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written by Colleen Cannon
Many many years ago my best friend, training partner and professional triathlete Jacqueline Shaw (Standford now) invited me to visit her in NYC and fly up to do the big USTS triathlon series race in Shelburne Farms, Vermont. When I say fly up… I mean that her husband was going to fly me in their private plane to the race. We took off and once we hit Vermont, all I could see for miles and miles was GREEN. Vermont’s nickname is the GREEN MOUNTAIN state and they are not kidding!! Vermont’s name comes from the French phrase “vert mont,” meaning “green mountain”
Jacqueline and her husband had a cabin in Warren Vermont which was not far away from the race start and this happened to be the same week end as her 30th birthday.
I arrived to the race start at Shelburne Farms near Burlington Vermont completely AWE STRUCK! I felt like I had been transported to a different planet. The race course was idyllic with beautiful pastures dotted with black and white dairy cows. The 10K run portion was on a bike path lined with sunflowers and I think I had my fastest 10K time of the season. The race finish had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, fresh apple cider and PIE and really great home made cookies.. (WHO DOES THIS??) VERMONT DOES THIS!! I won the race overall and I give all the credit to the beauty of Vermont.
To celebrate the triathlon victory AND Jacqueline’s 30th birthday we made 100 chocolate chip cookies, rode our bikes on the beautiful roads and trails, hiked up the Long Trail, swam in several lakes and then went to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. We have never been good at sitting around.
Although, I do remember sitting for many hours at Ben and Jerry’s headquarters in Vermont because one afternoon they were giving away a free year of Ice Cream to anyone that could come up with a new flavor. I sat there for hours coming up with tons of cool flavor combinations in hopes that I would win. My favorites were:
YU M&M Y – with vanilla, M&M’s, and chocolate syrup
Give me S’More with chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow
Chocolate Volcano which just had chocolate everything and caramel
Since this first experience in Vermont I have gone back to visit this magical state almost every Fall and it is the Women’s Quest staff’s pick as favorite retreat. (even over all the others!!).
It is my special “peaceful place where I restore for the winter months” where I can relax by the lakes, jump in warm swimming holes, hike, mt bike, eat great food, listen to music and ENJOY LIFE!
Here are a few of my favorite things about Vermont:
Swimming in the lakes
Covered Bridges
Postcard views
Red barns
No billboards
Perfectly manicured lawns
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream
Vermont Cabot Cheese
Vermont Maple Syrup
Fresh Clean Air and No Traffic
Mt biking at Trapps Family lodge and Killington
The Stowe Bike path
Turkey Dinners at the churches in the Fall
Leaf Peeping Season
Apple Cider
Stars at night and sometimes the Northern Lights
Friendly down to earth people