Killington and Woodstock
Killington is a ski resort in the of Vermont famous for being one of the first ski resorts to open and one of the last to close.
The day that I was there the resort had been all-abuzz over the October snow fall and had opened their lifts, preparing to make snow and open their runs. And then ... it was in the 60s. For more than a week. So, yeah, that didn't produce a good snow pack. Although the lifts were still running the day I was there. You can judge the condition of the runs for yourself.
Woodstock is a picturesque town not far away from the hustle of a resort town. Woodstock, however, is the ideal Norman Rockwell kind of town. It has 3 covered bridges (although at least 2 were damaged beyond use during the Irene run-off) and a cute little village atmosphere. It is also the home of Sugarbush Farms. Sugarbush is a challenge to find at the best of times, but now, the bridge that you cross to get there ... is one of the damaged covered bridges. By the time I made it around the detour and to the top of the mountain (and it is at the tip top of the mountain - along a very narrow, very twisty, very potholed road) we were in the gloaming.
Sugarbush is a working farm that sits in a maple grove and produces real Vermont maple syrup and Vermont cheese. As you initially come in to the store you are actually in the wax room. Here employees dip cheeses in their protective wax coatings and label the cheese for sale. One of them will take you over to the tasting boards and let you sample any or all of their 15 specialty cheese. They start with a "light" cheese that is 50% less fat than regular cheese, but it tastes just like regular cheese. It was delicious. The cheese then progress through Cheddars aged from 6 months to 6 years (it gets sharper the longer it ages - I maxed out at 3 years), and then moving through a variety of smoked and flavored cheeses. My favorites were the "light", the smoked w/sage, and the smoked w/onion. Because they dip them in 3 coats of wax they can go unrefrigerated for up to a week, and last longer than store-bought cheese after opening. After the cheese you get to try the pure maple syrup. They range from the first sap of the season and get progressively darker (and in my opinion, more delicious) as the season ends. Everything sold here is locally made and (mostly) delicious! You can even take a stroll through the maple trees.