Hiking the Long Trail? No, I’ll Just Drink It

Well, I made it to the Health and Fitness Center this morning for a 4 mile run on the treadmill.  Running on the treadmill is pretty boring but it was too chilly/rainy to run outside.  The facility is pretty big, much bigger than I expected.  It not only has indoor and outdoor tennis courts, but a racket ball court too.  The cardio and weight lifting equipment was limited, but there was a snack machine filled with chips and candy! Weird!

Is this what my gym is missing??

A yoga class had started like 10 minutes prior to me get there, and the spin class was at 9 so I missed that too.  I had planned to go back tonight to hit up the pool and jacuzzi but it closed at 6! AND it is closed tomorrow for a cleaning or something.  In the end, I was happy with my decision to run 🙂  I never regret working out after the fact, but almost always regret NOT working out.

Boooooo 😦

Jack and I stopped in a few stores downtown in Woodstock Village before lunch.  There really wasn’t much going on!

For lunch Jack and I met my friend Holly and her fiance Rick at the Long Trail Brewery.  The Brewery was located on a river (I feel like everything in this state is located on a river) and had a large outdoor deck.  There was a great selection of music playing too: The Doors, The Stones, and Dave Matthews Band.  I kept thinking to myself that Long Trail is the perfect summer day drinking spot! Since Jack and I got there early we were able to take the self-guided brewery tour.

The space for the self-guided tour was very small!  It was just a walkway above the factory floor.  It had a very grainy/sweet smell too. I remember going to the Bud factory in NH when I was younger and thinking how terrible the smell was, and I wonder: does the Long Trail Brewery smell good to me because I am a beer drinker and I couldn’t appreciate the smell when I was ten? 🙂 Hmmmm,  I’m guessing yes.

It was Sunday and they were not making any beer but on a beer-making day each person bottles 5,000 bottles of beer per shift.  That is 120,000 bottles of beer per shift total!

There are 4 main ingredients in Long Trail beer.

  1. Water- beer is 95% water and Long Trail has a subterranean well that is 200 feet below, and that is where they get the water to make their beer!
  2. Hops- This is the spice in the beer that balances the sweetness of the malt.  Hops actually grow on vines and there are many different varieties that can be used to make beer
  3. Yeast- This converts sugar into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and heat which ferments the beer
  4. Malted Barley- All beer uses barley, Long Trail uses malted barley to add color and flavor to the beer

By the end of the tour I couldn’t wait to try some of their beer.  I know that Long Trail is available in Massachusetts but there was something about being at the brewery that made the beer taste better!  I started with the Blackbeary Wheat (yes, beary, not berry).  It was the lightest of all their beers and had the slightest hint of berry flavor.  This is a perfect summer beer!  I also loved they had Trivial Pursuit cards in pint glasses on the counter!  The only other place that had that was The Granary, our college bar.  Awwww, memories!  I happen to not be so good at trivia, but I enjoyed having them there anyway.

Jack and I also split a plate of nachos which were soooo good!  They had just melted cheese and jalapenos with a side of salsa and they were perfect with my beer!

this is the "Self Portrait" setting on my camera!

When Holly and Rick got there we ordered another round of drinks and this is where I got crazy- haha 🙂  I ordered their 6 beer sampler which had all 5 of their regular beers and one special beer served in 6, 4-ounce juice glasses.  To top it off they were served in a cupcake pan!  Whoever thought that using a cupcake pan as a beer holder should have their picture hanging on the wall of the brewery, so genious!

Now, they mean business with this sampler because there was even a specific order in which I was to sample each.  I started from upper left to right, then lower left to right.

  1. Blackbeary Wheat- light, slightly fruity, delicious!
  2. Belgian White- light and yummy too
  3. Long Trail Ale- a little darker, tasted like beer
  4. Pale Ale- good!
  5. Double Bag- had over 7% alcohol, wowzas!
  6. Traditional IPA-  mmmmm

Each beer was really delicious, but since I had nachos and a chicken sandwich I had a hard time finishing them all.  But I did…

it was hard to drink them on a full stomach but not impossible!

For lunch I had a super spicy blackened chicken wrap that had a pickle and lettuce inside.  It had a symbol of a hiker next to it which meant it was a healthy option.  I was happy with myself that despite drinking beer I opted for a healthy option- go me!  I did have some fries too!  Food was really good!

After lunch, Holly and Rick took us to see Thundering Falls, which is an accessible waterfall along Route 4.  It was accessible because it had a wooden trail built to bring you from the road to the falls.  The drive there was scenic, through the mountains and along (yet another!) river!

Thundering Falls is actually a part of the Long Trail, which is a hiking trail that shares about 100 miles of terrain with the Appalachian Trail.  It is the oldest long distance hiking trail in the U.S. and is believed to be the inspiration for the Appalachian trail.  It runs 227 miles from Massachusetts through the length of Vermont to Canada.  The trail is very rugged and crosses the highest peaks throughout Vermont, and did I mention it was over 200 miles long?  There are people who actually hike the ENTIRE Long Trail!  Like, they sleep in the woods and carry 100lb backpack of food and stuff.  Wow!  I am getting to like the outdoors but I’d much rather drink the Long Trail than hike it!  {Source 1, Source 2}

Are you a hiker?  Where are your favorite spots to go and how often do you go?

This is the only part of the Long Trail I'd hike!

It was really great seeing Holly and catching up!  I haven’t seen her since this summer.  She and Rick got engaged at Christmas and I hadn’t gotten a chance to even hear the proposal story until today.  Her ring is beautiful!  Congrats again girl and thanks for being a great tour guide 😉 I love seeing old friends and catching up and feeling like you’ve never lost touch.  Seeing Holly helped make up for the lack of a tropical beach on my vacation!

Holly and I

On the way back to the Inn we stopped at the Woodstock Farmer’s Market for some local goodies.  It was just like a supermarket at home, except more expensive.  They had bakery fresh desserts.  Jack and I got a couplde chocolate chip cookies and I got a snickerdoodle cookie.  I also got a bottle of wine to drink when I get home. OOOOO and I got two bags of Vermont made, all-natural granola.  I read somewhere that if sugar is on of the first three ingridients listed then there is too much sugar in the product, and that is what the problem is with most granolas.  We think we are being earthy crunchy and healthy by mixing it with yogurt but that isn’t always the case!  The first three ingridients of the Woodstock Granola are:

  1. Whole Grain Oats
  2. Honey or pure Maple Syrup
  3. Expeller Pressed Canola Oil (this oil uses a “cold press” method to extract the oils, which yeilds the purest flavor and the most nutrients, and not chemical solvents are used like with regular oils {Source 3}

Woodstock Granola

Each bag has a serving size of 1/2 cup and has: 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 4 grams of dietary fiber .  This granola will compliment the berries I put in my yogurt nicely!

What are your favorite healthy, but filling, snack?  Do you make them from scratch or buy them at a store?

We napped again and slept through dinner and now everything is closed!  I might have to crack open the granola tonight!

Peace out

~L

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