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Birch Ridge Inn
Snow Stake Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn Snowstake
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
6 1/8 inches...Weather.com predicted a foot! How can the Weather Channel be so wrong.




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Frizzy\'s deer standing watch over the Birch Ridge Inn from the forest behind the inn.

Frizzy's deer standing watch over the Birch Ridge Inn from the forest behind the inn. 

You could not have a better weekend in Killington to explore and enjoy the fall foliage. 3 spectacular blue bird days have brought wide smiles on all of the people who have travelled far and wide to visit with us in the middle of the Green Mountain state. Mother Nature has not let them down!

I took the opportunity over the last several days to take some pictues of the area. Below is a compilation for you, dear blog reader, to enjoy....

Beautiful colors at the Killington Resort, Friday, October 11, 2019.
Beautiful colors at the Killington Resort, Friday, October 11, 2019.

Overlooking the 11th hole at the Killington Resort Golf Course, Sunday October 13, 2019
Overlooking the 11th hole at the Killington Resort Golf Course, Sunday October 13, 2019

Killington Peak framed by foliage along a country road in Killington,  Sunday October 13, 2019
Killington Peak framed by foliage along a country road in Killington, Sunday October 13, 2019

Quite colorful around the Snow Stake at the Birch Ridge Inn,  Sunday October 13, 2019
Quite colorful around the Snow Stake at the Birch Ridge Inn, Sunday October 13, 2019

Trees behind the Birch Ridge Inn,  Sunday October 13, 2019
Trees behind the Birch Ridge Inn, Sunday October 13, 2019

Tree canopy behind the Birch Ridge Inn,  Sunday October 13, 2019
Tree canopy behind the Birch Ridge Inn, Sunday October 13, 2019

True sign the season is changing.  Compressors lined up at the Killington Resort ready to be deployed to the snow-making system.  Sunday October 13, 2019
True sign the season is changing. Compressors lined up at the Killington Resort ready to be deployed to the snow-making system. Sunday October 13, 2019



Wherever you may be, we hope you have had a great fall season. We have a few more colorful weeks in Killington before the start of ski season...but it is close. If you haven't already, beging you ski excercises.... find your equipment, and get ready for opening day. With some help from Mother Nature, it will be soon.....

View from the office window at the Birch Ridge Inn in Killington across the Roaring Brook Valley

View from the office window at the Birch Ridge Inn in Killington across the Roaring Brook Valley 

Fall colors are developing strongly this season around Killington. As you travel around town, most of the trees on the mountains are engaged in the process that transforms them from green to fall brilliance. When peak color will occur in Killington is anyones guess (hint... some time in the first 15 days of October usually), but fall visitors travelling in the area next week will be dazzled by what they find.

22 years ago next month, Mary and I took a leap of faith away from corporate America to start the Birch Ridge Inn in Killington Vermont. To start your own business, you need to be optimistic. You embrace every day. Every day has it's own little reward just waiting for you to discover. Today my reward is the spectacular view in the picture I posted taken from my office window.

If you plan to visit Vermont this fall to enjoy foliage season, don't procrastinate. The time to make your reservations is now. You reward in the Green Mountains of Vermont is waiting for you to discover.

Where ever you may be, enjoy the change in seasons. The pagentry of fall in the eastern United States is spectacular. Get out and enjoy it!

Color developing at Killington.  From 15th tee on Killington Golf Course looking towards Superstar and Skye Peak.

Color developing at Killington. From 15th tee on Killington Golf Course looking towards Superstar and Skye Peak. 

We had the good fortune this morning to be able to get out on the golf course and play. Just 9 holes as we did not have a lot of time. The good people at the Killington Resort Golf Course let us go off the back nine as there were some early morning groups out on the front side. While the golf was, to coin a pun, "not up to par", the very fact we were able to get outdoors was its own reward.

Color is starting to burst out all around Killington. The weekend brought cool temperatures and reduced sunlight due to low clouds.... just the perfect combination to stimulate the trees to begin their seasonal shifts. Color at the inn at the 1900 foot level is developing in the tree tops around the inn. Each day as I take my fall foliage picture I notice more color coming through.

At the mountains of the resort, color is developing in the mid altitudes. Deciduous trees rule the forest below 3500 or so feet, and they are all starting to change. (Above 3500 feet, the forest changes over to dwarf pine trees which basically stay green all year.) Mid mountain color is becoming clear. Cloudy skys over the mountain this weekend have pushed the trees along, resulting in losts of color begining to appear.

While the color is starting to show, we have several more weeks before we are at peak color in Killington. But thats ok... for it is a beautiful show.

Where ever you may be, enjoy the change in seasons. Hopefully you get a chance to get outside and play in the sunshine as well.. and don't forget your sunscreen......

Butterfly fueling up on Zinnia at the Birch Ridge Inn as the southern migration begins

Butterfly fueling up on Zinnia at the Birch Ridge Inn as the southern migration begins 

Todays wet weather aside, now that we are done with Labor Day weekend it is fair to say that signs of fall are all around us in Killington.

The early "signal" trees in the area are begining to show faint signs of color. Flights of migratory gease are honking overhead on a regular basis. Humming birds are continously topping up at the hummingbiurd feader. Monarch butterflies are everywhere visiting the flower gardens Mary created all around the inn. It will not be long before the signs of fall become clear to all.

Killington Resort Sunday September 1, 2019.
Killington Resort Sunday September 1, 2019. Here is a reference picture of the resort to compare to as fall progresses.

It was a beautiful Labor Day weekend in Killington with sunny skies and early fall temperatures. The resort overall was busy with visitors inspecting the construction taking place for the new K1 Killington Base Lodge. Many guest were taking the gondola to Killington Peak for spectacular late summer vistas. Mountain biking and the Killington Adventure center were busy. We even had a small wedding take place at the inn with the flower gardens as a backdrop for the exchanging of vows.

High school friends come to visit.
High school friends come to visit. I can't believe it been 49 years!

With the good weather, we were busy at the inn. A high schol friend, Tom, and his wife Valerie joind us for the weekend, riding up to the inn from Massachusetts on Tom's Harley with a custom trailer in tow. It was great seeing an old friend at the inn from high school... But it is very sobering to realize that we graduated 49 years ago... Where did the time go!

Today, of course, like most of New England it is a little wet. Showers have overtaken the area, which is a good thing. August has been a dry month, so a little rain will help the local foliage and the gardens. Future precipitation will be white soon enough, but we don't need to rush the seasons just yet. There is plenty of time for several more rounds of golf and some mountain hikes before we need to bring out the winter coats.

Wherever you may be this week, enjoy late summer. For those on the coast, stay safe with Dorian on the prowl. Everyone else, hit the ball straight, and don't forget your sun screen.

Flowers in full bloom in the gardens at the Birch Ridge Inn

Flowers in full bloom in the gardens at the Birch Ridge Inn 

That was a quick summer.......

It seems like summer was unusually short this year at Killington. In late October, we will have owned the property we call the Birch Ridge Inn for 22 years. Each summer over that time has been unique... This one for some reason has seemed short.

Our summer activities have been taking place at regular intervals. Mary has been able to take her Mustang out for rides pretty much every week. We have been golfing, mostly at the Killington Resort Golf Course, at least once a week. Hiking the mountain has taken a back seat this far, but even that we have done a couple of times.

Golfing with the Bagel on the 16th tee at the Killington Resort Golf Course.
Golfing with the Bagel on the 16th tee at the Killington Resort Golf Course.

The Killington Resort itself is going crazy with construction. The new lift at North Ridge is nearing completion. New Tunnels are being built based upon the plan outlined last year. And the big news is what's happening at the K1 Base Lodge.

Parking at K1 is a challenge.  But the Resort has made sure that the signage is clear to help guests maneuver through the construction.
Parking at K1 is a challenge. But the Resort has made sure that the signage is clear to help guests maneuver through the construction.

Construction began in July, after permits were awarded by the State of Vermont, on a new K1 Base Lodge. The overalll project will take about 2 years, with outside construction taking place this and next summer. This summers work is to create a new entrance building in front of the existing K1 base lodge, and to organize all of the infrastructure around the facility.

Concrete foundation work underway at K1.
Concrete foundation work underway at K1.

In very short order after the permits were awarded, excavation work began at K1. The area in front of the existing base lodge is loaded with infrastructure ranging from simple drainage culverts to power, sewer, water and the like. The area in front of the existing lodge has been excavated out to lay the footers for the new front building. Over the last week, re-bar has been woven and covered with concrete to build the basement floor of the new building. Forms were being erected on Friday to begin pouiring concrete for the new foundation walls. And excavators are still moving every which way at the construction site digging out and filling in spots in an impressive ballet of heavy machinery.

Currently the resort is being coy about the extent of the work to be completed this summer. From the plan, it is thought that the structure of the front building will be closed in before winter, to allow finish work to take place protected from the elements. The FIS Women's World Cup is returning again to Killington this year over Thanksgiving weekend. The resort is openly saying to the public that parking may not be available at K1 for the event. But that is still several months away and a lot of dirt can be moved between now and then.

The next big event to come to Killington in two weeks is this years edition of the Spartan Beast Race. It will be enlightening to see how the resort handles the 15000 people who usually turn up for that event with the construction going on at K1. But, after 22 years full time in Killington, the one thing I can say with some clarity is that the resort does know how to handle large amounts of people, so I am very confident that the events planned while the new K1 base lodge is being built will go off just fine.

To our friends in the south east looking at Hurricane Dorian spinning of the coast, stay safe. To everyone else, have a great Labor Day weekend. Enjoy the last weeks of summer while we witness Mother Nature cycle through the seasons once more at Killington.

Chef Justin making dinner rolls for the start of the 21st season serving dinner at the Birch Ridge Inn

Chef Justin making dinner rolls for the start of the 21st season serving dinner at the Birch Ridge Inn 

Sampling time is over. It's time to go public.

The restaurant at the Birch Ridge Inn reopens to the general public this coming weekend. On Saturday June 29th, the dining room at the inn will re-open for dinner guests.

The kitchen staff has been back at work the last month identifying new dishes for our menu for our 21st season serving dinner guests. This week their attention changed from sampling food dishes to a production environment to get ready for the re-opening.

Opening menu for the 21st dinner season at the Birch Ridge Inn, Killington.
Opening menu for the 21st dinner season at the Birch Ridge Inn, Killington.

Our schedule for the coming week is fairly simple. Once we get through the weekend, we will be serving dinner Tuesday through Saturday starting at 6. Next week the restaurant will be closed on Thursday July 4th to celebrate Independence day. But other than that, we will be open and ready to cook for you.

Stop "Inn" if your are at Killington.

And even if you are not at Killington, get outside and enjoy the early summer. And don't forget your sunscreen......

Bill raising the flag at the inn to start summer

Bill raising the flag at the inn to start summer 

Spring never lasts long enough!

Coming off a busy winter, there is always work to be done around the inn. And that's a good thing. Simply put, if no one is using it, it's not going to break. And since the inn is a business, it is good when things get used. Add in some R and R time to the mix of fixing things at the inn, and spring goes bye in a flash.

While Mary worked on the gardens around the inn, Chef Justin and I concentrated on refurbishing the kitchen in preparation for our 21st season operating the restaurant.

The contents of the inn's kitchen emptied into the restaurants dining room
The contents of the inn's kitchen emptied into the restaurant dining room.

To do the work that needed to be done, we had to move the contents of the inn's kitchen into the restaurant. This freed up a whole bunch of space to allow work to get done.

Old floor at servers station in kitchen stripped of linoleum tiles prior to being repaired.
Old floor at servers station in kitchen stripped of linoleum tiles prior to being repaired.

About 2/3rds of the linoleum tiles in the kitchen along with portions of the sub-floor were shot. While we were prepping the entire kitchen to get a fresh coat of epoxy paint, we pulled the floor and did the necessary repairs.

New floor at servers station prior to re-installation of equipment.
New floor at servers station prior to re-installation of equipment.

After washing all the walls and ceiling, we applied white epoxy paint to all of the painted surfaces. We put down new linoleum tiles, and coated the floor with 4 coats of sealer. Once the floor was buffed out, all the kitchen equipment was re-installed. We can cook again!

Kitchen equipment moved out of the restaurant back into the kitchen.
Kitchen equipment moved out of the restaurant back into the kitchen.

Carpet and tables moved back into the restaurant to make it ready to receive guests.
Carpet and tables moved back into the restaurant to make it ready to receive guests.

With all of the equipment moved back into the kitchen, the restaurant floor needed a little love. Mary and Nicole worked on it for a few days to clean and polish it before putting the carpet and all of the tables back in place. With all of the work done to the restaurant completed, it was now time for some vacation.

The "Holiday" part of our spring saw us visiting the moms in Massachusetts before taking a "City Fix" in the "Big Apple". It has been a while since we had the opportunity to visit New York City, so we played the tourist game to the hilt.

Down on a pier on the Hudson River
Down on a pier on the Hudson River.

Lady Liberty
Lady Liberty

One World Trade Center near Wall Street
One World Trade Center near Wall Street.

While in New York City we walked an average of 9 miles a day. We love to walk in cities when we visit them; it gives one a real sense of the city. We were staying at a nice hotel 4 blocks south of Times Square. Our travels took us as far north as the Metropolitan Museum in Central Park down to the southern tip of Manhattan at Battery Park. In between we visited the previously mentioned MET, MOMA, Central Park Zoo, St Patricks Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and the "Top of the Rock", Times Square, Macys, Wall Street, NYSE, 9/11 Museum, Battery Park, Statue of Liberty, Intreped Sea, Air and Space Museum, The Highline, Hudson Yards, and so many other places in between. In our prior, pre-innkeeping, lives we had visited NYC many times on business. Usually quick dashes in for meetings or functions. So it was really nice to just plunk ourselves down in the city and take in the sites.

But all play and no work is not in our DNA, so after what seemed like a very short week, we headed back to Vermont and the inn for our final big project of the spring: renovating the owners quarters.

Last year we completely re-did the bathroom in the owners quarters of the inn; turning the existing space into an empty box and installing new flooring, sheet rock, wainscoting, and fixtures. This year it was the owners quarters proper that received our love.

Prepping to paint the owners quarters of the inn.
Prepping to paint the owners quarters of the inn.

How do you paint a 16 foot peak with a 12 foot step ladder? With a brush on a pole of course.
How do you paint a 16 foot peak with a 12 foot step ladder? With a brush on a pole of course.

We de-camped from the owners quarters to several guest rooms; sleeping in one, storing furniture in another. With the rooms cleared, the process began to repair and repaint all of the walls including the kitchen, bedroom, and living room (with the vaulted ceiling no less). With the exception of a couple of trim pieces, everything is now put back together. We have moved back in to our home in the middle of the inn. While we are still waiting for some new furniture we ordered to complete the overall renovations, it is good to be home.

With our spring projects behind us, the inn as re-opened for guests. This weekend we have many guests in the inn who are either attending weddings in the area, or participating in the Vermont Adaptive Charity Ride. They have gotten a great weekend for both.

The chefs are back in the kitchen working to perfect new dishes we will be putting on the menu during the summer. More on the restaurant re-opening in posts later this week.

And what ever you may be doing, as the weather turns nice in the early summer, get outside and enjoy. Oh... and don't forget your sun screen.





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