Day 6 Fall Foliage trip 2017

Day 6 Fall Foliage trip 2017

Today we focused on Stowe. It started raining at breakfast (the first time this week during the day) so we
did some plan changes. It was our last day here (and the last riding day) so we had to get luggage ready before breakfast to load into the trailer. Breakfast was at the Flannel again and they did another scrumptious job with the food and service. We packed a separate bag for clothing changes and took it to the Spa area for later.

The non-bike highlight today was a glass-blowing demo at a local establishment. They showed us how they make colored glass christmas ornaments and answered lots of questions about glass blowing. Most of us rode there on our bikes but some sagged.






Most people sagged back to the bike path but a few rode their bikes. On the bike trail we headed into Stowe and locked up our bikes and walked into town. We stopped at a coffee shop and gathered to discuss next options. The van was at a nearby market where it was pouring rain – but no rain at the coffee shop.



After some discussion we shifted from the picnic lunch at a nearby park next to the river – to a picnic lunch at the tennis chalet on the Topnotch grounds. The food (and beer tasting) was varied and delicious.






Those of us who wanted to got showers at the Topnotch Spa and changed into street clothes.

We said our goodbyes and split up into various transportation modes to get back to the Burlington Airport or Hotels in Burlington. Some rented cars at the Airport and others are flying out of Burlington or Boston Saturday and some later in the week.

All in all it was an excellent bike trip and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to enjoy the Fall Foliage.
We had great weather, wonderful accommodations, too much good food, great guides, and wonderful camaraderie with the people in the group that we had not met before.

We had no flat tires (that I know of), 2 broken chains (technique) (and a new record for both guides).
The equipment we were provided was very good and adjusted to our needs. The ability of the guides to ferret out our unexpressed wishes and accommodate our needs in all aspects of the trip were amazing (and having some fun while doing it!)
We really enjoyed our interactions – and we do know how to have fun!

The Foliage color was nearing its peak as we got to the end of the week. It was at it’s maximum (for while we were there) on Friday – but it was cloudy most of the day so it was hard to get a picture that did it justice.

We rented a car at the Burlington Airport and drove to Boston. We stopped again in Hanover (Dartmouth) and had a nice dinner at Molly’s Bar and Grill surrounded by the Friday night college crowd. We stayed at the Logan Airport Marriott Courtyard that was ostensibly 6 minutes drive from the airport. We finally got to the rental car check in after driving to Boston twice. Luckily traffic wasn’t that bad (Saturday morning). Our multiple direction helpers all disagreed on where to go. So I am writing this on the plane heading back to Denver. I will publish it without pictures first and then republish with pictures later.

Thanks again Barb and Leigh!

Until next time!


Day 5 Fall Foliage Trip 2017

Day 5 Fall Foliage Trip 2017

Today we are based in Stowe, VT and are riding near Stowe.

Our breakfast in the Flannel restaurant at the Topnotch Lodge was amazing. The various recommendations we got on what to have include the “biscuits and gravy”.

But several of the other choices were great too.







John was waiting for the other riders to gather


We took a picture of all the riders today.


Not everyone rode today – some decided to enjoy the Spa at Topnotch and others wanted to shop/do laundry in Stowe and have a nice lunch in town. Or a walk along the bike path near the resort.




The riders sagged the first few miles to get over the pass/notch and down on the other side to a safe place to start. They did 27 miles on mostly down or flat terrain.



Part of the ride was on an old railroad bed that has been converted to a nice bike path.



Some of the people in town had lunch together at the Whip Bar and Grill at the Green Mountain Lodge. most of us used the Lodge shuttle to get back and forth – but Terry rode her bike on the bike path into town.

A number of people got massages and enjoyed the spa at the lodge.

Dinner tonight was scrumptious and the Flannel outdid itself with the quality of the food.



Tomorrow is our last day. Very Sad.
We have a glass blowing demo to see at 9:30 and then we our on our own to ride around/in Stowe to see the sights and have a picnic lunch at 12:30 nearby and then back to the lodge for showers and then we head back to Burlington and other vistas.

It has been a great riding week – the weather was great – no rain. The colors are not yet at their peak but we can see examples of what is to come and it will be beautiful.

I want to thank our guides Barb and Leigh for all their hard work in making all aspects of our week wonderful. Not just the ride, but also the lodging, food, fun activities, and history/folklore about Vermont. Their attention to detail and willingness to mold our week to give us the best experience possible has been outstanding. Their looking at the bright side of all situations, ability to have fun in spite of obstacles, and ultimately give us a safe, fun-filled experience was unsurpassed.

Thank You!




Day 4 Fall Foliage trip 2017

Day 4 Fall Foliage trip 2017

Some people took the morning off to better explorer Shelburne Farms. They enjoyed a tour of the Farm Barn and got to see lots of animals and even hold them.






Today the early riders rode/sagged from Shelburne to Stowe. After a scrumptious breakfast at The Inn at Shelburne Farms, we toured the grounds for a bit – including the huge livestock barn that included the ability in the past to stable 80 teams of mules and other farm animals. The dock area had a 140 foot steam powered yacht. We also stopped at the visitor’s center which sold lots of the products produced on the farm – including cheese, honey, jam, and lots of other goodies.

After exiting the Farm we headed south for quite a ways. In places we had quite a headwind – but we persevered. Some of us sagged part of the way in the morning in order to get our total distance to just over 30 miles.


Some others rode the whole way and ended up doing over 50 miles. Eventually we turned East and then North and we had a tailwind finally. But then we climbed the Gap/Notch and when we were over the top had a nice downhill into Richmond where we had lunch at the Stone Corral Brewery. After lunch was another 14 mile stint along the Winooski River 2.8 miles of it unpaved and then into Waterbury which is home to the Green Mountain Coffee roasters. From there we shuttled to the Topnotch Resort and Spa where we will be based for the next 2 days. Topnotch is REALLY TOPNOTCH!

Some of us had planned ahead and had massages scheduled for when we arrived. Others scheduled for Thursday.
We were on our own for dinner and so all ate at the Roost restaurant at Topnotch. Afterwords we played table top shuffleboard in the bar area.



Some serious competition

Tomorrow we have the option of a 27 or 36 mile ride around the Stowe area. Some others are taking a day off and just enjoying the resort and the town nearby.

This picture is out of order but I want to include it for completeness.

And finally in the spirit of colorful trees – I copied this from a friend.

Fall Foliage Day 3 2017 Bike ride VT

Day 3 Fall Foliage trip 2017

Today we started earlier. Luggage needed to be available to be loaded in the trailer at 7:15,
We had another excellent breakfast at 7:30am. After a short discussion of the changes in the route because of construction – we headed out for Vergennes where we are having lunch on our own.
On our way we stopped by a huge waterfall and took pictures in an oversized chair.


At 9:30 we stopped at a horse farm run by the University of Vermont for Morgan horses. We had a tour of the grounds and an education in how versatile Morgan Horses are and how they got started.


Some of the roads we rode today we also rode on on Sunday on our first day. But they looked different going the other way. There were some stunning vistas looking west towards Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks in New York.


I broke a chain about 10 miles from lunch and Leigh and Barb fixed it up quickly at Lunch time. We had lunch at the Three Squares Restaurant in Vergennes and then we were ready for our afternoon ride.

3 of us took a longer route and ended up doing about 43 miles. Others took a shorter route and ended up with just over 30 miles. As part of the afternoon delights we all stopped at an apple orchard and sampled some apple cider doughnuts and some had some apples and others had fresh squeezed apple juice. We also got to see the way they pressed the apples for cider – it was a technique I had never seen before. They ran the apples through a blender or something that created an apple mash and then wrapped it in a cloth wrapper with multiple levels and then squeezed that. After they were done squeezing the remaining pulp was very dry. They said they used the pulp for compost.

The Inn at Shelburne Farms is about 1000 acres of land next to Lake Champlain with views of the Adirondacks. It was originally created by the Vanderbilt’s and was eventually donated to the State of VT and is now an educational non-profit. We got a tour and talk of some of the history and longer term plans for the property.


We had another wonderful dinner in a private dinning room in the mansion.


We all have rooms in the “Big” house some with views of the lake. It is a very memorable location.

The sunset view from the house was stunning.

Tomorrow we have modified the route some what so will report tomorrow what we actually do. Some people are staying later and touring more of the grounds and then driving to join the rest of the group at lunch. We will all ride for a while and then sag to Stow Mountain Resort
Stay tuned!

Day 2 Fall Foliage 2017

Day 2 Fall Foliage trip 2017

Today we started and ended at the same place – so we are still staying at the Waybury Inn near Middlebury VT.
We had a wonderful breakfast at the Inn and then started riding at 9:00am. We rode to Brandon and then did a big loop near Brandon and then back to the Waybury Inn.
The terrain was mostly gentle rollers with a few surprises thrown in. We had lunch in the Branbury State Park near Dunmar lake. It was a Mexican theme with all the makings for sandwiches with tortillas and all the fixings.
At one point our guides encouraged us to sag to “save our legs.” Three people continued riding and almost got to the next point before the van did. So we probably should have ridden – but hindsight is 20 20.

One of the stops along the way was a museum honoring Stephen A. Douglas. We unloaded from the 4 mile sag there. So most of us rode a total of 34 miles today. Some road 38 and a few others rode a different distance.

Most of us are from Colorado – but 2 couples are from other states. David and Penny are from Park City UT, and Carol and Mark are from Hawaii.

The weather started off cool, but quickly warmed up in the sun. It was still cool in the shade.

Group picture 

At the end of the day we had a campfire after dinner.

Tomorrow we head towards Shelburne VT and a different place to stay.

Fall Foliage Day 1

Fall Foliage Day 1

We had a great dinner last night at the American Flatbread restaurant in Burlington, VT. Burkley’s were not able to join us since their plane got in later. We saw them later at the Juniper restaurant in the Hotel Vermont lobby.

We all had breakfast at Juniper (except for Galusha’s who were at the Marriott Courtyard next-door. We met the Sojourn bike tour van/guides at 9:30 in the courtyard between the two hotels. The van took us to Sojourn HQ about 20 miles south of Burlington along Lake Champlain. We got our bikes set up/adjusted helmets, water bottles etc and after a safety talk were off on our first day of riding. We crossed our first covered bridge within a few miles of the start.


The terrain was “undulating” with some interesting climbs and some great downhills. We stopped for a picnic lunch in Vergennes, VT. about 16 miles from the start. The weather was cool but sunny and warmed up gradually through the day. We all stopped in Middlebury to see where some pewter is made at the Danforth Pewter factory. They gave us a short tour. After that it was mostly flat for the rest of the 20 miles after lunch to the Waybury Inn where we will be staying for the next 2 nights.

I will show some Fall Foliage pictures later in the week when I am hoping the colors will be more vibrant. Vermont has had some unseasonably warm weather recently and that has affected how the trees are turning color. So fart they are turning more brown and not the bright reds/yellows/golds that I know they can do.

We had a wonderful dinner tonight in the Waybury Inn and will have breakfast here tomorrow and then we are off for another days ride in the area ending up back here tomorrow.
Stay tuned.