The perfect snowflake... Mother Nature Network Photo

We are Grateful For…YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  Of course, we’re always grateful for many, many things every day of the year — but who doesn’t love to take the opportunity to give some extra thanks at Thanksgiving?  Here are ten things we are grateful for… I’m sure you will recognize a few of these as your own.

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Photo Courtesy Mad River Glen Ski Area

ONE… We are grateful to all the families who have made Mad River Barn their home away from home.  We love to hear the stories of families who have been coming to the barn year after year–before it was even a glimmer in our eyes. Some mention 15 years of staying at the inn!  Even with the barn as run down as it was, (days without hot water, broken beds, and other stories we hear) they still called it theirs.  We’re happy to say that all of you have made us feel so welcome as the new owners. And even better, that you love the renovations and modern conveniences as well.

The perfect snowflake... Mother Nature Network Photo

Photo Courtesy of Mother Nature Network

TWO… Snow.  As it’s currently snowing, gearing up for some serious accumulation, we can’t help but be so grateful to that little white crystalline flake.  Without we would not be here. Because the Mad River Barn, first and foremost, became an inn to host skiers. Now, people come year round, but, it all started with the snow. The stillness and calming feeling, a snow covered ground creates, is unsurpassed.  Thank you, beautiful snow.

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THREE…Those who go the extra mile.  Everyone went all out for us this year, as we raced to make sure we opened the Inn the day after Christmas. The architect, builders, family and friends, all pitched in to make sure we opened on time and welcomed guests with a smile (and sheets on the beds).  It’s the little things, like Tom Waters, our website creator, who showed up the day we were opening and pitched in. He lugged logs into the Pub, started the fire, swept the hallway. He didn’t need to drive an hour to do that…but he did…out of the goodness of his heart. It’s people, like Tom, we are grateful for in our lives.

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FOUR…Food. I know, we can’t help it. We are foodies. We are so blessed to be able to bring in chefs who get to work their magic in our kitchen for the pub, restaurant and events (talk about a fringe benefit).  Plus, there are so many yummy restaurants, bakeries and pizza places in the Mad River Valley, that sometimes we forget to leave the area for months at a time.

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FIVE…Vermont’s four seasons.  As many of you have traveled, or lived in locations, that don’t experience all the seasons, we are grateful that we get to see spring, summer, fall and winter, in all its glory. Each bringing their own uniqueness to our home and lives.

SIX…Family and Friends. Who have been patience and understanding in the busiest year of our lives. Our son, who has helped create this amazing inn along side us, our relatives, who came to help us build, and our friends, who know that even though we haven’t called in a while, we still love you… thank you!

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SEVEN…Grateful for new friends too. We’ve been in Vermont for about two years, and feel like we’ve been here forever. We’ve made some amazing new friendships and know that they will be with us for the rest of our lives.

EIGHT…Our community. Fundraisers, school events, inn owner meetings, community farmer’s markets…they bring us all together and remind us how lucky we are to live in a place that we watch out for our neighbors.

NINE…A good sense of humor. We love it when people come to the inn, happy and ready to have some fun — and better yet, if they get Andrew’s dry sense of humor. For a moment, they all look at him quizzically, but then we see the light in their eyes, and the corners of their mouths turn up. Aaaahhh…they got it. So keep the humor coming. Hey, if its’ not fun… well, you know the rest.

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TEN… YOU! We’re doing what we love because of you! It’s not easy to leave everything you know to start running an Inn in a state you didn’t live in. But we did it and we are determined to do what we love and continue to do it, with you as our guests. Thank you…because of you, we are able to do what we want to do…run an Inn in Vermont.

We could keep going because there is so much to be grateful for… but right now, we took this week off to be with our family…so we are grateful for a moment in time.

Until next week.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Our Best,

Heather and Andrew

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Fun Facts about the Green Mountains and the Peaks Near Us

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Now that the snow is flying and your on your way here to ski with friends and family, its important to show them how cool and smart you are. So we’ve provided some interesting tidbits and facts for you to whip out of your head while you’re sitting on the chair lift heading up to some outstanding skiing. Hope we make you look smarter. Come back and sit at the bar in the Pub and keep us informed on how it worked out for you!

So once upon a time 400 million years ago… ohhh? the lifts don’t take that long? Okay… So scientist believe that 400 million years ago the Green Mountains were formed by glaciers, pressing the land up and up, till they had sharp rocky peaks that were 8,000 feet HIGHER than they are today. They are made of up of some of the oldest rocks on Earth. (Now, we believe, that would be a double diamond trail.)

After years and years of wind, water and ice slamming into the peaks they were worn down to what they are today. The Green Mountain Range runs primarily South to North (from Massachusetts border to Quebec border) is approximately 250 miles long with the maximum width of 35 miles. The Green Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains which run from Quebec to Alabama.

Many people believe that all the mountains in Vermont are called the Green Mountains but this is just one of the mountain ranges in the state. It is also called the “backbone” of Vermont, not only because of it’s location (how it physically is located in the middle of the state, looking like a backbone), but because of its importance in our heritage, economy, and environment.  We are lucky to live in the “heart” of the Green Mountains, surrounded by some of it’s most amazing peaks.

The Green Mountain Peaks near us that most are familiar with are Mount Ellen (elevation of 4,083), Lincoln Peak (elevation 3975), and Stark Mountain (elevation 3644). We know these mountains as Sugarbush North, Sugarbush South and Mad River Glen.

The Green Mountain National Forest was created in 1932 to protect spruce, maple, beech and birch trees (we are grateful). It is an important part of our state’s resources as well as protecting our travel and tourism industry.

So, there you are! Some fun facts to sling around.  Ohhh… and if it doesn’t work to make you look smarter…You didn’t hear it from us :)

See you soon!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone, meet Ginger Dots

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If I had to pick one picture that encapsulates what I love about living and working in Vermont…. this one might be it.

Everyone…. meet Ginger Dots.  Ginger Dots is the beloved pet of one of our employees, Heather R., and also the beneficiary of food waste products here at the Barn. Didn’t finish your dinner? Ginger Dots thanks you.  She loves chicken wings, french fries, and pretty much everything, except perhaps lemons.

Why do I like this picture? I like what it stands for.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with people like Heather R, and the richness they lend to our lives.  We feel this way about every person we work with – such an interesting collection of amazing people.  I love the fact that Vermonters care about keeping food waste out of the landfills, and that our friends and neighbors create opportunities (like raising Ginger Dots) for the productive use of waste. I love the rural experience, driving through our gorgeous countryside, and the family farms that dot the hills.

Vermont, we love you, and all the blessings you have to offer….

 

What’s this – another project at the Mad River Barn?

If you’ve driven by the Mad River Barn over the past two weeks, you might be wondering what we’re doing with the construction equipment up at the Annex. Our plans include renovation of 4 of the 8 Annex rooms next spring, and in order to do that, we need to make sure that the building itself is ready to be renovated.

The first priority is drying out the basement so we can put new equipment in there without worrying about corrosion. As many of you may know, the Annex is a really old building, built on an even older loose rock foundation.  The surrounding grade slopes down to the Annex, sending all the mountain run-off water directly toward the basement.  So as a first step, we removed the existing porches (which were in really bad shape), and temporarily supported the porch roof against the building. Then, we trenched around the entire building, installing a full set of foundation and curtain drains.

Installing Drains at the Mad River Barn

Installing Drains around the front of the Annex

Installing Drains at the Mad River Barn

Don’t forget the back!

With the dirt pulled back, we took the opportunity to repair all the cracks in the foundation and fill in the old basement windows that are no longer needed.

Masonry repairs at the Mad River Barn

Repairing the foundation

Then, we reconstructed the porches.

Building porches at the Mad River Barn

Joe and Ray, building porches

Building porches at the Mad River Barn

Look at those awesome hand rails!

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll install new walkways and lighting, and hopefully still have time to install a new concrete staircase to replace the old timber framed stairs leading from the parking lot to the building.

Exciting progress!