Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Neighboring Mountain Views


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Star Gazing at Pond Mountain Inn

Intrigued by the clarity of the night sky and the absence of any artificial light we joined the Dorset Astronomy Club. Our first question, like many others, is “what can I see through a $200 telescope?” The short answer – a lot!

Star Gazing at Pond Mountain Inn Without a Telescope

Let’s begin by mentioning what can be seen without a telescope – quite a bit! The International Space Station (ISS) passed by twice last week while having dinner outside with friends. And, with an untrained eye, having ISS Detector app on my telephone is the best way to distinguish the space station from roaming satellites. After only a few sightings, the two are easily distinguishable – the space station has a much larger and brighter footprint. Satellites are quite common – we saw three in fifteen minutes the previous Sunday night!

The broad swath of milky light stretching across the night sky is, of course, the Milky Way Galaxy that never disappoints. The Big Dipper sits directly above our home in the summer, which is somehow very comforting. And, the annual Perseid Meteor Shower two weekends ago was disappointing again this year with large amounts of cloud cover. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for next year…

We see shooting stars about 30% of the time – last summer we saw an incredible meteor streaking across the night’s sky that lasted just a split second – absolutely magnificent!

Planets are easily visible to the naked eye, especially the notable three – Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, but are virtually featureless. The meteor strikes on the moon are nicely apparent with a pair of department store binoculars.

And, there is so much more to see….

A $200 Telescope Certainly Improves Things – A Lot!

The Moon’s craters come alive with a telescope and it’s easily the most impressive object in the sky given its proximity to earth. There are now eight planets, with the absence of Pluto. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are the “big three” in the sky revealing nice surface characteristics that we hope to share with you in the future!

Kay and I certainly look forward to learning so much more about the night sky and will share photographs of what we see and experience from Vermont… Stay tuned! And, it may be even better in the winter!

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Duncan Miller at Pixabay.com

 

 


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Step Back in Time with Vermont’s Enchanted Covered Bridges

Sunday drives are magical especially in Vermont whether you’re destination-oriented or just like to tour the rolling hills alongside a meandering river. Sunday was magnificent, the only thing missing was a wicker picnic basket filled with essential luxuries and a crisp-cold bottle of Sancerre. Kay and I along with our “adopted parents, Hoa & Orland, of Manchester” were determined to see a few of the southern Vermont Covered Bridges we had yet to visit. Following the Battenkill for about ten minutes a distant view of the day’s first covered bridge became clearer! No matter how many times you’ve seen a covered bridge each is met with a new sense of exhilaration. The feeling is indescribable – set back in time one can almost feel the presence of those that traveled before us likely by horse across this timbered structured.

West Arlington Bridge, Built in 1852 is arguably the most beloved and most photographed in the state.

This is the quintessential Vermont photograph that everyone should personally experience… What makes this photograph even more treasured is that it was taken in front of Norman Rockwell’s home!

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) lived in this house in Arlington, Vermont from 1943-1953.

Sunderland is where we found the Chiselville Covered Bridge, named for the fine quality chisels and edge tools manufactured nearby. The bridge spans the Roaring Branch Brook and was built in 1870.

Orland and I traversed the steep riverside bank to gain a unique perspective from below.

A brief history… Vermont is rightfully famous for its covered bridges – more than one hundred span the state (Pond Mountain Inn has a complete listing). A covered bridge was built for necessity to protect their wooden structures, extend their lifespan, and protect Vermonters and perhaps their animals from the elements. Vermont Covered Bridges are architecturally very pleasing, fun to experience and remain an important part of Vermont’s legacy.

We will soon publish the first of our Self-Guided Tours, which will include more covered bridges.


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Incredible Mountain Views While Snowshoeing in Vermont

The serenity and peacefulness of snowshoeing is second to the natural beauty always on display in every small town in Vermont. As we walked through the woods we occasionally stopped to examine each animal footprint – we saw deer tracks, fox and where a bird of prey may have found a late afternoon snack. As we approached the top of the ridge a large open field came into view with a distant tree line and the magnificent Taconic Mountain Range further off in the distance. A spectacular day spent with nature only thirty minutes from Pond Mountain Inn.

 

 


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Our Hike at the Lewis Deane Nature Preserve

lewis-deane-nature-trail-2Many of us are already talking about an early spring after the recent snowfall and warmer temperatures forecasted this week. Sacrilegious yes, given there’s likely two winter months left; however it gave pause and a thought of a hike I took last summer not far from the inn. The Lewis Deane Nature Preserve, an 85-acre forest located on St. Catherine Mountain is just over one mile north of Pond Mountain Inn. Last summer, together with two guests, we enjoyed this moderate twenty-five minute one-way hike to the top — however, there’s a slightly longer more leisurely option to the mountain’s summit. I elected the more aggressive route up the mountain, which I had no difficulty ascending; however after my third knee surgery two years ago maybe I’ll think about taking the easier path back to base next time – the descent was tough on the knees. Once we reached the top we were completely awestruck with the picture postcard mountain views. My photograph certainly suggests that this is a “must do” again this spring / summer.


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Great Cross Country Skiing in Peru, Vermont!

dan-x-country-skiingWe asked a native Vermonter where’s the best place to cross country ski in the greater Manchester, Vermont area? Without hesitation he said, “Wild Wings.” Wild Wings Ski Touring Center is located in Peru, Vermont situated on 50 acres, but with access to over 1000 acres – 9 trails totaling over 25 kilometers is where we sent our weekend guests yesterday.

Patty and Dan had the perfect day – spectacular blues skies, not too cold and magnificently groomed trails made for an impeccable cross country ski day! They rented everything and the staff there couldn’t have been more helpful and hospitable. This was Dan’s maiden voyage on cross country skis – and at 67, he performed marvelously. That’s Dan in the photograph – beautiful technique!

After hearing about this perfect day at breakfast this morning; Kay and I will visit Wild Wings in the coming weeks and give cross country skiing at try! We’ll let you know… stay tuned! Pond Mountain Inn is only 45 minutes away from the Wild Wings Ski Touring Center.


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Antiquing in Vermont

nantucket-basket_1Antiques are ubiquitous in New England – Chester & Bennington, Vermont are among two of the top ten antiques towns in New England, says New England Today Travel. Both are about an hour from Pond Mountain Inn! Additionally, The Vermont Antique Mall in Quechee Gorge and the Drury House in Weston, Vermont are perennial favorites. Details of each are on our website – Things to Do.

One of our favorite pastimes is antiquing, which is how the inn is filled with so many interesting things; a less sophisticated way of saying Objets d’art. One of our recent finds was this Nantucket Lightship Basket Purse – vintage yes, antique no. I fell in love with Nantucket Baskets on the island in the mid-1980s and vowed one day to own one, but not necessarily a purse! These baskets are steeped in New England history, which is, perhaps, why I found them so fascinating. These baskets date back to the early 1800s – it is widely thought the finest examples were made between 1870–1890.

Driving the back roads of Vermont is the best way of stumbling upon interesting things – we always find ourselves heading somewhere only to stop a few times along the way. This happened recently where I had to have a Vintage Maple Sap Bucket that dated back to the 1950s. Of course, it had to be accompanied by a 1930s cast iron tap… silly, perhaps, but just great fun!

 

 


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The Elf Express – A Classic Vermont Christmas Train Ride

vermont-train

Manchester, Vermont: last weekend in the midst of a Vermont snow squall we enjoyed the fourth annual Elf Express on a vintage train taking passengers on a delightful one-hour excursion through the Green Mountains complete with hot coco, cookies with song and dance by the “Elves” of Burr and Burton Academy. The train ride took us from Manchester to Arlington – an approximate twenty mile roundtrip journey we spent in a 1940s era train car. We just love Vermont!