Archive - 2010 - Staff Blog
And so it (spring schedule changing) begins
Never mind the sap buckets, first thunderstorms or the Red Sox equipment truck heading to Florida, the surest sign of spring in these parts comes when the local high schools start juggling their schedules.
As a (former) New Yorker, I’m well aware that a bagel is not your average bread. In Manhattan, there are several thousand bagel places to choose from, and each one makes their specialty a little differently. Everyone has an opinion on where to buy the best bagels — growing up, I spent countless hours in line on weekend mornings for a warm, freshly baked bagel, just around the corner from my apartment.
And while bagel snobbery seems to wane the further you get from New York City, sometimes you find warm, freshly baked bagels in the most unexpected places.
The snow has melted away at lower elevations (except for in my yard, but that is another story), the sun is shining, and the weather is warm. Is Spring here? No way – this is all Vermonters’ favorite time of the year, Mud Season, and chances are good that true “Spring” is a few weeks to a month away! Nonetheless, Friday’s 70 degree weather inspired me to go for one my favorite short hill climbs, Snake Mountain. I briefly contemplated breaking out my new running shoes to begin their break-in process, but at the last minute, decided against it.
After a mile of muddy ruts, the dirt road opened out onto a foggy clearing. There, in front of a small stream, sat the sugarhouse where all of the maple syrup for Steve’s Park Diner on Merchant’s Row in Middlebury is boiled down.
By Monday evening, last week’s sun and unseasonable warmth seemed like it had all been a dream, and after a day bundled in extra layers at the office, it was hard to think about going back outside.
As the earlier than usual Spring seems to have arrived, the warm weather has cleared the snow off of the paths around town and opened up opportunities for the first trail runs of the season. Mud will be a fact of life for the next few months, but some routes tend to dry out earlier than others. With this in mind, I chose Chipman Hill for my first trail run of the season. The primary trail over the summit was clearly open to vehicular traffic at some point in the not-too-distant past, but predates my arrival in Middlebury in 1986.
“Where are your kids from?”
When you are a pale-skinned mom with two brown-skinned children, you get asked this question on a surprisingly frequent basis in casual conversations in all kinds of settings. In adoption circles, we refer to these people as “supermarket strangers,” people who don’t know us or our children but ask rather invasive and personal questions without much preamble.
Jeff Stauch began baking bread two years ago with his girlfriend, Ashley. At first it was just a fun project — Ashley had grown up with fresh, home-baked bread around the house, and the two wanted to see if they could learn the skill.
“I was frankly surprised that we didn’t get discouraged,” he said. “The first several tries were definitely something you wouldn’t want to present at a party. It was just by accident, but we stuck with it until something turned out perfect.”
While the snow cover is much improved from my last posting, the gorgeous spring-like weather could bring the ski season to an early close, so I had to get out over the weekend and enjoy the deep, but increasingly slushy snow. You will also notice something very different about this post. As a rule of thumb, I am usually a purist in that I earn my descents by putting out the effort to gain altitude first. But today, I felt that a lobster analogy was quite appropriate.
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