Smuggler's Notch Ski Area & Mt. Mansfield
|Vermont is one of my favorite places to visit. And if
it weren't for their state's somewhat misguided socialist policies (currently
driving out all the real
jobs), I'd move there in a heartbeat.
It doesn't matter that all the towns are modeled on the same New England
theme---lots of green (it is the
Green Mountain State, after all), small streets with one main thoroughfare,
and, of course, the white church with the steeple you can see for miles
around. If you take Interstate 89 up into
Vermont, you'll get a little bit of altitude, and you can look all around at
these towns dotting the landscape, one after the other.
Countryside? Spectacular. Hiking? Got that.
Skiing? Yep, plenty of snow. Fall Foliage? Oh yeah.
Where the hell do you think it comes from?
Need I say more?
Our stay led us to Jeffersonville, VT, just a few miles from the Korb Estate.
The main road in Jeffersonville---it's that strip on the
right with no cars anywhere on it.
The red building is the town Post Office.
Ken Merbler and I grabbed rooms at the
Smuggler's Notch Inn...
...an interesting place. When we arrived, we were the only
ones at the Inn---literally. There was nobody around, not even the desk
clerk. Figuring it was self-service, Ken and I grabbed what appeared to be
our room keys set aside for us and let ourselves in. (Then at the end of
the weekend we had to hunt around for someone to take our money. We
probably could have stayed the week without anyone noticing.)
The rooms are decent enough, but what they don't tell you is the
townie bar is on the lower floor, and it's a happenin' place on Saturday nights.
This means no sleep for anyone staying at the Inn. It would have been OK
if the band that was trying to play "Reelin' in the Years" had ever heard
of guitar tuners and voice lessons. They kept dragging out the ending and
got a huge round of applause, so I imagine that all the people in there were
completely plotzed. Unfortunately Ken and I weren't. We just wanted
to get some shuteye.
With ski season finishing up, Ken and I had the Inn pretty much
to ourselves, which is somewhat astonishing, considering that in Vermont the ski
season lasts longer than anywhere else in New England, with nice temperatures
and plenty of snow that lasts for quite a while.
|Your Webmaster runs a neat/fun/free Internet bulletin board for outdoor
activities called Get Outdoors New
England, so he's no stranger to snow. With that in mind, Jerry led
us on a mini-tour of the Smuggler's Notch area.
The road leading through Smuggler's Notch is closed
during the winter,
so we just ambled up the snowy road for a little while.
Smuggler's Notch Ski Area
In addition to skiing, the Smuggler's Notch Ski Area has "Trail to Village"
where We'll Be Seeing You. There is also a museum for
accoutrements worn by a certain pop star--just follow the sign to "Madonna I
& II Lifts". Hmmm...Is that her shoes?
The New England Culinary Institute has a Sunday breakfast at
Butler's at the Inn at Essex.
OK, so $17 may be a bit pricey for just breakfast, but this is no ordinary
|On the day we visited, there was a lighthouse made out of
some kind of cookies or somesuch (to go along with the ice sculptures).
Despite our growing appetites you can't help but stop and admire the
handiwork, and even get a few photos. Then you head off to your
table---through the Corridor of Desserts. For anyone on a diet, this
is more like the Gauntlet of Desserts.
The main area buffet area has
nearly anything you want for breakfast and a good assortment of lunch type
things as well.
We sampled everything. Everything was, well, incredible. It's
almost worth the 3-4 hour drive to Essex just to have breakfast---it is that
good. And, of course, we sampled some desserts, too, and everything
was absolutely top notch. If you are anywhere within a 1000 mile
radius of this place, make a reservation and make the trip.
And, of course, they use real maple syrup.
View from Jerry's back deck - Jerry, Ken M., and Ken L.