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Birch Ridge Inn
Fall Foliage Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn foliage
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Warm and (relatively) humid. Temperatures approaching 80..

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Be a Spartan!

Be a Spartan! 

The slopes of the Killington Resort will be full of people this weekend. No; there has not been a surprise snow storm and you missed the first day of ski season. Instead of sliding down snow covered ski trails, the people on the mountain this weekend will be running up and down hill, performing a variety of physical and mental tasks in the process, as part of the annual Spartan Beast Race at Killington, sponsored by Reebok.

The race is the "Spartan Race World Championship". Over 10,000 competitors from around the world are signed up to participate in the weekends events in Killington.

The Spartan Beast Obstacle Course for the race includes:
3.5 miles
13 miles battlefield of insane mud running
21 miles of obstacles designed to test physical strength and mental resolve
A collection of water crossings and other obstacles on the course that racers must navigate. (It's not all that scary. Athletes that cannot swim will be given personal floatation devices to negotiate any water obstacles set up on the course.)

And, if you want to get your children involved in this physically and mentally challenging event, there will also be a 1/2 mile and 1 mile Spartan course set up for Kid's races.

The race starts at 8:00 AM on Saturday Morning, September 20. Waves of 200 racers will be "released" on the course in 15 minute increments.

We hope that all who participate have a great race; and also take a little time out during the day to look at and enjoy the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont which surround the race course.

BTW: Yesterday, Mary and I had the privilege of playing in the "Look Out for Each Other" golf tournament at Green Mountain National Golf Course. Kudo's to Phil and Joy Black, and "Sneaky" Pete Mittendorf and the staff of the Lookout Tavern for hosting a great charity event to benefit many worthy causes in the Killington Community.

Wherever you may be the next few days.. keep it in the fairway...and brush up on your club's local "Fall Leaf Rules" as you hed off to the 1st tee.

Too early to give up shorts.

Too early to give up shorts. 

This morning when I woke up, I could not face to prospect of surrendering my Bermuda shorts for a pair of warm, comfortable, blue jeans. While I look forward to a long, cold, snowy winter, I am just not ready to put on the mid day working uniform that prevails over half of the year at Killington. I just won't do it!

The last couple of days at Killington highlight the coming change in the season. Cool (some visitors from the south would say cold) temperatures have descended across the mountains. Daytime high temperatures have been struggling to get out of the 50's. Night time temperatures have been heading to the low 40's. The weather forecasters are saying it is just a "short term" intrusion by cold air from the north, but we all know it is a harbinger of things to come as the season inevitably progresses from summer to fall.

The cool, damp, weather has basically locked in place the color progression of the local foliage. The temperatures have not been cold enough to make a difference, and the damp atmosphere is still nurturing the forest canopy. The depreciated sunshine caused by thick clod cover will have an effect in the long term, but for the mean time we are in a holding pattern.

Mary's flower gardens know something is going on. The cool moist temperatures have all of her flowers perking up as straight as can be; similar to flowers in a florist's refrigerator. Unfortunately, their days are numbered just like the foliage canopy of the forest. As long as the atmosphere stays moist, it will be difficult for a killing ground frost to develop. But it is only a matter of time.

So where does that leave us?

I will cling to my shorts as long as possible, and then some.

Chef Frizzie in the kitchen has already started to make the seasonal shift on the menu's. This week he has featured a collection of hearty chowders on the menu, aimed at satisfying restaurant guests searching for some solace with the demise of summer.

Never to be out done, of course, Mary has broken out her warm fleeces to wear around the inn. Her, em, "body mass" being a little less than mine, she needs to work a little harder to maintain her core body temperature. While I carry an extra layer of insulation with me at all times, she needs to head to the closet for insulation augmentation.

The cool temperatures we have seen the last couple of days are due to break early next week. Temperatures are due to rise again. While we will only hit the high 60's and low 70's with the next intrusion of warm air, it will feel like summer has returned once again to the Green Mountains, while we wait with anticipation for the return of winter.

Wherever you may be.. keep it in the fairway...And before you hit the course, you may want to look for a wind shirt or a sweater.

Hints of fall appearing around Killington

Hints of fall appearing around Killington 

With Fall foliage season right around the corner, it's time to take out the crystal ball and predict how vibrant Fall 2014 will be in the Green Mountains. Of course it is a swag, but it is also fun to "read the leaves" and guess what Mother Nature has in store.

This summer has been a cool one around Killington. Much to the consternation of Green Mountain Power, our air conditioning has been barely used(bringing a smile to Mary's face when she saw lower electricity bills for the inn).

Cool temperatures were also accompanied by a fairly normal amount of rainfall. We did have a lot of precipitation in May and June. In July and August we fell back to our normal pattern of late afternoon showers, which we are still seeing in early September.

What does this mean for fall foliage?

Basically, the long and short answer is that trees in the area had a fairly low stress growing season. As a result of cool summer temperatures and plenty of moisture the foliage canopy in the mountains around Killington has fully developed; looking quite heathy and robust.

Fall foliage at Killington in "normal" years peaks between October 3rd and October 6th. Lower elevations to the east (Woodstock) and west (Rutland) of Killington tend to peak a week later. North of Killington along the Route 100 corridor sees peak foliage earlier in the season. South and west of Killington along the Route 7 corridor generally peaks later.

Based upon this years summer, I would anticipate that peak color in Killington will fall towards the later end of the average, or even a few days after that.

Color development in the leaf canopy of the Green Mountains, with it's highly diverse combination of deciduous tree species (Oak, Maple, Birch, Popular), is complex. So let's keep the prediction simple.

Throwing a dart at the board, I would anticipate peak foliage colors in Killington between October 5th and October 8th this year. Unscientific, Ouija board analysis of course. Stay tuned to killingtonblog.com for updates as we progress though the season. From here on in, we will be posting a fall foliage picture of the changing colors around the inn every day.

And wherever you may be.. keep it in the fairway...

Mary teeing off on the 7th hole at Green Mountain National Golf Course

Mary teeing off on the 7th hole at Green Mountain National Golf Course 

With last weekend's Killington Wine Festival completed, summer is now kicked into high gear at Killington.

Mary and I have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we have had this week to enjoy several rounds of golf at Green Mountain National Golf course. The course is fantastic shape. The moist weather from the early season has left it green and lush. The mild dry spell we have had the last week has allowed the ground water to be absorbed finally allowing the ball to roll in the fairways. The course is set up beautifully for golf during the month of August.

August... ohhh.. the summer is flying by fast.

The "Cooler in the Mountains" music series kicks off this Saturday, July 26 with concerts from 3:30 to 6:00 PM at the Roaring Brook Umbrella Bars at Killington Resort's K1 Base Lodge. This week the featured band is "Hot Day at the Zoo". The concert series runs through the month of August with new bands each week. After your round of golf, it is so nice to be able to relax in the mountains, have a cool beverage, and listen to some great music.

Mountain biking season has also kicked into high gear at Killington. In addition to full access to Killington Peak from the K1 Gondola, the resort has added new learning and beginner "Flow Trails" on the Snowshed Slope served by the Snowshed Express Quad. Now for summer activities, I do prefer golf to mountain biking. But that being said, when I need a hit of the adrenaline rush of speeding down the mountain during the summer months, hopping on a mountain bike and riding downhill is a surefire way to get it going.

Wherever you may be enjoying your summer.. keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sun screen.

Be a Devil! at the Birch Ridge Inn on the Killington Wine Trail on Friday night.

Be a Devil! at the Birch Ridge Inn on the Killington Wine Trail on Friday night. 

One day and counting until the Killington Wine Festival begins.

We have a weekend full of activities to compliment the Killington Wine Festival at the Birch Ridge Inn.

On Saturday night, of course, we have our annual wine dinner featuring some beautiful wines from Chile and Argentina. Friday night, we are continuing with that theme using some of the wines from Casillero Del Diablo. Chef Stephen Byrne has paired them with some little bites specially prepared to tempt travellers on the Killington Wine Trail. From personal samplings, the items Chef 'Frizzie' is preparing really go great with the wines.

Birch Ridge Inn Killington Wine Trail Menu
Birch Ridge Inn Killington Wine Trail Menu.

The Killington Wine Trail on Friday Night is more or less a drop in type of event. Of course, if you do plan on joining us for dinner on Friday, we always recommend reservations.

We still have a few seats available for the Killington Wine Festival Wine dinner on Saturday evening. Reservations for this special wine dinner are required as seating is limited. To make dinner reservations at Birch Ridge, please call the inn directly at 800-435-8566 or 802-422-4293.

When you come to visit Killington, we look forward to seeing you.

Wherever you may be.. keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sun screen.

A beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon  Don Melchor, Puente Alto Vineyard, Chile

A beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon
Don Melchor,
Puente Alto Vineyard, Chile 

The Killington Wine Festival returns to Killington next weekend from Friday July 18th through Sunday July 20th. During the wine festival, the Birch Ridge Inn is pleased to present a collection of fine wines from Chile and Argentina to please the palates of diners and "samplers" alike.

The Killington Wine Festival begins on Friday evening, July 18th with an estate tasting of fine wines at the Killington Grand Hotel at 6:00 PM and the Killington Wine Trail with wine tastings at all of the restaurants on the Killington Road. The Birch Ridge Inn will be hosting a sampling paring wines with small bites on Friday evening as part of the wine trail. More on the Birch Ridge Inn tasting menu for Friday evening in a subsequent post.

On Saturday afternoon, the Killington Chamber of Commerce hosts the Grand Tasting of the Killington Wine Festival at the K1 Base Lodge of the Killington Resort. Hundreds of wines from all over the world will be presented under grand tents set up at Killington's Umbrella Bars.

Saturday night, the Birch Ridge Inn will be hosting our annual Killington Wine Festival Wine Dinner. We have been sampling wines for months (it's tough work but somebody needs to do it), working to find some interesting wines to present at this years dinner. We have selected some nice wines from Chile and Argentina to present over the weekend.

For Saturday nights wine dinner, the menu includes:

Casillero Del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile and
Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere, Rapel Valley, Chile

Summer Appetizers in the Great Room

Marqués de Casa Concha Chardonnay, Limari Valley, Chile
Pan roasted Chilean sea bass with truffled corn salsa

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina
Carmelized rack of wild boar with fresh blueberries and pan jus over braised eggplant en porto

Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon, Puente Alto Vineyard, Chile
Roasted sirloin of beef with a red wine reduction and chimichurri with wild mushrooms

Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Lourdes Vineyard, Maule Valley, Chile
Warm apple empanadas with whipped mascarpone and a Vermont Cheese Plate

The wine dinner on Saturday will begin at 6:30pm with the first wines in the Great Room of the Birch Ridge Inn. From there, the proceedings will move into the dining room of Birch Ridge at approximately 7:00pm. Mike Andrews from Banfi-Excelsior, the importer of all of the wines served during the evening, will be hosting the dinner with a discussion of each wine that is presented. The price per person is $89.00 not including taxes or gratuities. This price is inclusive of the evening’s wine and dinner.

Reservations for this special wine dinner are required as seating is limited. To make your wine festival dinner reservation please call the Birch Ridge Inn directly at 800-435-8566 or 802-422-4293.

When you come to visit Killington, we look forward to seeing you.

Wherever you may be.. keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sun screen.

The open flags are flying at the Birch Ridge Inn

The open flags are flying at the Birch Ridge Inn 

Tonight is the "official" start of the 17th season of serving dinner to the public at the Birch Ridge Inn.

When we look back, it is hard to fathom everything that has transpired over the last 17 years. But the one thing that we know is that we still love living in Killington and serving the general public as innkeepers.

Over the years the inn has enabled us to meet a lot of very nice people and make a lot of friends. And we renew that adventure tonight when our restaurant opens for the summer season.

Chef Frizzie is back in the kitchen with a wonderful early summer menu.

Dinner service this evening starts as usual at 6:00 PM. We will be serving in both the Great Room and in the restaurant. Reservations are always appreciated. For tonight you can call us at 802.422.4293. For reservations more than 24 hours out, you can make reservations online.

If you are in Killington this weekend, we look forward to seeing you.

Wherever you may be.. keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sun screen.

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