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Spring Water - Sugarbush Stoke Exchange

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ahh, late May in the Mad River Valley ... the infinite shades of green, flowers exploding everywhere, golfing with friends, biking and hiking trails opening, paddling the rivers and lakes, farm fresh food happening again, and snow in the mountains. Wait, what? Haven't we been swimming in the river already?  

Sugarbush Golf Club is fully open, with $50 greens fees!
Sugarbush Golf Club is fully open, with $50 greens fees. If it snows, the groomers will be laying down fresh corduroy on the fairways and Sugarbush Parks is ready to shape the greens too. ;)

Yes, it almost always snows in May, especially on the high ridgelines. With only a few days left before June and prevailing warm temps this month so far, it looked like we might get by without any further flakes.

Farmer's Market kick off last weekend.
Waitsfield Farmer's Market kick off last weekend.

According to forecasts though, Saturday night into Sunday morning could see accumulating snow (as much as 7-10 inches, if current predictions hold true) above 2500 feet. This is roughly the bottom of Heaven's Gate chair, for those that need to make one more snowball before summer.

Fresh hot (glass) peppers from Michael Egan.
Fresh hot (glass) peppers from Michael Egan.

There are no frost/snow warnings for valley elevations yet, so the impacts should be limited to the mountains. Sunday 's conditions could produce a rare and beautifully contrasting seasonal scene. Get your camera ready and throw an extra layer in the car, just in case.   

A spring tune-up.
A spring tune-up.

So many ways to enjoy maple.
So many ways to enjoy maple.

Fun in the sun.
Fun in the sun.

Flower power.
Flower power.

The flowers and tree blossoms seem extraordinarily dense and prolific this spring. At the Farmer's Market, I asked legendary Valley naturalist Ann Day and Walt from Mountain Flower Farm if this year was truly special. Ann answered, "I have lived here for 60+ years and never seen it like this." Walt agreed, "The blooms are really huge and colorful this spring." 

The blossoms are incredible this spring.
Laden. 

Every color imaginable.
A veritable rainbow.

The air smells so sweet.
The air smells so sweet.

Vermont is well-known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, but we often forget just how they came to be. We are blessed with extensive public lands, but without private landowners granting access too, the resources would be a lot less vibrant. Check out this article from local writer Berne Brody, where she explores these important relationships.

Trailboss beating the work drum on the Revolution trail.
Trailboss beating the work drum on the Revolution trail.

The timing of the article is very appropriate, because this Sunday, May 26th at 1 PM, the Mad River Riders-VMBA are celebrating the grand opening of a brand new intermediate trail, entirely on private land. The Revolution trail links Lareau Farm-American Flatbread, the Featherbed Inn and the Dana Forest Farm to the Camel's Hump State Forest trail network between Dana Hill and Tucker Hill. This connection is the final piece in a mostly trail route from Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak all the way to Waitsfield Village.    

Sugarbush's Sean Flynn volunteering his time and talents on Revolution.
Sugarbush's Sean Flynn volunteering his time and talents on Revolution.

There will be a short dedication ceremony, followed by guided intermediate and expert rides with Walt Silbernagel and Dave Rowles, and I will be leading a guided fungi hike on the trail. The playing  field will be open for games, and there is a beginner bike loop mowed around the perimeter. The after-party starts at 4:30 PM in the Pavilion. The event is free and fun for all ages!    

Revolution bridge work.
Revolution bridge work. 

The Riders-VMBA are excited for a repeat grand opening party on June 1st at 1 PM to inaugurate the new Green Mountain National Forest Blueberry Lake trail network. This event is free too, with guided beginner and intermediate rides, Xprezo bike demos, Clearwater Sports boat and paddleboard demos, and more fun!

Join us for a great Memorial Day weekend and remember to bring all the toys ... you just might need them.

John Atkinson
Chairman, Sugarbush Stoke Exchange 

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John Atkinson

About John Atkinson

Follow our own 'John of all Trades' as he explores and documents adventures in and around Sugarbush Resort and the Mad River Valley.

802-583-6534
jatkinson@sugarbush.com   

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