Winter Motorcross at Lime Rock You Know You Want to do This

To paraphrase re: last weekend’s weather: A dangerous mix of ice, snow and rain coated the Northeast causing slick roads and many accidents. Road closures due to icy conditions plagued southeast PA through southern New England. A major pileup occurred on I-76 northwest of Philadelphia. More than 400 accidents were reported in New Jersey in one night!  With parts of VT, NH, western CT, ME and eastern NY  under advisories and warnings for wintery weather Sunday through noon yesterday,

What are you waiting for? Get your

“SLIDEWAYS” in gear!!!

Winter-Autocross-Lime-Rock-1Enter winter motorcross: We love Lime Rock Park for its motorsports, just up the road in Connecticut. We also love Mohawk Ski Resort in Cornwall due east. Mohawk, the home of snowmaking, invented in 1949 and first utilized back in 1950 on a snowless winter day gets mashed up with Lime Rock, where auto racing normally hits a seasonal hiatus. It seems to have re-invented snowmaking as a means to extend their season into a first-ever in the northeast–Winter Autocross!!!!

Starting this month (last weekend in fact) Lime Rock will offer Winter Autocross Days, Fridays and Saturdays open to any licensed driver.

Think of all those southerners flocking up to the safety and instruction of Lime Rock, never having swerved on snow before!

“First and foremost, driving hard and getting ‘slideways’ in the snow is simply a whole bunch of fun,” said Lime Rock lead winter driving coach Stephan Bastrzycki. “You don’t have to have any previous experience…you cannot believe what you learn of ‘car control skills,’” Bastrzycki continued. In the end you come out a smarter, safer driver. All the better for driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike!

Of course, they provide the 1,200 foot course, you provide your car. Lime Rock accepts any vehicle – all-wheel-, rear-wheel- or front-wheel drive – that can be driven quickly in the snow. Snow tires–which we hardly think of anymore—actually let you go faster. “We’ll teach some specialized techniques and the fun of snow driving appropriate to each vehicle type.”

The Winter Driving events –tagged “snowcross” or “WAX” (winter autocross) – are held in the upper infield area. Bonfire, hot chocolate provided. Three or four cars are sent out at a time, with appropriate spacing; there is no racing involved. Now anyone can autocross all winter long on the following schedule.

Lime Rock Winter Open Enrollment Autocross Days:
Friday, January 23
Saturday, January 24
Friday, January 30
Saturday, January 31
Friday, February 6
Saturday, February 7
Friday, February 20
Saturday, February 21
Friday, February 27
Saturday, February 28
Friday, March 6
Saturday, March 7

Cost: $300 per driver; includes coaching from professional winter driving instructors. Reservations can be done online. Questions can be directed to  860-435-5000

Come home to our warm fire at Hilltop House, and a cozy bed. If you haven’t been out in the dead of winter before, you’ll never sleep so well. Even if you have, come on up!!


Silo Ridge Brings Newness in 2015

First of all, Happy New Year. I know we’re already done the first week of the new year, and I haven’t posted my promised story on Silo Ridge yet. The cold snap swooped in here, and sometimes all I want to do is bundle up, light the fireplace, and snuggle with the grand-daughters. (They are getting too big!) But there is cause of excitement–the new restaurant, Monte’s, and as we hinted, the advancing Silo Ridge development.

Perhaps you’ll remember from these pictures, when we were covering our Red Chair event, of the valley seen from the hairpin turn up Rte 44 towards Millbrook. This is the view east we captured (including the Red Chair); it is the vista that the proposed Silo Ridge denizens will call their own. Rte44BlogThe Millbrook Independent covered the news, and I paraphrase:

“Silo Ridge, the (embryo stage) Amenia golf course closed for four years, (it was never truly open) announced …a deal with Discovery Land Company of Scottsdale, Arizona for the development of the golf course and the adjoining land into a resort community.” (!!!!!!!!) (You recall my recent post on the fame of Amenia’s resort status–if not check it out under “Triple Scoops” posted Dec. 13th)

Silo Ridge is proposed to encompass a 20 room lodge, 246 vacation residential properties and… a “world class golf course designed by Tom Fazio to replace the existing one (barely there anyway).” According to wikipedia, “Fazio has designed more than 120 courses and has more courses ranked among the top 100 in the U.S. than anyone else in the business.” He also has designed a number of Discovery’s courses in their roster of Silo-Ridge-like properties.

In their recently issued press release, chairman and CEO of Discovery Land Company, Michael Melman averred, “Preservation of the natural environment and creating contiguous open space has been and will continue to be critical to the execution of the project.”

The same release touted Silo Ridge’s offerings: a children’s program, an activity barn, a giaganto field house with indoor pool, track and field, lacrosse and baseball facilities along with a wide variety of classic games, outdoor experiences and educational opportunities, including arts and crafts, bowling, a movie theater, and video game arcade.”

I guess, in the coming months, Hilltop House Bed and Breakfast might gain some business with the comings and goings up here. That would be great. I think of us as that little find of a place–and many of you agree–a niche of comfort in the Oblong Valley. Silo Ridge will be so enormously (no kidding) different from what are all about. It will transform that side of Route 22 and bring a populace quite different from the people who live in Amenia. Still, it is in keeping with the elite boarding schools that surround us–Kildonan and Maplebrook here, the Kent School to the south, Hotchkiss–the slew of them are listed on our map accessed through our home page. And many of Hilltop’s guests stay with us on their visits to those campuses.

No doubt, it will take time, the transformation of Amenia. The Silo Ridge that was to be never materialized after its round of hype waned to whispers of what was to be that wasn’t. Those acres lay fallow for a long, long time; only so many hay bales will be foresaken in their conversion to sculpted lawns leading up to country homes for the well-to-do. Here, in the bucolic Hudson Valley the newcomers will find not only an inspiring vista, but a certain bounty in our gardens and our pastures, where sustenance farming has oft been the key to survival. It will give those providers a broader market, our families job opportunities, our churches more parishioners, our businesses more customers…and in the trade off, we too may be transformed.

Gives one pause and a reason to look ahead. And that can’t be bad.