An Icy Adventure, All In A Day: Upper Valley VT-NH
In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard has iron, water like a stone…….La la la… Aaaaah, winter is on, we’re in the doldrums, time to get moving and take advantage of it all. So, what’s on for today? A frozen adventure, made all the better if the winter’s been super gloomy, it rained all last week, it’s too icy for a walk, and we’re never going to get to spring. Ice? Brrrrr. Grrrrr.
Toss your trekking poles in your trunk, a water bottle, gloves, and hat. Time to get going….
Dust off your ice skates
‘Cos this will be better than any pond skate you could ever dream up. Where? Lake Morey, right off I-91 in Fairlee VT. Lake Morey has the the longest ice trail in the country—4.5 miles—and it’s cleared most days.
A few FYI’s before you scamper out the door. Check in with Lake Morey Resort for conditions before you get underway. They have rental skates, too, if you don’t have your own.
A more adventurous option for skate rentals? If you’re coming to Fairlee from the south (e.g. from Hanover, White River Junction, or Lebanon), drive Route 5 along the Connecticut River instead of I-91. Stop in at Nordic Skater north of Norwich VT. This route is considerably more scenic than the interstate.
Figure skates’ll work, speed skates, and hockey skates too, but the skates most popular these days for basic Lake Morey-style skating involve clipping an NNN cross-country ski boot onto a blade. Many skaters use poles!
Skate up an appetite…
Then get lunch at Fairlee Diner. Friendly hometown diner, as you’d expect in Vermont. Cozy, cute, and tasty.
Shop Boots and Other Stuff
At Farm-Way. This started as a mill, slap next to the rail line just south of Bradford VT. It morphed: you might just spend hours here. Thousands of pairs of boots for future muddiness, along with outdoor gear and brand-name apparel, pig feed, fencing, and dog toys. Getting around the store is half the adventure. Farm-Way is thumbs up for penny-pinched oglers with great self-control:lots to see and drool over. For boots, definitely worth the $$$$ for quality and sturdiness and the sheer volume of different styles you might like to try on. Alas, Farm-Way is at least three thumbs down for budget-challenged outdoor geeks.
Budget-attractive add-ons: ♦ the village architecture in Orford NH; ♦ Chapman’s Country Store in Fairlee VT; ♦Keep an eye out for hawks on I-91.
In a Hurry?
Maybe you’d like a winter mini-adventure in the Upper Valley VT-NH instead of a whole-day’s outing? Click over to Get Snowy, Quick & Healthy: Upper Valley VT-NH.
Photo credits. Featured image, Ice Skating ducks: CC BY 2.0 by Mark Tighe via Flickr. Top photo: uncertain original source, but maybe here. Ice Skating on a lake: CC BY 2.0 by Alan Cleaver via Flickr. Egg sandwich for lunch: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Connie Ma via Flickr. Pumpkin pie slice: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Becky Stern via Flickr. In the land of UGG boots:CC BY-SA 2.0 by Kristina D C Hoeppner. Darn Tough fixture: generic. Hot chocolate-homemade café: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Zach Copley via Flickr. Fairlee Diner and Farm-Way, ©DustyCarMuddyBoots.com, all rights reserved.