Low Key, But Stuff Still Happens

The last few days have been fairly laid back: laundry, strolling around downtown Keene, hanging out at the library to download iPhone iOS10, that sort of thing. I did take at run at Mt Caesar but was thwarted again by losing the trail. It was supposed to be about a 500 ft vertical hike, but ended up maybe 250 ft since I made the wrong turn and never made it to the top. It was a fairly nondescript trail: past a meadow and then forest trail.

mt-caesar-2

mt-caesar1

The unique feature was getting to the trail. You have to walk through an old cemetery to find the trailhead. The oldest grave I saw was from 1777, but it was also the saddest: 2 young boys who died within a couple of days of each other in September 1777. I wonder if it was disease or war.

Then, on the  way out I was almost to the truck when I tripped on an asphalt driveway in the cemetery, fell forward and landed on my left knee, leaving  a couple sizable scrapes on the knee and much soreness ever since. Overall, you have to say Caesar won that battle.

Today I drove up to Stowe, VT, about a 2.5 hour drive.  And a beautiful drive it was.  Here and there clouds nestled on little cat’s feet in the valleys. The green hills were flecked yellow and red but the full glory of autumn’s rainbow is still a week or two away. Stowe is a very small town (ski resort) and a few miles past the town lies the airport. Upon arrival at the airport I toddled over to Stowe Soaring, threw down the old credit card and signed up for the Scenic Stowe glider flight.

stowe-gliders

The tow plane took us (the pilot and me) up to 4500 ft and we soared the skies for the next 30 minutes or so. It was a bit cloudy so we didn’t get the breadth of coverage the pilot would have liked, but a cool experience nonetheless.

stowe-from-above

I asked the pilot if the pasture land was used mostly for dairy farms. He said that once was true but now there are only a handful of dairies left due to unstable milk prices and otherwise not much agriculture in the area. (But I did see a few corn fields, of course) We flew over one property that used to be a dairy but now they run a trucking company off the property.

For lunch I headed over to the Trapp Family Lodge a few miles outside Stowe. They have about 2500 acres of gorgeous property. There’s the lodge itself:

stowe-trapp-lodge

And beautiful views all around:

stowe-trapp1

stowe-hills-alive

They do some farming there. I saw chickens and turkeys and got the impression they also raise beef, in addition to some lovely gardens:stowe-trapp-gardens1

stowe-trapp-gardens-2

As previously mentioned, the food in NH and VT has not been all that spiffy for my taste. However, the last 2 lunches have been thumbs up. Yesterday in Keene I tried Luca’s Mediterranean Cafe. Mediterranean in this case meaning mostly Italian. Somebody told me the chef from Luca’s won some contest on Food Network, and the food was quite good: a hearty lentil soup and a pasta dish with pappardelle and a sausage ragu. Mental note to get back there for dinner. And lunch today at Trapp was also very good: Prosciutto wrapped chicken thighs with creamed corn and fried okra (?!).

stowe-lunch

When the waiter brought it he said “I don’t know what you’re getting with this fried orca.” As soon as I mentally eliminated the possibility I was being fed whale I got his drift. Turns out the chef is from Brenham, TX. Since the view from the patio was so nice and the day so beautiful, and since I was alone at a four top, just as I was about to leave this British couple (Hugh and Jenny from Norfolk) asked if they could grab my table. We ended up chatting for about an hour. I’m very fond of the Brits. Delightful, sensible chaps, what?

stowe-trapp-lunch

Speaking of Brits, during the drive up and back I listened to more from Oliver Twist. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, a bit o’ the Dickens in me ear. A jolly good day.

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