First stop – Timberholm Inn, Stowe, Vermont
We settled in at Timberholm Inn about 1 a.m. after flight and weather delays into Boston and on the highway. My first experience with JetBlue was very positive, especially after receiving a voucher for the flight delay. We flew direct to Boston, rented a car and took off for Stowe, Vermont about 8:00 pm. Comfortable, warm and cozy, the inn had a delicious breakfast and a cuddly Golden Retriever. We spent the morning walking around Stowe in a light freezing rain, had a yummy warm lunch at the Cafe on Main, and then drove to our destination, Craftsbury Outdoor Center, just outside Craftsbury, Vermont. You can see some video from that drive in the highlight video at the bottom of this page.
Craftsbury Outdoor Center
We left the cold rain behind in Stowe to find light snow falling by the time we arrived at C.O.C. Our sleeping quarters consisted of an 8×12 room with two beds and dressers, a chair, end table and one window. Basically, a dorm room. It was perfect. We came to ski, not lounge around inside.
Sheree is an accomplished XC skier, but this was only my second go at it, the first being a wonderful week in Montana at Lone Mountain Ranch, where we got to ski in Yellowstone National Park. Absolutely stunning. This trip was pushing the limit of early December snows, but we lucked out (checked the weather forecasts a lot before buying tickets). When we arrived the place was packed! They were finishing up a competition, but after a few more hours it emptied out and over the next 3 days we were one of only 5 people spending the night. During the week various school groups, ski clubs, and competitive ski teams joined us on the trails. The morning of our first day we had a ski lesson, which really helped me get back to form and learn again how to get up.
It was perfect. We came to ski,
not lounge around inside.
The skiing was difficult the next few days because of very low temperatures after the rain/snow mix, but we had a great time. The trail crews work very hard, with the latest equipment, to have groomed trails ready to use each day, You can use the app, TrailHub, to keep current on trail conditions. As you will see in the video, it snowed as I was leaving, and Sheree’ had awesome skiing that afternoon and the following day.
I can’t thank Sheree’ enough for putting this trip together at the last minute. We both needed a break, to get away together, and do some vigorous outdoor exercise in a beautiful place.
From North Carolina, there are two main routes to COC. Fly into Boston (JetBlue direct), and drive a rental car 3 1/2 hours to COC, or, fly into Burlington VT and drive a rental car 1 1/2 hours to COC. Flying to Montreal is also an option when the price is right. We got a package deal (for two)- $190/day included dorm room accommodations with community bathrooms, three hot buffet meals/day, all skiing costs, and one 1-hour lesson. The “dorm”, see the image in the slideshow, has a nice common living area, a sauna, laundry, movie room, game room/ping pong table. If dorm life is not your cup of tea, there are cottages and cabins, of course, for a higher rate. The dining hall, if you went to a summer camp as a child, takes one back to another era, but with really good food, plenty of options, good strong coffee, and bag lunches for the trail. You can use the app, TrailHub, to keep current on trail conditions. I find the COC website a little jumbled, but everything you need to know is there, somewhere.
……really good food, plenty of options, good strong coffee, and bag lunches for the trail.