We had made reservations to spend a couple days and nights in Stowe, Vermont where we wanted to check out the mountain biking trails. We left New Jersey on Saturday, October 4 to get a head start on our drive to Stowe. We didn’t want to lose a whole day of biking by driving the entire distance to Stowe from NJ in a single day. So we drove to Mt. Snow Vermont and spent the night in a cozy bed and breakfast before heading over to Stowe.
On Sunday, Oct 5, on our way from Mt. Snow to Stowe we stopped at President Calvin Coolidge’s family homestead in Plymouth, Vermont where he was born and buried. His homestead is located in an absolutely stunning part of Vermont. While it was very cool to see President Coolidge’s homestead Tim had an ulterior motive for the visit. He had been there before and knew the Plymouth Cheese Factory is also located there. The Plymouth Cheese Factory was founded by John Coolidge, the President’s father, in 1890. The factory was operational until 1934 when it had to close due to a milk shortage that occurred during the Great Depression. The factory was re-opened in 1960 by John Coolidge, the sole surviving child of President Calvin Coolidge. From 1960-1998 John Coolidge re-introduced Plymouth Cheese, and at the age of 92 sold the cheese factory to the State of Vermont. The recipe for what became Plymouth Cheese arrived with the first European settlers to the New World. They are still using the same recipe and process that they developed back in 1890 and let me tell you it is some very tasty cheese! Plymouth VT is a very worthwhile place to visit - not only is it spectacularly beautiful but if you like U.S. history you can learn some interesting things about President Coolidge while snacking on some equally famous and very yummy cheese!
After purchasing a suitable quantity of presidential cheese we continued north along rt. 100 to another beautiful place Tim spent time in; Rochester, VT. We stopped at a bike shop in Rochester for two reasons. We needed some cool weather leggings for biking since we forgot to bring ours and also to see if we could find a good place to mountain bike on our way to Stowe. We scored in that I found some bike pants and the bike shop owner directed us to some bike trails near Blueberry Lake in Warren, Vermont. We were looking forward to getting on our bikes and exploring some new trails. Shamus seemed to be equally excited about getting out of the truck to run along and explore with us. The trails were a lot of fun - very flowy descents with good switch backs to climb back out. Unfortunately, Tim had a fall and hurt is elbow and wrist. Bummer! Nothing exciting, he simply fell over while stopped. Dumbass!
Monday morning we visited the iRide Bike Shop as they are the place to go in Stowe for information about the area’s bike trails. We were able to ride the Cady Hill Forest Trail system from their parking lot. Stowe is definitely putting some work into building nice trails. They had a decent trail map and the trails we rode were well marked making them easy to navigate. Two trails, Florence and Snake were so new that the person providing us with trail information at iRide had to draw their location in on the trail map. Both of the new trails had been machine built and were surprisingly well packed down in the short time since they were cut. Florence is a one-way very fast descent through the woods. I had a huge smile on my face when I arrived at the bottom of the Florence trail! Tim did too but couldn’t ride as aggressively as he wanted due to the injury to his elbow and wrist. “Snake” was a great climb with plenty of switchbacks. We rode most of the Caddy Hill Forest Trails and ended our day doing another descent back down Florence! Fun! Fun! Fun!
On Tuesday, October 7, we left Stowe. We drove the short distance to Burlington, VT because I had never been there and was interested in seeing it. We parked down on the waterfront of Lake Champlain and walked around town and did a little window shopping on Church Street. We didn’t stay long as we wanted to get over to East Burke, VT – our favorite place for mountain biking and skiing. It was good to be back at the Bike Barn and to have some time with our good friends Charles and Tabitha.
The new Tiki Bar was a blast and Robert and Rachel’s Food Truck which is parked right next to the Tiki Bar served up some delicious food!
Tim and I did one more ride at Kingdome Trails on Monday morning, October 13th before driving to the Reilley family camp in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. We had a couple of quiet days puttering around the camp. We went for a bike ride at Bond Brook in Augusta but had to cut the ride short after about 3 miles as I started blowing out the spokes on my rear tire.
Tim’s four brothers were joining us for the weekend to close up the camp until next spring. Mark, John, and Rob arrived late Friday afternoon and Doug arrived late that night. We soon opened up our Tiki Bar. We ate some good food, got the camp buttoned up for the weekend, and had tons of fun with the brothers!