Battenkill Valley Blog

Al Budde: September 2009 Archives

There truly is perhaps no more sublime experience in all of fly fishing than Fall on the Battenkill.  The river is cooler, the fish are fattening up, and the riverbanks are just bursting with the burgeoning colors of Fall. 

Everyone knows someone who has suffered from breast cancer, so everyone wants to help out in some way.  Writing a check is nice, but paying $25 toward a very good cause such as this - and getting some great entertainment out of it - well, that's even better.  Come see some of the brightest young talent in the area (truly, you will be amazed - guaranteed!) this Saturday at the Fort Salem Theater.  Call 854-9200 for more information.  And do something you'll feel really good about this Saturday night.  

Wash, Cut...and Detox?

At the Nu You Wellness Center in Salem you can get everything from a stylish new haircut to a Bio Cleanse Detox Footbath or even a Quantum Cold Wave Laser treatment.  I went for the Quantum Biofeedback and it was really cool.  They hooked me up to some sort of electrodes (I didn't feel anything) and before I knew it I was getting an inside look at my physical, mental, emotional, environmental, social, nutritional, dental and energetic profiles.  No, seriously!  The machine shows you on a computer screen where you are holding your stress, then it reverses the electric impulses from the biofeedback electrodes to treat it.  Owners Stacey Morrison, Jessica Corey and Joyce Getty are highly-trained biofeedback specialists who will patiently walk you through the painless, hour-long process and show you how your system is working to balance itself so you'll feel better body, mind and soul.  It's amazing.  They'll  share stories with you about clients who have reported sleeping better, feeling far less stressful, becoming "regular" and more.  It's very sophisticated and it's - of all places - in Salem!  
If you MUST continue through the Battenkill Valley and on into Vermont, look for an outhouse with a "man" sitting inside with the door open, reading the paper, and be sure to stop at the Wayside General Store.  Now, Vermont is famous for its ubiquitous general stores but the Wayside is quintessential; the very model of what an old-time general store should be.  And that's not just my opinion.  
About 1600 people took the Cheese Tour through Washington County last year, and a number of them stopped off at Salem Art Works for lunch, where the first annual HarvestFest provided them with a potpourri of local food, arts, crafts and music. 

It was popular then and it's going to be even bigger this year.  Last year, the Chamber had a silent auction which raised $1,000 to set-up  the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce's Crisis Fund, which helps families in the community experiencing a medical crisis.  This year,  auction items include a hand-carved stoneware bud vase by Battenkill River Pottery, a gift basket from Javafit, a one month membership to Fitness Connection, and gift certificates from Salem Tavern, Gardenworks and McCartee's Barn, among other delights.

So if you're going to take the day and tour through the Battenkill Valley for the cheese tour on September 12, be sure to stop in at SAW (just head west at the traffic light in Salem for about a half mile).  HarvestFest celebrates the end of the growing season, which tends to be a big celebration because growing things is what we do here.  The day-long HarvestFest Marketplace will feature up to 60 vendors including local food, produce, arts, crafts and yes, a mechanical bull...most recently fallen off of at the Washington County Fair.

It would take a fair bit of imagining to come up with a better way to spend your Saturday than this!

Fighting More Than Fire

The Salem Volunteer Fire Department has joined in with other local residents to raise money for the fight against breast cancer.  This is not just another "good cause" thing.  For these guys, it's personal.
For two years Salem firefighters, family members and friends joined the team "Fighting More than Fire" and each year have raised over $2,000 in donations. Last August the Salem Fire Department lost their long time fire chief, friend and leader Guy Capuano.
After Guy was diagnosed with cancer he was quick to join our team in 2007 and help raise money. Guy was the first at the firehouse the day of the event and the last to leave after the walk. Although Guy did not have breast cancer, he said he knew how hard the fight was.
After his passing, Guy's 13-year old son Justin joined our team and raised over $1,500 himself. Justin won an award for most money raised by an individual in the Salem event.
This year they hope to raise a record breaking amount. Every year they design a team shirt which we sell for a $20 donation with all proceeds going to breast cancer.
If you would like to donate to the cause, go to and link on the left Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, click on New York State, go to 2009 MSABC Washington County, link onto Fighting More Than Fire/Salem Fire Dept. and donate to the team and/or join their team in the walk.
If you would like a team shirt please email for further information.  Orders have to be in by September 12, 2009.

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Al Budde

40 minutes East of Saratoga and a world away; the Battenkill Valley is a Cornucopia of Cool. No Interstates. No noise. No hurry. Called "The Tuscany of New York", the region abounds in farm-crafted cheeses, creameries, heirloom vegetables and specialty meats you can buy right off the farm. Art galleries that will amaze you. Scenery that will inspire you. And through it all runs the Battenkill River, an astonishingly clear and gentle water playground that also happens to be the toughest trout fishery in the U.S.A Like touring? There's a reason the largest pro-am bike race in America happens here. And don't get me started on the Revolutionary war history, or the “you won't believe what I found: antiques and shops.

AL BUDDE has a lot of interests in fly fishing, playwriting, canoeing (and tubing), history, shopping, dining, friendships and he counts himself among the fortunate few who have found a place where all of those things collide: The Battenkill Valley. He knows (almost) everyone here, and will be your personal guide to all of those hidden places, activities, sights and scenery it would take you years to discover on your own. Discover the Battenkill Valley. Have fun. Make new discoveries. Renew your soul. And start here!


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