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I Knit Around

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Knitting Around with the Budweiser Clydesdales

The last great Knitting Around expedition that Gryphon and I went on took place on Sunday, October 30th.

We were blessed with another gorgeous autumn day here in New Hampshire. With no particular direction in mind, we set off in the car, knitting and camera in tow, to see what we could turn up.

We found ourselves on Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack, NH, near the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. "Oh, now there's an idea!" we thought. "We can Knit Around at the brewery!"

Welcome to Anheuser Busch, Merrimack, NH
Open Every Day! And FREE!
The Merrimack brewery offers free tours every day of the week, with a tasting room (with free samples!) at the end of the tour. We've been on the tour before - it's fun to see the gigundo vats of beer-in-the-making. Unfortunately, we learned that they don't allow pictures on the tour. I can understand that, actually - it's much more common in this day and age for large corporations to impose a similar ban.

But it did mean no Knitting Around with gigundo beer vats.

Anheuser-Busch Visitors' Center
The Visitors' Center - Entrance to Tours and Gift Shop
In a small courtyard behind the visitors' center, there's a life-size statue of a Clydesdale. This is a good fail-safe on their part - sometimes, the Clydesdales that live at this brewery are on the road. This way, you at least get a good look at how big they are, and you get a photo opp.

Knitting Around with the Model Clydesdale
Knitting Around with Big Scott
I'm not sure if this sculpture is modeled after a specific horse, but they've given him the name "Big Scott".

All About "Big Scott"
All About the Big Scott Photo Opp
The Budweiser Clydesdale Stables are a short walk away from the main brewery offices and visitors' center.

Welcome Sign for the Stables
This Way to the Stables
But it's a very pleasant walk, especially on a nice day like we had.

The Stable Path - Down a Wooded Lane
Who Wouldn't Want to Take This Walk?
You wind up passing through a little gate, into a courtyard that looks like you're in the central square of a small Bavarian village.

Central Courtyard at the Clydesdale Stables
Fountain in the Square
The building behind the fountain and to the right is the main show stable for the Clydesdales. Visitors are invited to just come on in, where they'll see the famous Clydesdales themselves on display.

Knitting Around with Tim, a Real Clydesdale
Knitting Around with the Real Thing
This is Tim that I'm Knitting Around with. He's got personality - as Gryphon and I were discussing the photos, he heard his name and immediately came over near the bars, looking for the adulation that is his due!

Clydesdale Tim Looks Pretty for the Camera
Horse, or Ham? Either Way, Tim's a Handsome One!
Down the hall and around the corner, there's a large room where you can watch the horses being groomed. We were a little to late to catch that the day we were there, or I'd have pictures of a Clydesdale getting hosed down and brushed.

There's also a display that shows everything that goes into making their horseshoes.

Clydesdale Horseshoes - Size Compared to Folkcat's Hand
They're Big
That's my left hand placed as close as I could to the horseshoes, so you can get a true idea of the size of these things.

We did ask the staff and supervisors at the stables if there were any interesting photos they could allow us to take, but as we half expected, there are too many liability issues. It's not like we wanted to take a picture of me knitting on the back of a horse, but they do have a training wagon they use to keep the Clydesdales in form, and we hoped I might be allowed to sit on the driver's seat and knit. But alas, it was not to be.

So I had to settle for Knitting Around next to the wagon.

Knitting Around Next To The Training Wagon
Knitting Around with the Training Wagon
As you have already seen, it was a bright, sunny day. I was a little startled to see a late season butterfly flitting around the gardens as we left the stables.

Late Season Butterfly
Lingering Winged Being
And I think this was the weekend that we can truly say the colors of autumn reached peak in this part of New Hampshire.

Bright Autumn Leaves
How Red is Red?

I'm just saying.

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