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Buttermilk Falls – A “Hole” Lot of Fun

10 Aug

We recently stopped by the Ludlow Chamber of Commerce to get some information about area hiking trails and events that might peak our interest.  Being that it was a warm, sunny day we asked the woman at the counter if there were any local quarries or swimming holes that would be worth visiting.  She told us about a swimming hole called Buttermilk Falls which happened to be just down the road from downtown Ludlow.  We drove down to check it out and to Ashley’s surprise it was one of the spots that she and her family had come to when she was a little girl.  It definitely was a swim that I wanted to take.

Buttermilk Falls is a popular swimming hole near Ludlow, VT

It was a particularly warm week in Vermont, so a few days later we decided to pack up a lunch and head to the Falls. We arrived just before noon and there were only a few other people there.  I can’t recall the last time that I actually took a swim in a spring-fed pool, and this looked truly inviting.  It was a good-sized swimming area and near the center of the pool the depth reached about eight feet.  The nicest part about it was that the falls dropped directly into this swimming area.  Picturesque.

I had to build up to taking the plunge

The water was a bit chilly, but the sun was beaming and after five minutes of dipping my toes in the water I took the full plunge.  The only word I can use to describe how it felt was refreshing.  Living in New York City for the past ten years I’d only swum a handful of times and this immediately reminded me of how relaxing it can be.  I felt as if I were being cleansed from the stress of a decade in New York.

Ashley floats at the foot of the falls

Ashley and I swam for a couple of hours and had lunch on the rocks with only a handful of people coming and going.  It was a perfect day and we will definitely be returning to this sweet spot very soon.

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Harpoon Brewery BBQ Tasting

2 Aug

Ashley and I were driving around listening to a local radio station when there was an announcement for the 11th Annual Harpoon Championships of New England Barbecue the following weekend at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT.

Forty teams competed for prize money and trophies with a select few selling their award-winning barbecue to the public.  There were great Harpoon varieties on tap for our tasting pleasure, a live band (minus the vocals, which was nice) playing some good music and a sunny, blue sky.  What more could we ask for?  This was exactly what we needed in our first week of transition from New York City.

We strolled around the grounds and had a small sampling which included beans, ribs, pulled pork sliders/sandwich, wings and, of course, chocolate-covered bacon.  I’ll venture to guess that Ashley enjoyed the chocolate-covered bacon the most.  I’m going with the pulled-pork sandwich from, none other than, the Bastey Boys booth.  This booth had a number of different sauces to taste with the sandwich and we sampled as many as we could until the pulled pork ran out.  All in all, we enjoyed everything we sampled.

This was the booth to beat!

Mmmmm....sweet and savory!

Of course, the best part of the day was the tasty brew.  We’ve only been to Harpoon Brewery a couple of times because we usually go to Long Trail Brewery (Bridgewater Corners, VT) instead.  I do have to admit that Harpoon is slowly growing on me.  I tried the Belgian Pale Ale which had a tangy aftertaste (not too bad).  However, I really enjoyed the India Pale Ale and its hopped-up, cheek-puckering aftertaste.  There’s nothing like an hoppy brew!  I am definitely willing to visit Harpoon, again, to give it another shot.

After strolling around for a couple of hours we found a picnic table in the shade.  We sat listening to the live band play some instrumental, classic rock tunes and enjoyed the surroundings.  Sunshine (and shade), tasty beer and easy-going people.  I could get used to this.

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