Here at Airstream Supply Company HQ, we're big fans of the Swedish phrase that begins: "There's no such thing as bad weather..." The ending can be adapted for your particular purpose or situation, but "bad gear" or "bad clothes" are usually the first two conclusions that spring to mind (though we might also add "bad activities" to the list. If you've ever chopped wood, you know it doesn't matter how cold it is, you'll soon end up taking off your jacket and wiping sweat from your brow).
We were constantly reminded of our favorite outdoor axiom when we traveled up to Stowe, Vermont to discover for ourselves the magic of the Green Mountain State. Everywhere we went, people were outside – farmers unloading hay for the horses in the field, cheese makers working the open air stalls in the barn, and the folks who just won't admit that summer passed into fall, and fall gave way to winter. They bundle up their canvas jackets, slip on the lambskin gloves that seem molded to their particular hand, and they get to work, whether that work is for a paycheck or simple gratification.
"The summer here is stunning, but people think of Vermont and think of snow," says Jesse Stacy, one of the general managers at Edson Hill in Stowe where we went to experience the best in Nordic skiing. "The mentality is that you come here to be outside – to be part of nature and the landscape."
Just as the landscape changes, so too do the people and the outdoor activities they pursue. The trails around Edson Hill are frequently by hikers in the summer, but in the winter folks come to Edson Hill to lace up their ski boots and head out for some epic cross-country skiing. The flourishing mountain biking community here trades their regular summer rides for fat bikes like the ones you can rent at Ranch Camp with their almost comically large, under-inflated tires that grip the snow.
We had a blast skidding and hopping through the snow-dusted trees on the fat bikes we rented at Ranch Camp. It was impossible not to smile as soon as the knobby tires started kicking up snow and we careened down trails and slid through the turns.
"It's kind of goofy, kind of silly, a little awkward – and also really fun and giggly," Ranch Camp's Evan Chismark told us as we loaded our fat bikes into the back of an Airstream Basecamp X. "Sometimes you're falling, sometimes you're slipping – but it's a great way to get some exercise."
Beyond the lift lines at Stowe Mountain, the scenic trails powdered with snow, and the warm wood stoves we came back to in the lodge, Vermont delivered as advertised. Reports of a world-renowned beer scene proved accurate, the local music scene was bumping, and the food – from hand-made cheese to craft kombucha to beet-red vegan burgers, Vermont proved to be a place that you make of it what you will.
Like the people who call this beautiful place home, Vermont is the land of the go-getter and the self-starter – a place where hustle and ambition are paired equally with humility and a wry sense of humor. It's a place where you can start a cheese company on a whim, make CBD dog treats in a coffee shop kitchen that are sought after across the country, or start a business importing rare furniture from southeast Asia. Up there, tucked away in our nation's northern extremity, you'll never accidentally wander into Vermont. So this is our imperative to you: Make a point to visit and you won't regret it.
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As Airstream travels the country in search of unique Round Trip destinations, we keep our eye out for dedicated craftspeople who are passionate about manufacturing quality products. Like like the hundreds of production associates who hand-make Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches in our Jackson Center, Ohio manufacturing facility, they are committed to their craft – and to living their dreams. These are their stories.