowerec.org RED BARN ICE CREAM, redbarnicecreamshop.com ROBERT PAUL GALLERIES, robertpaulgalleries.com STOWE RECREATION PATH, stowerec.org TRAPP FAMILY LODGE, trappfamily.com

For other attractions, visit gostowe.com.

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Pre-Ski in Stowe « P.8 eat where they want, sleep where they want and play where they want.” That sounded like a pretty good prescription for the rest of my day in Stowe, though I wouldn’t be sleeping there and I had no interest in leading the cows’ life to its limit: ending up as goulash at the resort restaurant. After bidding auf Wiedersehen to the cows, I walked down the road to a field of sheep munching intently on a late-morning snack. Taking a cue from the grazers, I continued downhill to the lodge’s KAFFEEHAUS, a bakery and deli, to procure a munchie of my own. I chose a slice of Linzer torte, a delicious nod to the von Trapps’ Austrian heritage. The pastry, dry and crumbly, held raspberry preserves and almonds; the crust was dusted with powdered sugar. I found a picnic table outside and basked in the sunshine with the torte and a cup of coffee. Sated, I took a short stroll on the 2,500-acre property, whose attractions include a network of crosscountry ski trails and the VON TRAPP BREWING BIERHALL RESTAURANT,

SA

which specializes in European lagers. Then LL Y PO it was time for a drive LL AK downhill to the HELEN DAY ART CENTER in the heart of town. Through December 31, the gallery is hosting a photography exhibition, titled “Performative Acts,” of archival and contemporary work by photographer Dona Ann McAdams, who lives in southern Vermont. The show is curated by John Killacky, former executive director of Burlington’s Flynn Center and current South Burlington state rep. The black-and-white photographs range in subject matter from the avantgarde art scene of New York City in the 1980s and ’90s to the “culture wars” of a similar era to current images of Vermont farm animals and the racetrack at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. I was so taken by the exhibit that I phoned Killacky to talk with him about the photographs. His association with McAdams dates back to the 1980s, when he attended shows at P.S.122, a groundbreaking performance space in New York City. McAdams was 10

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there photographing the performers, Killacky said. He also saw her on the streets of the city, shooting events of ACT UP, the AIDS activist group, and other protests. “What’s interesting to me about Dona [is], she’s not a detached journalist at all,” Killacky told me. “She’s embedded, in the middle of the street, taking the pictures.” I highly recommend the exhibit, both for people who remember the protests and performers of this era and for those who will discover something new. I was particularly struck by a 1991 image of Allen Ginsberg reading poetry at P.S.122. “It was delicious to really spend time in someone’s archives and work with her to craft a current-day story of her artistic practice,” Killacky said. But if I were to live purely the good life that day in Stowe, like the highaltitude cows, I couldn’t sink too deeply into images of culture wars that seem never to end. So I left the gallery for food and beer. I decided to walk along the recreation path, which parallels the Mountain Road and crosses the West Branch of the Little River. The full path is 5.3 miles, from the center of town to TOPNOTCH RESORT. I strolled about two and a half miles to BURT’S IRISH PUB, a quiet oasis on Luce Hill Road. In contrast with popular destinations I passed on the way, including IDLETYME BREWING and PIECASSO PIZZERIA & LOUNGE, the parking lot at Burt’s held just two cars. One was the owner’s; the other belonged to a pair of beer salesmen who were on the road together. The beer guys were leaving as I entered the barroom, a small and cheery space that accommodates 15 patrons during the pandemic, according to owner Janet Martinez. I ordered a pint of Four Quarters Brewing’s Phaze and took my draft into the sunny backyard. I had the picnic table — indeed, the whole place — to myself. I could’ve played a solo game of cornhole, but after the walk uphill I was pleased to relax with my beer. Martinez came out on the back deck to chat for a bit. She’s owned the business, founded in 1976, for 17 years. Though she kept the bar’s name, you won’t find corned beef and cabbage at Burt’s Irish Pub. Of Colombian descent,


COURTESY OF TRAPP FAMILY LODGE

From left: A CBD lollipop from Laughing Moon Chocolates; a Scottish Highland cow at Trapp Family Lodge

Martinez cooks and serves that counpainted in acrylic on panel, are priced at try’s cuisine. $28,000 and $25,000, respectively. I was rewarded mightily for my From gallery co-owner Gail O’Toole rec path hike with a basket of beef I learned that Swan, a self-taught empanadas, hand-stuffed and handartist, is a retired math teacher from folded by Martinez and her 22-year-old Barre. He paints with such precision, daughter. The wonderfully flavorful she said, that the number of clapempanadas, in a shell boards on a painting of deep-fried masa, of a farmhouse are filled with ground matches Swan’s realbeef, scallions, potato, life model. cilantro and seasonAfter visiting the CHRIS “POACH” POCHER gallery, I found more ings. The chimichurri is housemade. art in LINTILHAC PARK, Because Burt’s is off the beaten path, where I looked for a while at “Stall,” a Martinez’s clientele is mostly locals sculpture by Nancy Winship Milliken; who work in bars and restaurants, she it’s part of Helen Day’s annual outdoor said: “It’s a ritzy town, and we’re a sculpture show “Exposed.” I watched blue-collar bar.” as the work’s main element, horsehair, On my way down the hill, after a rippled in the fall breeze. quick stop at RED BARN ICE CREAM for Heading home, I pulled off Route a coffee ice cream cone and a detour 100 at the pretty blue clapboard through the cool and quiet woods of building that houses LAUGHING MOON CADY HILL FOREST, I came upon the CHOCOLATES. I bought a bag of dark ritzier side. chocolate nonpareils and a milk As it started to drizzle, I popped chocolate CBD lollipop imprinted with into ROBERT PAUL GALLERIES, which a design of cannabis leaves. is marking its 30th year in business. If CBD lives up to its cure-all reputaI was barely inside the door when I tion, I’ll be feeling good until the cows caught sight of two landscape paintings come home. m by Vermont artist Fred Swan, “Spring’s Find more information on Vermont day trips and Arrival” and “Walking adventures from the Vermont Department of Tourism Towards Spring.” and Marketing at vermontvacation.com/staytripper. The iconic images,

It’s a pretty good life for a cow.

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Don’t Be a Postholer Jen and Kip Roberts share winter hiking wisdom BY C HE L S E A E D G A R

JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR

INFO Onion River Outdoors, 20 Langdon St., Montpelier, 225-6736, onionriver.com

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en and Kip Roberts, co-owners of Onion River Outdoors in Montpelier, are the epitome of “type 2 fun” people — the kind of fun that you enjoy having had, but doesn’t necessarily register as pleasant while it’s happening. One winter, they were caretakers at the Monroe Ranger Cabin in Camel’s Hump State Park, which didn’t have running water or electricity. They got their water from a frozen stream near a pet cemetery on the property; to bathe, they heated it on a woodstove and doused themselves while

standing in a Rubbermaid bucket, trying not to splash everywhere. Of course, being outdoors in the winter doesn’t have to involve that degree of discomfort. As we reenter the colder, darker days of pandemic-induced indoorsiness, getting into nature is imperative — something the Norwegians have known about for a very long time. Friluftsliv, which roughly translates to “outdoor living,” refers to the concept of facing winter head-on, with good socks and a positive attitude. Onion River Outdoors, tucked away on a cute


PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEN ROBERTS

side street in downtown Montpelier, has a multitude of good socks, along with a trove of warm layers and various foot enhancements for traversing snow and ice. Jen, a former member of the U.S. Telemark Ski Team, and Kip enjoy backcountry skiing as a mode of mountaineering. But any apparatus that distributes your weight over a wider surface area (a phenomenon known, pleasingly, as “flotation”) will help keep you from sinking into the snow and making your life — and the life of every hiker in your wake — miserable. The technical term for this wretchedness, according to Jen, is “postholing,” a word that can also be refashioned as a noun. Jen literally wrote the book on hiking in Vermont; the second edition of her guide, AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont, which features 60 treks, came out in 2018. (Kip and Jen’s daughter,

As we reenter the colder, darker days of pandemic-induced indoorsiness, getting into nature is imperative.

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TAKE A HIKE Find these and other hiking routes in AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont by Jen Roberts, published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books in 2018. $19.95. FOR AN EASY OUTING: Grout Pond, in Stratton,

is a 4.6-mile lollipop loop around what Jen describes in her guidebook as “the prettiest pond in Vermont.” Her route includes a bonus body of water: Somerset Reservoir. “It’s enormous, and there’s very little access to it, so it feels remote and beautiful,” she said. The hike around the pond is mostly flat, ideal for both Nordic skiing and tiny legs. Estimated round-trip time: 2.5 hours. FOR SOME SWEET VIEWS: Try Brousseau Mountain, a hidden gem in Norton, just south of the Vermont-Canada border. The 0.8-mile trail to the summit begins in an apple orchard and ascends steeply through sections of young and old-growth forest. The mountaintop, elevation 2,723, is treed, but just below the summit, a lookout rock offers spectacular views of Little Averill Lake and the dense woodlands of the Northeast Kingdom. On clear days, you can see the peaks of New Hampshire’s White Mountains looming in the distance. Estimated round-trip time: 1 hour.

FOR A CHALLENGE: In the wintertime, White

Rock Mountain in Middlesex, an exposed peak just south of Mount Hunger, definitely calls for microspikes or snowshoes. The trail, which winds its way up the summit like a spire, requires a bit of rock scrambling, but, along the way, you’ll get stunning, 360-degree views of the topography of central Vermont — including Camel’s Hump, Mount Mansfield, Mount Ellen and Waterbury Reservoir. Estimated round-trip time: 3.5 hours.

Gearing Up on a Budget Winter trekking equipment can be pricey. If you’re a beginner on a budget, Jen recommends renting first — Bolton Valley, for instance, offers cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals — and prowling your local Front Porch Forum for used gear. Onion River Outdoors occasionally stocks preowned items, and the basement of Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington is always a good resource. Onion River also offers free snowshoe rentals for anyone who wants to hike Montpelier’s North Branch trail system. The trails get groomed, and you get to tromp around — a win-win.

Preparedness Tips PACK MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED. “Food and water are obvious, but protection from the elements is probably one of the most important things you need to bring with you,” Jen said. “Always bring a warm coat, an extra pair of mittens, an extra pair of socks, an extra hat. You should also bring some kind of insulation to put between yourself and the ground — you never know when you might come across someone who’s injured and needs to wait for help to arrive.” It’s also a good idea to carry a lightweight nylon tarp and enough rope to rig up an emergency shelter. LAYER PROPERLY. Warmth begins with a good base layer — either wool or a synthetic material, such as Capilene, Patagonia’s proprietary fabric — to trap body heat while wicking moisture away. For a mid-layer, think something downy or fleecy for insulation. Because New England winters tend to be damp, Jen recommends avoiding down as an outer layer: “When down gets wet, it’s worthless.” Instead, go with something light and waterproof, such as a Gore-Tex shell. (Kip Roberts prefers to rock a raincoat.)

From left: Above the treeline on Mount Mansfield; Kip and Jen Roberts inside Onion River Outdoors; Indy and Kip at Bolton Cabin

GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME, EVEN IF YOU KNOW THE TRAIL BY HEART. “The days are shorter, so it’s really important to be aware of when dark is and to pick a turnaround time,” said Jen. As a general rule, assume that everything will take longer than you expect. Or, as Kip put it: “Don’t start after 2 p.m.”

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Don’t Be a Postholer « P.13 Fleming staff reflect on the collection and our current moment

“Structural racism is an invention, fabricated to provide power to the white elite. But nature is resilient. Womyn are rooted in the reality of the earth, like the proud figure in the print.” —CYNTHIA CAGLE guest services coordinator

Saya Woolfalk (American, 1979- ), Encyclopedia of Cloud Divination (Plate 3), 2019 Archival inkjet, screenprint, silver leaf, and collage on paper Museum purchase, Way Fund, 2020

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CHAMPLAIN VALLEY EQUIPMENT 1970–2020

ST. ALBANS, VT • 802-524-6782 DERBY, VT • 802-766-2400 champlainvalleyequipment.com

Polaris Heroes Advantage makes active military members, reservists and veterans instantly eligible for a 10% discount, up to $1,500 on any off-road vehicle in our line-up. Choose a Polaris RANGER and we’ll include a free 2-year warranty, for added peace of mind. Plus, get $100 off any purchase $500 or greater on ORV accessories, parts, lubricants, & apparel. WARNING: Polaris off road vehicles can be hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use. Drive must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers, if permitted, must be at least 12 years old. All riders should always wear helmets, eye protection, and protective clothing. Always use seat belts and cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. All riders should take a safety training course. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails.

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SEVEN DAYS STAYTRIPPER NOVEMBER 2020

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COURTESY OF JEN ROBERTS

ON VIEW THRU SPRING 2021 / WWW.FLEMINGMUSEUM.ORG

Indy, now 11, makes numerous cameos as a cherubcheeked toddler.) When it comes to winter hiking, said Jen, it’s always best to assume something might go wrong. Once, she and Kip were at Camp Peggy O’Brien, a shelter in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, and decided to go off-trail in search of what they had heard were superb glades for backcountry skiing. They left their packs in the lodge and traipsed through dense woods for miles, until it became clear they were nowhere near the fabled glades. Eventually, they gave up any hope of retracing their steps to the lodge and bushwhacked their way back to the trailhead. By nightfall, they managed to find their car — except the keys were still in their packs, 3.4 miles in. “It was a good learning experience,” said Jen. “Don’t just assume that you can leave all your important stuff somewhere — your keys, your extra layers, your headlamp — even if you think you’re just going a short distance and then coming right back.” Kip and Jen met in 2001 under a different set of inclement conditions. After working for 12 years as a caretaker for the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire and the Berkshires, Jen moved to Northfield, in 2000, to teach at an alternative outdoor middle school for students who struggle in traditional classrooms. The following year, she and Kip were both on the summit of Mount Hunger when a thunderstorm rolled in. They ended up racing down the mountain together. During that slippery descent, shouting at each other over the pouring rain, they discovered they lived just a few blocks apart. In 2003, Kip started working at Onion River Sports, the first incarnation of what is now Onion River Outdoors. Jen, then the trail director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail — a 740mile waterway from the Adirondacks to the Maine-Canada border — eventually got involved in the business as the manager of Onion River Kids. She also did some bookkeeping for the company, which included an online outlet and a shoe store. In December 2017, when the businesses closed amid financial troubles, the Robertses raised enough money to buy back the store and reopen the following spring as Onion River Outdoors. Like many outdoor retailers, the store saw huge demand in the early months of the pandemic. “We had very few staff then, and we could hardly manage it,” Jen recalled. The frenetic pace of early spring has leveled off, but since the end of August, they’ve been getting an unusually high volume of inquiries about their supply of backcountry and Nordic skis. “I think people are thinking that they’re going to need to stay active,” said Jen, “and that means snowshoes, backcountry skis.” Snowshoes, she added, are especially democratic: “All you have to do is walk.”

Indy and Kip backcountry skiing in Bolton


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10/13/20 2:35 PM

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STAY SAFE, STAY ACTIVE

10/22/20 10:34 AM DARKROOM PHOTOGRAPHY P: RENEE GREENLEE

The Seven Days team has reenvisioned our weekly Notes On the Weekend newsletter to include creative, constructive and fun ways to spend your time from a safe social distance. From mountain biking to delicious recipes to day trips, there is something for everyone asking, “NOW what?”

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10/23/20 4:42 PM

FALL YOUTH & TEEN CLASSES

PHOTO: RENEE GREENLEE

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405 Pine Street, Burlington, VT

SEVEN DAYS STAYTRIPPER NOVEMBER 2020

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10/22/20 2:20 PM


PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEAM O’NEIL RALLY SCHOOL

Slide Rules L

et’s be clear: There’s no such thing as a car “accident.” Whether you call them crashes, wrecks or “Oops! Get me a fresh pair of undies,” drivers across the United States slide, collide and roll into other objects and people 16 million times a year, almost invariably because of their own bad decisions. Though the chances of vehicular mishaps go way up in the winter, drivers can greatly increase their odds of arriving safely at their destinations by heeding some simple advice from the professionals. Since 1997, Team O’Neil Rally School, just over the border in Dalton, N.H., has run a winter driving school that trains motorists in skid control, accident avoidance and safe vehicle handling on snow,

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SEVEN DAYS STAYTRIPPER NOVEMBER 2020

Seven winter driving tips even some Vermonters might not know — or observe BY KEN PICARD

sleet and ice. Below are seven driving tips from Team O’Neil instructors for not leaving skid marks when winter weather turns foul. INVEST IN SNOW TIRES. Team O’Neil

CEO and professional driver Chris Cyr likens an all-season tire to a houseboat: It’s adequate at both jobs, but it’s neither an excellent house nor an excellent boat. Snow tires are safer than all-season ones even when the pavement is clear and dry because the rubber remains more pliable at lower temperatures and grips the pavement better. If you do nothing else, Cyr advises, buy yourself a set. It’s literally where the rubber meets the road.

PREPARE FOR WINTER DRIVING BEFORE THE SNOW FLIES. If that streaky

windshield has irked you all summer and fall, now’s the time to address it. Install a new pair of wiper blades, fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir and check that your battery holds a charge. Stash an emergency kit in the trunk that includes spare gloves, a hat, warm clothes, a small shovel, jumper cables, flares and a tow strap. That last item costs about $25 — a fraction of the price of getting towed by a wrecker. TEST ROAD CONDITIONS, AND YOUR VEHICLE, AFTER THE FIRST SNOWFALL.

This is where winter driving prep gets fun! Find a big, empty parking lot, accelerate across it, then hit the brakes and make a few hard turns. Did you skid? Excellent. Now repeat a few dozen times. Doing this early each winter will remind you how

your vehicle handles in wet or icy conditions and how to compensate for it. If your car or truck has a traction-control button — typically indicated by a car with squiggly lines below it — practice driving with it turned on and off to see how differently the vehicle handles in both modes. PRIORITIZE YOUR MANEUVERS.

Because tires have limited grip in slippery road conditions, you can slide out of control quickly if you ask them to do too much simultaneously. When traction is poor, separate your accelerating, steering and braking by doing only one at a time. Whenever possible, accelerate and brake in a straight line, then maintain a steady speed while steering around corners.


LOOK IN THE DIRECTION YOU WANT YOUR VEHICLE TO GO. When you find yourself

sliding or skidding, your natural tendency will be to fixate on an object on the side of the road — which almost ensures that you’ll crash into it. If you start to skid, stay calm and focus your eyes on where you want the vehicle to go. Then concentrate on steering into the skid and cautiously accelerating and braking.

MAINTAIN LONGER DISTANCES BETWEEN VEHICLES AND SLOW DOWN. Distancing isn’t

just a good way of preventing the spread of cooties in a pandemic. Snow tires, all-wheel drive, antilock braking systems and traction control won’t do much good if you drive too fast or ride up someone’s tailpipe. And just because your truck or SUV has beefy tires and enough ground clearance to park above a Prius doesn’t make it any safer in winter weather. Trucks and SUVs have higher centers of

gravity, making them more prone to roll in a crash. So ease off the gas and leave the tailgating to weekend football games. PAY ATTENTION! This one may seem

like a no-brainer, but motorists losing their focus is one of the leading causes of them eating bumper. In rainy, icy or snowy conditions, turn off the radio, hang up the cellphone and crack a window so you can hear the sound of your tires on the road surface. If you can’t hear that sizzle of tread moving through the snow, there’s a chance you’re on black ice. Even when the sun is shining, roads can get icier at higher elevations and in spots that are shady or have a northern exposure. So keep looking down the road for deteriorating conditions. m

INFO Learn more at teamoneil.com.

Ease off the gas and leave the tailgating to weekend football games.

Cars on the winter driving school course at Team O’Neil Rally School

4000 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT 802.253.8585 · topnotchresort.com

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10/16/20 9:14 AM


Bleu is open for dinner! Join us Wednesday - Saturday 5 pm - 9 pm

bleuvt.com - 25 Cherry Street

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SEVEN DAYS STAYTRIPPER NOVEMBER 2020


Destination

Worth the trip!

PETRA CLIFFS CLIMBING CENTER & MOUNTAINEERING SCHOOL

Come on by for a coffee, latte or espresso. We’ll warm you up. COURTESY OF MICHAEL PRONZATO | MICHAELPRONZATO.COM

Little City. Big Flavor. catering available 141 Main Street, Vergennes ■ 3squarescafe.com ■ 802-877-2772 ST6H-3Sqaures102820.indd 1

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105 Briggs St., Burlington, 657-3872, petracliffs.com

Since COVID-19 flipped the world upside down, many people have felt stuck between a rock and a hard place, navigating unexpected and disruptive changes to daily life. At Burlington’s Petra Cliffs, however, getting stuck between a rock and a hard place is a different matter altogether — and one with unexpected appeal. The indoor climbing center and mountaineering school focuses on mountain-related recreation and education. The challenge of scaling a rock face can be a welcome “mental release or break from the stress of day-today life,” says programs coordinator and general manager Tim Farr. “It gets you smiling and provides a feeling of community again that many folks may have been missing.” Indoors, Petra Cliffs offers climbing and bouldering for all Also try… ages and abilities, as well as a high ropes course. These are, of course, • METROROCK, 320 Sunderland hands-on activities — a particular Way, Essex Junction, 878-4500, challenge in a pandemic. In order to provide a safer space, Petra Cliffs metrorock.com • GREEN MOUNTAIN ROCK CLIMBING has “drastically increased cleaning procedures,” says Farr, including CENTER (currently open to members installing a new industrial air purionly), 223 Woodstock Ave., Rutland, 773-3343, vermontclimbing.com fier and hand sanitizer stations. The center requires that masks be worn at all times and hands be cleaned upon arrival. Its staff also enforces Vermont’s cross-state travel requirements, asks COVID-19 screening questions, requires advanced reservations and has limited capacity to 35 people at a time. Outdoors, experienced guides lead rock and ice climbing instruction. “We have seen a recent uptick in outdoor programming, especially with the fall colors,” says Farr, who notes that some winter programs are already full. “We also anticipate more folks wishing to come indoors to climb as the weather gets cooler and the days shorter,” he continues. To meet that demand, Petra Cliffs will continue to adapt, following state guidelines as winter sets in. Rock on. CAROLYN FOX

The best of holiday dining & shopping in one village. Family-owned boutiques, locally-sourced restaurants, and classic Vermont lodging light up the streets of this walkable holiday town. You’ll find everything from specialty sports gear to unique, locally-crafted gifts while you explore the village of Woodstock and the surrounding community brimming with artisans, farmers, and creative treasures.

VISIT WOODSTOCK & BUY LOCAL TO WIN! Brought to you by the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce.

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10/23/20 4:44 PM


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JUNIPER IS OPEN We are thrilled to be back in Juniper and with plenty of space! Please join us for dinner Wednesday - Sunday evenings all winter long. We can't wait to fill your bellies again in a cozy and safe environment at Hotel Vermont. Downtown Burlington – hotelvt.com 20

SEVEN DAYS STAYTRIPPER NOVEMBER 2020

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Destination

7 5 1

ART DESTINATION:

FLEMING MUSEUM OF ART

top news stories

COURTESY OF JAMES STANTON-ABBOTT/FLEMING MUSEUM OF ART

Judith Brown’s “Lamentations Group”

61 Colchester Ave., University of Vermont, Burlington, 656-0750, uvm.edu/fleming

days a week

W

convenient email

COFFEE, TREATS, BREAKFAST & LUNCH TAKE OUT ONLY

Monday-Friday 6:30am-1pm Saturday 7:30am-1pm 27 State Street • Montpelier capitolgrounds.com

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“Reckonings,” at the University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum of Art, is sevendaysvt.com/daily7 perhaps the most eclectic exhibition you’ll ever see. A medical kit from the early 1900s, a photograph by Carrie Mae Weems, a Cuban painter’s abstract work in watercolor and ink from 1952: What the small roomful of ST8V-Daily7072920.indd 1 7/24/20ST8V-CapitolGrounds1020.indd 8:30 AM 1 works pulled from the collection have in common is that each reflects a staff member’s grappling with the present. The Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus are, understandably, foremost in the staff ’s thoughts. Guest services coordinator Cynthia VERMONT REAL ESTATE COMPANY Cagle chose Louis Lozowick’s 1925 lithograph of machine-age Minneapolis, she writes in an accompanying label, because it recalls George Floyd’s murder by police in that city earlier this year. A 1917 recruiting poster by Milton Herbert Bancroft, titled “Wanted: 25,000 Student Nurses,” reminds curator Andrea Rosen of UVM’s rush to graduate its spring 2020 nursing class early to help care for patients with COVID-19. “Reckonings” is at least as interesting for its participants’ reflections as for the works Also try… themselves. (Indeed, when else ® do you get to read the thoughts • “ABOUT WHAT REMAINS,” watercolors of, say, collections and exhibitions by Sharon Kenney Biddle, at manager Margaret Tamulonis?) Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild Jeff Falsgraf, exhibition designer Backroom Gallery in St. Johnsbury, and preparator, muses on the through November 21, 748-0158, turbulent year of 1948, when nekartisansguild.com. Herbert Meyer painted his seem- • “MISSING TOUCH,” works by Beth ingly oblivious bucolic oil, “Farm Pearson, Betsey Garand, Annelein in Summer.” Beukenkamp and Leslie Fry, at Furchgott Erin Dupuis Alice Boone, curator of Sourdiffe Gallery in Shelburne, through VERMONT REAL ESTATE COMPANY education and public programs, November 28, 985-3848, fsgallery.com. is the most poetic of the bunch. Dependable, valued experience Erin Dupuis Choosing a silver print of Judith Brown’s “Lamentations Group” — an and integrity. outdoor installation of walking, grieving female figures with heads bowed A Realtor you 802.310.3669 can trust. — she writes, “We will become these figures this fall, as we choreograph erin@vermontrealestatecompany.com ourselves to proceed … Our lamentations will multiply.” vermontrealestatecompany.com Fortunately, with Vermont’s relatively successful suppression of the virus, opportunities to see art may also multiply. “Reckonings” is on view through 431 Pine St. Suite 118 802.310.3669 November 21. erin@vermontrealestatecompany.com

Erin Dupuis

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Kids’ Activity Page COLOR ME!

Autumn Adventure A fill-in-the-blank story It was a ___________-sky fall day, and the air was crisp and COLOR

smelled like ___________. ______________ said, “Let’s NOUN

FAMILY MEMBER

___________ the road! We’re going horseback riding.” I put on my NOUN

_______________ and headed to the ___________. ITEM OF CLOTHING

TYPE OF VEHICLE

When we arrived at ___________ Stables, I met a horse LAST NAME

named _____________. It was dark ___________, and when it TYPE OF CANDY

COLOR

whinnied it sounded like a ___________. You should’ve seen how NOUN

___________ it was! ADJECTIVE

We rode to __________________ and passed scarecrows, VERMONT DESTINATION

barns and ____________. We even came across ______________ ANIMAL, PLURAL

FAMOUS PERSON

sipping a warm mug of _____________ along the way. BEVERAGE

After ___________ , we ______________ back to the stables. I LENGTH OF TIME

VERB ENDING IN -ED

slipped off my horse and landed on my ___________, but luckily I

Then _____________ announced we’d be stopping at a FAMILY MEMBER

farmstand for ___________ on the way home. My favorite! SNACK FOOD

What a ___________ November day. ADJECTIVE

Word Search Find the following funny Vermont road names.

Devil's Washbowl Funny Farm Hedgehog Hill Jelly Mill Hill No Name Peanut Dam Popple Dungeon Skunks Misery Sleepy Hollow Smugglers Loop Two Cow Upper Podunk 22

F F A B H F G R R J MU I S D E S K WS A B R L DO V F Z A U P R R GD V O A R F K V E R Q B Y Z H

MN P H I Z X P U E Z F P Y I U P P E R P ODU T SM Y Z P J F MG C K I WT CWD K S S M Y K R J R T UW J G S I U X I E B K P O P P L E DU V GQM T QGG P E A N V I L SWA S H B OW L U N K SM I S E R Y U S K X T WVWO D K T B X I MX Y I U S L E E P Y J N H E DG E HOGH I P MV U C A P S X C K V R S P L RMZ G Z H I Y P G T S V B K Z K Y B B X YWF Y S K V Z I F Y SMUGG L E R S L OO O SMA T X E Y P Q C K GN J E L L Y M I L L H Y R P C OMMR J Z Z P AW F M A U K QWG O P P P N U U U T DD X H Z I X E Z K P V T K DQ F J I K K O L UM P K R U G P N F J Z D X E J E P

SEVEN DAYS STAYTRIPPER NOVEMBER 2020

HQ E I B E N K C I NO PWC P N T J J O S DW T F C F U F NG E ON T U T D A MW F C C K C O O Z J F T C Y S Z NOO H O L L OW L L E MGH P H U K U E GQ V C V V Z D T I F J S Z BWF C P A D E U S U Y V ON R I L L C N Y KWN Z Y H K T O B F G N V N T A B Y Y A J R H I KMCMS S O E R I L

REV. DIANE SULLIVAN

BODY PART

was wearing my helmet.


Destination THE DAILY CATCH 61 Central St., Woodstock, 332-4005, thedailycatch.com

Central Street in Woodstock is home to a bookstore, a pharmacy, a craft gallery, a pewter shop and a vintage clothing store. Set amid this collection of village businesses is a fish out of water: the Daily Catch, a lovely little seafood restaurant with Sicilian flair. Housed in a white clapboard Victorian building, the Daily Catch opened in the fall of 2018 — and the season presents a prime time to dine. A bowl of clam chowder and a serving of crab-lobster cakes offer warm comfort and flavorful sustenance. Paul Freddura founded the original Daily Catch in the early 1970s in Boston’s North End. He and his wife, Maria, have since launched outposts in Brookline, Woodstock and on the Boston waterfront. The Fredduras have a house on Silver Lake in Barnard, and Maria opened the Woodstock branch for selfish purposes: “I was bringing my own fish In the area… up here to eat,” she says. Now, “We buy [fish] off the boat, • BILLINGS FARM & MUSEUM, 69 Old River cut it and ship it up.” Rd., Woodstock, 457-2355, billingsfarm.org The 35-seat space, limited • HARPOON BREWERY, to 18 patrons due to the 336 Ruth Carney Dr., Windsor, 674-5491, pandemic, snares diners harpoonbrewery.com/windsor with its baked scallops, • MARSH-BILLINGS-ROCKEFELLER calamari “meatballs,” and NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, 54 Elm St., linguine with white sauce Woodstock, 457-3368, nps.gov/mabi and littleneck clams. This last • SUICIDE 6 SKI AREA, 247 Stage Rd., dish is served in a skillet, with South Pomfret, 457-6661, suicide6.com clams in their shells arrayed around the pan’s perimeter. Takeout is also available. Along with seafood, pasta populates the menu to create a set of offerings that’s an homage to a traditional Christmas Eve meal. “The Daily Catch is actually the Feast of the Seven Dishes, 363 days a year,” Maria says. Her husband, whom she describes as a “city boy who’s not ready to give up concrete for Class IV roads,” has nonetheless influenced the small-town restaurant. “My husband’s favorite is Frank Sinatra,” she says. “So our menu is available ‘Night and Day.’”

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Find All of Your Holiday Gifts at Vermont-Owned

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Scallop linguine

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2 Center Street, downtown Rutland 802.855.80 8 Say you saw NOW IN it in... sevendaysvt.com 3D!

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WHERE THE END OF THE TRAIL IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

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