Friday, June 29, 2018

Improvements to the Exterior of the Inn

We love to keep the Bridges Inn in tip-top shape both inside and out. We’re continually upgrading and improving the interior of the building. In Spring 2018, we concentrated on the exterior, tackling some much-needed work on the grounds.

We began by having McClure’s Tree Service prune the huge maple trees, including removal of problem branches. Sadly, one unhealthy maple tree and one oak tree had to be removed, which we knew was better to be done proactively than to wait for a storm to take them down. Trimming the trees has helped make the yard look much neater.


McClure's crane pruning the old maple trees
 

The next project was to replace the greatly deteriorated concrete carriage path, which was done by Wilder Excavating. First the old concrete had to be removed; then the surface was filled with sand; metal rods were carefully positioned to reinforce the cement; then the cement was poured.
Removing the old concrete
Filled with sand; metal rods (foreground) cement being poured (background)

Concrete carriage path completed
The final task was to pave the gravel parking lot, which had deteriorated over the years and got a bit muddy when it rained. M&L Asphalt Services LLC did the paving, first removing the material that was there and then filling and leveling the surface before applying the asphalt. The parking lot looks so much nicer and will be much easier to maintain in the winter. 
Laying the asphalt, spreading and flattening it with a steamroller

Paved parking lot is completed
We were pleased with all three contractors. These improvements to the grounds feel like such an accomplishment! And our guests have been complimenting us on the appearance of the property. 

We're not quite done for this year's projects. The pathway going to the back of the house still needs to be redone and we’ll continue to work on landscaping. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It's Time for Maple Sugaring

Buckets on the maple trees are one of the early signs of spring here in New Hampshire. Although Maple Sugaring Month is from March 10th through April 1st, ideal conditions with cold nights and warm days are what actually determine when the thawed sap runs. This year, the maple producers began tapping trees early, and many have already started to boil the sap to make maple syrup. The large, old, maple trees at the Bridges Inn are being tapped (shown below).

Maple buckets at the Bridges Inn
Our favorite grand maple tree
The Faulkners from Covered Bridge Maple Syrup House in West Swanzey gather the sap, which is a clear liquid that looks like water. Shown below is a bucket with a few inches of sap.


It takes a lot of sap to make syrup. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that it takes 40 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup, which is dependent on the sugar content of the sap.

In addition to getting maple syrup from the Faulkners, we rely on Crescendo Acres Farm in Surry. Shown below are Keith (left) and Russ (right) Fiorey of Crescendo Acres, stopping for a pose while boiling sap in their sugar house.


For a list of maple syrup producers participating in the New Hampshire Maple Sugaring Month and the 23rd annual Maple Weekend, click here.

Make a reservation at the Bridges Inn for your March stay, mention this blog, and we'll give a 10% discount on any room. Of course, our scrumptious breakfast will be included. You'll also want to visit one of the local sugar houses to see and smell the experience of boiling sap.