Gathering Wrap up - 2014

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Gathering Wrap up - 2014

Postby Tom » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:50 pm

Friday we left for Plattsburgh, where we stopped at Legends. We sipped 4 beers, of which the IPA was the least favorite. Amazing!

After that we camped at Grand Isle in the middle of Lake Champlain. A really nice place, I highly recommend it. We had a leanto overlooking the lake, which made for great views of Mansfield, one of our destinations (Higher). That night we went to Fiddleheads Brewery and the pizza joint attached to it. Yummy!

Saturday we walked around a bit and saw over a dozen Ospreys! Then we went down to Burlington and visited the Ethan Allen Tower. A short walk, made longer by a lack of signage but we found the tower. Nice views of the Lake and the city. After that we walked around the water front and revisited 2 favorite Burlington brewpubs, Vermont Pub and Brew and 300' away, Zero Gravity. Both are still serving great beer and food! :D

Ok, back to the hiking! Sunday we drove to Underhill state park and hiked Mansfield, using the Sunset Ridge trail. It was almost a perfect day. The temps were cool, and there was a mild breeze. We saw a lot of alpine plants (including diapensia), and took lots of pictures as the views just kept getting better and better. At the summit, we chatted with the summit steward(ess), who told me over 200 people had summited so far! :eek: Our friend Paula notched high point #15! Congrats to her!

After the hike, we drove to Schilling Brewery in Littleton. They specialize in German/Belgian beers. We all found food and beer that we liked. Then we drove to 'Chez Chip', an undisclosed location in the White mountains. :D We made 'camp' there and prepared for the next big challenge. We also visited with J&J, 2 of the best people in New Hampshire. They plied us with HEADY TOPPER, and other delectable items while we watched USA draw Portugal. :D

Monday morning we were off to the Cog Parking lot to climb the highest of the high in the northeast, the world's worst weather awaited us, on the Rock Pile, the killer of the unprepared, the big W, Mount Washington! [cue dramatic music!] Ok, maybe not on this day. It was the most perfect day you could ask for when climbing W. There was almost no wind all day, the summit temps were in the 50's, the Ammo trail was mostly dry, it was a gift from on High(er). We met relatively few people ascending, even at the hut, but the summit area was a seething mass of people. Mostly screaming children, if memory serves me correctly! :eek: We had to wait 10 minutes in line for summit photos! But Paula is now up to #16! We descended down Jewell. We met RIDICULOUSLY unprepared people, 1 couple carrying NOTHING but a map! Others were dressed in burkas, jeans, cotton galore; we cringed to think what the day would have held if the weather had not been so perfect. Anyway...

We made it back to the car and headed off to showers and Woodstock station, another embodiment of perfect beer and food pairings! :D

Some of you may know that Laurie and I kiss at every summit. This started before we were married, and was consummated at the summit of Whiteface in the ADKs 7 years ago when we were married. We thought it appropriate to be on high on the 7th anniversary of our marriage. Pamola (an infrequent poster here), brewed 'Summit Kiss IPA' for our wedding, and is a huge contributor to VNBs. He was unable to join us this year, but we thank him for the beer, and all the hard work he put into VNBs.

So, it was an awesome weekend! We met up with great friends, had great beer, and climbed great mountains with great conditions! They can't all be this way, but we'll take them when we can get them! :D
Tom Rankin
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Re: Gathering Wrap up - 2014

Postby Woolybear » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:35 am

I’ll add our little bit of trip report for the weekend here to yours.
Thank you for inviting us guys.
Mike, Pete, and I came up early Sat morning and joined everyone for the morning’s walks and beer in Burlington. However after the VT pub and brewery we headed out a little farther afield. We headed out to the Waterbury/Stowe corridor. After doing some touristy things like Cabot and Ben & Jerry’s we headed over to Crop Bistro. These guys took over the Shed’s space when they closed. The Shed wasn't all that good and Crop is no better. The beer was very mediocre and they have the most expensive flight of beer we have ever encountered, 13.50$ for 6 3 oz samples. If you don’t need it pass it by. Next stop was a non V&B’s stop, Rock Art. Short version I love there beer. For me the winner was there black current beer, very flavorful, tart, and dry. They even have a series of very hoppy barely wines that you hop heads may really enjoy. Post Rock Art we headed a few miles up the road to Lost Nation. Now we expected Lost Nation to be microbrewer and a non V&B’s stop. Turns out they not only serve food but amazing food (thanks for adding them Tom). The guys really liked the ribs and the pork belly burger was amazing. Oh and the beer was kick ass too. For the record though Lost Nation was a little trickier to find than you would expect. They are hidden and construction has currently camouflaged them. After leaving Lost Nation and before leaving the area we went over to the Trapp Family Lodge to check them out. Got a little treat there, we encountered a black bear on the road just outside of their brewery/bakery. For Trapp the food is amazing, the views, awesome, and the beer sucks. It’s that simple. We had one of those funny moments too. As we picked a table and randomly sat down in the lounge area for some scotch and dessert we happened to run into Scott (Nukedrocket) who was sitting at the table next to us, small world.
With sunset quickly coming on we beat feet back to grand isle to join everyone for a quiet night at the lean-to.
On Sun morning with everyone else heading over to Mansfield we instead headed into Burlington for a good breakfast that over to Long Trail for some beer and lunch with a stop at the Eshqua Bog Nature Area just outside of Woodstock. The lady slippers were nicely in bloom.
Long trail had a lot of newer beer in the selection line up as usual they were good, not spectacular but still very good. The boys grabbed a couple of cases then we began the drive home.
Thanks again for inviting us.
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