I have always struggled with a word definition that actually uses the word you are looking to understand as part of the definition! Alchemy is defined as a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. An alchemist is a person who practices alchemy.
Springtime is approaching, I can feel it in the air, with many signs surrounding our South Pomfret home. The arrival of the Red-winged blackbird, an otter sighting during our early morning run, longer demonstrations of daylight. The Appalachian Trail access, just down the road, shows boot prints indicating it is being employed. Spring’s magical promise of renewal is making itself known. My sister informed me that the daffodils are already blooming in Atlanta…alchemy. Training is in high gear for those Boston Marathon bound this April…alchemy. I know the Boston Marathon is not technically part of nature but that April day sure is significant and a decided marker of springtime. The Boston Marathon after its many years of extraordinary weather events on race day can truly identify with Mark Twain’s quote “If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes. “
Wednesday of this week, the final day of February, the temps soared to nearly 60 degrees. The sky was blue and a scenic road trip was underway which sounds redundant as virtually any and every road in Vermont can be described as such! We did pay respect and tried to avoid the roads showing the first glimpses of mud season. Well, not exactly glimpses as some of the muddy ruts were pretty impressive! Seeking to check the snow conditions at Sugarbush Mountain we decided to travel north. No, that is simply an untruth, we were actually chasing breweries.
We did go to Sugarbush Resort (http://www.sugarbush.com) and were happy to see many enjoying this unseasonably warm day on the slopes but like us, many were enjoying the warmth of the day eating lunch outdoors and possibly a brew or two. The atmosphere was more like spring break weather than a New England day in February. Over lunch we plotted our Stowe brewery visits. Our first stop was the Idletyme Brewing Company (https://idletymebrewing.com) which was new to us but a charming brewery offering lunch and samplers. The Alchemist was a much anticipated stop as we were after some Heady Topper which is almost as elusive as the Catamount (https://alchemistbeer.com). Lastly, the von Trapp Brewing Company (https://www.vontrappbrewing.com)…totally a day for Maria to be mountain climbing and singing! No, we did not sample our way through the afternoon but we did pick up a wonderful selection! Oh, and as we drove through Waterbury a stop at Ben and Jerry’s just seemed to happen quite organically. Ice cream while sitting outside during the late afternoon with a gorgeous mountain range stretched out as far as we could see was a wonderful way to end our day!
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”– Douglas Adams, author