Smelling Jerry Garcia in Northern Vermont


August 25, 2012:

“Are you ready for winter?”

“Yeah, I love the snow!”

Much of the country is still experiencing scorching temperatures at the end of August, or preparing for hurricane season. However, in Vermont, the end of August quickly brings cool weather and polka dots the hillsides with bright oranges and deep maroons, as the trees prepare for autumn.  I’m not exactly fazed by this conversation, as I have already begun dreaming of hitting the slopes this winter myself. Preparing for winter in August may not exactly make sense to the rest of the country, but it seems fitting here. It must be a bug you catch after you have lived in Vermont through all four seasons. After the first full year, you realize that the locals weren’t kidding you when they said there were only 2 months of summer here in Vermont. Yet, instead of getting bummed out, you enjoy each season to the fullest.


On Saturday we were able to make it up to the Newport area for our first time. Though we have been through Newport before, we never spent any actual time there. When we found out that Jay Peak was showcasing Jerry Garcia art and memorabilia, we figured we could head up and stop in Newport also.

Newport, Vermont is located just over the Quebec border in northeastern Vermont right on Lake Mephremagog. The highlight of this small town is walking along the boardwalk on a nice, summer day and eating at one of the restaurants that overlook the lake. We chose the Eastside Restaurant, which was not only filling, but had an outside bar on the lake and a wonderful bakery. We were also able to stop a little outside of town at the recently opened, Kingdom Brewing. This nano-brewery just opened this summer and has a tasting room located at the brewery. The brewery is definitely off the beaten path but wasn’t too hard to find with directions. We tasted all of the beers and were quite impressed with the beers that had replaced hops with spruce tips. These were unexpectedly easy to drink and delicious! We ended the day at Jay Peak Mountain resort to look at Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead’s artwork. I had no idea Jerry was such an artist (outside of music) and so the display was really interesting. I found the smell in the room to change from the smell of paper to B.O. in one corner of the room. Interestingly enough, this was where Jerry’s signature black t-shirt was on display. It’s not every day you find yourself smelling the B.O. of a past musician.