As November arrives and shorter days quietly dim, we recognize that our sunflowers are long gone and leaves have fallen from the trees, carpeting the grass. Our geese, heading towards their southern winter homes, are framed by evening skies and pearly dusks. I step outside onto the porch and gaze east towards the Quechee Gorge. Everywhere I look, my eyes feast upon beautiful views of the hillside from across the Gorge. I do miss the autumn colors but no matter what season, our back roads and pristine villages will always delight and impress. How can you not love this time of year...
Here's a quick look at just some of the past, present, future events and happenings in our area:
HERE WE COME A-WASSALING
Woodstock, Vermont's 34th Annual Wassail Weekend!
Filled with twinkling lights, Historic decorated homes, Breakfast with Santa, Billings Farm Decorated in 19th century holiday spirit and Sleigh bells, our annual Wassail Weekend is not to be missed! The horse parade through the village of Woodstock is a weekend highlight. This weekend appeals to all ages. It's festive and fun and a great way to kick off the holiday season. Be sure to make your bed and breakfast reservations early. The Inn at Clearwater Pond will be geared up and ready to welcome guests to our home. We will be brewing our own recipe for Wassail - and it is delicious and perfect for this festive holiday weekend. We are conveniently located under 15 minutes from the village center so make your reservations soon.
DATES ARE DECEMBER 7, 8, 9, 2018
FLY ME TO THE MOON
A Backyard Lift-Off with Balloons of Vermont
Several of our guests enjoyed an exciting and scenic balloon flight over and down into the Quechee Gorge. With the Gorge located directly behind our property, it provides the ultimate location for a spectacular flight. Under the supervision of our pilot, Darrek, ground spectators and passengers helped inflate the envelope (fabric). Once fully inflated with passengers onboard, spectators watched in amazement as the massive balloon gracefully ascended and floated skybound. The balloon soared above the Gorge and then slowly descended to its bottom. Darrek maneuvered the basket onto some rocks as the river gently trickled underneath. It then popped up and continued its journey over green pastures, ponds, streams and more rivers before gently setting down amongst a beautiful field of wildflowers. The chase crew arrived soon thereafter and passengers enjoyed a "celebration" with pilot and crew. All were treated to delicious hors d'oeuvres and champagne, followed by the Balloonist's Prayer. Recommendation: put this thrilling experience on the top of your bucket-list - you'll be talking about this and reliving memories for a long, long time...and remember, our pilot flies year round!
SHE THINKS MY TRACTOR'S SEXY
Gateway To Vermont’s Rural Heritage - Billings Farm
Billings Farm & Museum is just a scenic stroll from the village center of Woodstock, Vermont, and is regarded as one of the finest outdoor history museums in the country. Combining a fully-operating Jersey dairy farm with educational exhibitsand interactive programs and events, Billings Farm & Museum is committed to providing education and enjoyment to visitors of all ages.
From meeting our award-winning Jersey dairy cows, draft horses, and sheep, to exploring the carefully restored 1890 Farm House, sampling Billings Farm cheddar, and taking part in hands-on activities, there really is something for everyone.
Billings Farm was established in 1871 by Frederick Billings, a native Vermonter known for his work as a lawyer, railroad builder, and pioneer in scientific farm management and reforestation. Billings set out to make his 270-acre farm a model dairy operation for farmers in the region, founded on the principles of efficiency, sustainability, and responsible land use.
In 1884 Frederick Billings hired George Aitken, an innovative and successful professional farm manager to oversee his Woodstock operation. Aitken imported cows from the Isle of Jersey, hundreds of Southdown sheep, Berkshire hogs, and other livestock. By 1890, the year that Frederick Billings died, the Billings Farm had grown to nearly 1,000 acres and was widely acknowledged for the superior genetics of its premier Jersey herd as well as an extensive butter-making operation that produced 5,000 pounds of high-quality butter annually. Three years later, at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, cows from the Billings herd took top honors in the dairy division, with Lily Garfield designated “Champion Heifer of the World.”
The herd’s performance in Chicago was the victorious culmination of Billings Farm’s early years. Following George Aitken’s sudden death in 1910, the farm experienced several periods of change, including a successful commercial dairy operation beginning in the 1948. In the mid-1970s, the farm resumed breeding championship-caliber Jersey cows. A string of regional show winnings throughout the 1970s and ’80s culminated when Billings Top Rosanne won top honors in both American and Canadian competitions, designating her the finest Jersey in North America.
Owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation, Inc., a non-profit educational institution founded by Laurance and Mary Rockefeller in 1968, the Billings Farm & Museum was established in 1983 to preserve the historic Billings Farm as well as the character and heritage of rural Vermont.
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
A Dining Experience In The Quechee/Woodstock Area
The objective at Mangalitsa is to offer a complete dining experience where hospitality and cuisine work hand in hand. Their standard for sourcing the many ingredients that find their home on their menu is simple: local. By relying on their extensive network of small producers in the Upper Valley and cultivating relationships, they can offer an ever-changing, seasonal variety of small plates and shared entrees, served a la carte or prefix and accompanied by a unique wine and beer list and house cocktails.
The Daily Catch Woodstock
Woodstock's newest restaurant opened up in September 2018. It is temporarily closed for renovations but will re-open in January 2019. This restaurant offers New England's finest seafood and pasta and we welcome them to our town. This smaller 35 seat restaurant offers diners the same great flavors and quality as its Boston-based counterparts. We are all anxiously awaiting its re-opening!
BORN TO RUN
JUNE 2019 (registration opens Dec. 3, 2018 at 7 pm ET & you'll have approximately 14 minutes.......
The Inn at Clearwater Pond hosted 4 runners this year: Kirk Brungard of Washington, DC and Joseph Suazo of Espanola, NM. Also Deepak Raghavan of Atlanta, GA who finished at #373, time 1:48 and Julie Brungard of Washington, DC, who finished at #719, time 1:57. Congratulations to all 1,895 runners and especially to our special 4 - well done!
Also, congratulations to Ben Szuhaj of Hanover, NH who finished #1, time 1:10:09 - Prescott Leach of Waltham, MA who finished #2, time 1:14:15 - Keith Drake of Brookline, MA who finished #3, time 1:14:56
Entry Fees and Registration for 2019
- Registration for the 2019 Race opens on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 7 p.m. ET. Please note that the 2018 race sold out in 14 minutes!
- Registration is by first-come, first-serve, NOT a lottery system
- Registrants will receive confirmation emails
- Registration is by VISA/MC .
- The entry fee is $75, plus a processing fee
- There is no wait list
- The 2018 race SOLD OUT in 14 minutes
THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
The Killington Wine Festival has earned a reputation for being one of the Killington region’s signature summer events. Over the years, the festival has grown immensely and now features more than 500 wines from a collection of over 40 vineyards around the world. Guests enjoyed a nice July weekend tasting fine wines with Killington Peak and the Green Mountains of Vermont serving as a scenic backdrop.
SWEET SOUL MUSIC
MUSIC IN THE MOUNTAINS
CLASSICAL CONCERT SERIES
For 36 years, internationally renowned musicians have performed in the Music in the Mountains chamber music series with the beauty of the Green Mountains as a backdrop. These distinguished artists also spend the summer at Killington teaching and mentoring young musicians who perform in the Young Artist Concerts Series. Be sure to plan a visit next July 2019!
UP, UP AND AWAY...
Once again, the skies over Quechee and the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire were filled with hot air balloons, ushering in the annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Craft & Music Festival, the longest running hot air balloon festival in New England. With 5 scheduled flights over the course of the weekend, our perfectly beautiful weather allowed all 5 flights to lift-off , much to the delight of all spectators. Our festival grounds welcomed many, many guests, some who travelled great distances to attend. All enjoyed continuous music and entertainment for all ages and over 60 craft artisans and commercial vendors. There were activities for children and of course, festival food with local healthy options, a beer and wine garden and much more.
The Inn at Clearwater Pond backs up to the Quechee Gorge. All balloon pilots navigate towards the gorge. And when air currents cooperate, they fly over and descend into the gorge - truly a spectacular flight! We are located only 1-1/2 miles from the festival grounds. If you missed this fun weekend this year, be sure to mark your calendars for 2019. And remember - this fun and very colorful weekend takes place here in Quechee every Fathers' Day Weekend. If you would like to book for next year or if you have questions, please email or give us a call
FISH OUT OF WATER
Once again the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce partnered with The Woodstock Rotary Club for the annual "Lobsters on The Green". There was live music, cash bar and of course, lobster! The town green was packed with locals and visitors and everyone ate, drank, listened to music, danced and enjoyed a wonderful evening under the stars. Be sure to mark this event on your calendar for next year!
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND
© Copyright Inn at Clearwater Pond | Physical Address: 984 Quechee-Hartland Road, Quechee, VT | Mailing Address: 984 Quechee Hartland Road, White River Junction, VT 05001 | Several photographs courtesy of Shawn Braley Photography and Alex Montano