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Photo Credit: Joanne Peters, SHASTA

Braaaaantingham Winterfest Weekend!!

What an absolutely amazing weekend at Brantingham Lake, NY!!

First and foremost, I would like to just say I’m still falling from cloud nine, and dreaming about the high that I experienced this weekend. Leaving around 4:30 on Friday night, we arrived around 6pm at our destination… Brantingham Inn Motel. Pulling into the parking lot we noticed immediately the amount of sleds and people surrounding the area. It was a moment of pure giddiness and gave me the chills. I needed this break and getaway!

We walked into the bar and dining area and were instantly greeted with smiles and laughter. Instead of checking in to our room and unpacking we were motioned to have a seat at the bar and enjoy a cold beverage! Walter the bartender remembered me from years prior… which says a lot about his character and gave me a warm, cozy feeling. I met the beautiful owner, Julie, and was greeted by the lovely Carol Ann who set us up for the room. Sitting at the bar, we said hello to the couple next to us because one was wearing an SU pullover. Turned out that the gentleman’s family is from my hometown and his family grew up on the hill I grew up on! SMALL WORLD! We chatted for a bit and then headed to get settled in the room.

A bonfire was getting started across the road, so we walked over and checked it out. This was no small bonfire… but more of an enormous pit stacked 15-20 feet high with a couch or sofa sitting on the very top! People were gathered all around enjoying the warmth, drinking some cold ones, laughing, kids running around throwing snowballs and climbing the huge snowplow-made hills… and the sound of music traveled from inside the Pine Tree Inn. We left the bonfire only because our stomachs were making noises louder than the people talking amongst us.

Hungry and ready to start the weekend with a Valentine’s Day dinner, we sat at the bar because there were no tables available at the time. I ordered the lobster riggies… and must give major props to the cook because I couldn’t even finish the plate! My friend ordered the steak and couldn’t say enough about the soup he ordered along with it! The Chicken & Wild Rice with Mushrooms soup made my tastebuds sing with overwhelming satisfaction. Yeah, it was that good.

The one man band Z-Man, who happens to be engaged to our friend Deb Clifford of Sledfreaks, was playing some great music and had the whole place enjoying his classic style and guitar groove. We left feeling full and excited to venture on to the next escapade. We headed to the Coachlight Inn just a hop, skip, and maybe more than a few jumps down the road where my amazingly talented and hysterical friend, JP Shaggy, was putting on a show. I know him well, but my friend was new to the whole experience… and let me tell you he left absolutely loving the Shagster. As soon as we walked in it was like a mob of people, elbow to elbow, laughing and cheering. The song was cut short, and the announcement of my arrival was made clear to the entire place. My cheeks grew rosy, but I was well prepared for the bashing that I received. Cheers to you JP! Amazing job! The rest of the night was a blur and a blast! We met some pretty awesome new friends, and ended our first night with smiles and gut bursting laughter!

The next morning we ate breakfast with our B’ham Inn crew… complete with a mimosa and bloody mary. The food was entirely delicious and gave us the energy we needed to hit the trails! We geared up and headed out the door to watch the parade and visit with Deb at her Sledfreaks store. People were in and out buying all sorts of merchandise, including us! We met up with our new friends from the night before, rehashed the night and hopped onto C7B to take a loooooong ride to Beaver River. The trails in some areas were rough from the insane amount of sleds that were there for the weekend, but others were smooth and flat making for a great ride! We stopped at the Stillwater Store & Hotel… then headed across the reservoir to the Beaver River Lodge. The BRL is located 7 miles from any road so the only way to get there is to walk, snowmobile or ATV, or boat up and dock in the summer! The snowy land next to the lodge was filled with snowmobiles! We walked in, had some lunch (amazing chicken sandwich with a side of chips!)… there was always popcorn or pretzels on the bar to munch on! The staff was friendly and fun… definitely a great spot!

Afterwards we took the trail following the railroad track (awful and very beat)… hopped off C7 to 10 Mile towards Webb and back to C7B. Along the trails were some great picturesque spots where the pines were untouched with snow capped branches, the sun was shining through in just the right angles, and the landscape was breathtaking. It may have been cold, but the air was fresh (minus the snowmobile fumes, haha) and the riding was exhilarating! We got back to the B’ham Inn and enjoyed some hot, amazing, mushroom pizza during the SU game, which again gave me heart palpitations. Way to go Orange… way to look like a 25-0 team (NOT). After the game we gathered our second wind and headed over to the Coachlight Inn again for some more shenanigans. I haven’t laughed that hard in a loooong time…  

Sunday we ventured to Camp Aldersgate where I spent years as a kid… took some photos and another ride on the sled… and very sadly packed our gear to head home. I definitely did NOT want to leave!

After an incredible weekend it was so hard to not blog about everything! Unfortunately, I couldn’t reveal all the happenings and fun… what happens in B’HAM stays in B’HAM! What a thrilling weekend and a truly fantastic way to unwind, and let go!
Until next time…

… aaaand that’s a braaaap!

Thank you to JP just for being you and awesome. The Polaris Gang that made our weekend better, and more exciting than I could have imagined. To Shelly & Bob (and daughters!) as well as Willie (the adorable brown lab) of The Coachlight… Thank you for having such a great place to let loose, and feel welcomed!! You guys are too much fun! And of course… Julie, Walter, Morgan, Carol Ann and the rest of the B’HAM Inn Crew... could not have had that much fun without you! The one-stop inn... diner/restaurant/bar/motel/ENTERTAINMENT! See you all soon! 

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