Showing posts from September, 2010

Foliage is for Trail Running!

  Ah, the rainy season of foliage has begun.  The foggy weather is a bummer for the leaf peepers, but for the trail runners and mountain bikers, this season is HEAVEN!  Beautifully colored leaves litter the trails, except for a tire-wide stripe marking the best line through the rocks and roots.  I do love mountain biking, but I find that while the colors are in the trees it is much safer for me to trail run - this is because I spend too much time looking around at the beautiful trees rather than on the rough surface below.  I have fallen off my bike way too many times already during foliage; so I'll just stick to running until all the leaves are down and the trees are naked. 

I'm not upset though - the little bit of moisture has made the ground just a little bit smushy, which is perfect for my Vibram FiveFingers SPRINT!  You know, those wierd running shoes with separate spaces for all your toes.  I wear the Sprints and have had such a wonderful time playing in the woods!  Th…

Just Keep Paddling


Since I am blessed with a lot of free time in the summer, I have the good fortune of returning to my childhood stomping grounds and participating the Bear Mountain Canoe Regatta, sponsored by the American Canoe Association.  This is a great event that has been around for decades and something that I have participated in since I first held a paddle.  As you can see, our team is fairly serious, in so much as that we all have matching shirts and smiles!  Most of our kids begin paddling as soon as they pass our waterfront test and it's all paddles and canoes from then on!  
Our team focuses on a combination of fun and responsibility - once our paddlers reach the age of fourteen, they can participate by becoming a Coach-in-Training, working with the younger paddlers on their skills.  But paddlers come in all shapes, sizes and ages.  My sister and her two-man partner made a return appearance this year, at the ripe old age of almost 30.  And I make sure that all the moms and …

Dock Dogs!!

For the first time this year, the official DockDogs Competition came to Killington - and it has turned out to be one of the best events of the summer!  It was a great mix of professional athletes, local dogs and the old dogs who were just there for the social atmosphere.  Aaron & I followed Vespi around for a couple of hours as she sniffed her way through the crowd that was already over-flowing the bandstand in its first year!  She made tons of new friends, sniffed butts with some old ones, and came home with a big bag of homemade treats that would make any pastrry chef jealous  :)
The object of the game is to get your dog to jump as far as possible off of a running platform that is two feet above the water, the world record being over 28 FEET!  Since Vespi won't even jump off the dock, it was amazing to see these dogs not even flinch at jumping 13-16 feet.  One of Vespi's boyfriends, Sully, was competiting for the first time and ended up jumping over 13 feet, while our nei…

Changing Winds

Our friend, Ben, came over the other morning for no reason whatsoever, and had the most exciting news to share.  While picking up his breakfast at the Phat Italian, summer was referred to numerous times in the past tense.  Now that may frighten some flatlanders or city dwellers with fears of preparations for the cold months ahead, but here news of Fall's arrival brings smiles of great anticipation for the months ahead.  Local folks start sneaking peaks at their skis and boards, shaking out the winter jackets and digging deep into the closet to find where those ski socks went.  It's a time of anticipation and questions, like When will the mountian open?  When is the first snowfall?
But what is it exactly that tells us that Fall is upon us and the months of screaming children are behind us?  For some it's that new-age American habit of throwing the pigskin.  For my dad, it's analyzing the final games before post-season baseball begins.  My sister, who lives in NY, had sta…

Echo Woods!

Some trails at Killington are possessed by with a magical & mystical power. These are the trails where your soul seems to float just above the wide open groomers. Or perhaps you find magic in a trail so rarely open that any trip down without a scratch in your skis must have been glorious. For some, it's that magnificent bump run where survival is somehow translated into excellence. But there is one trail at Killington that has been my favorite since the beginning: the twisty turny tree trails of Echo Woods.

It would all begin with the begging at the top of Roundabout. "Please, Please?" we would whine at the top of our lungs.  Coach would eventually give in and we quickly found ourselves bopping down something that resembled a combination mogul & bobsled run that was perfect only for those with the right amount of energy and motivation. This was the trail toward the best chairlift in the entire world: The South Ridge Triple. With eyes closed and arms held high, we …

Our New Fridge

After three months of trying to make ice and coming up with only water, we finally realized that our refrigerator was on its's last legs.  After months of denial, we began the slow process of saving up money to replace it.  We moved the rice milk, the tofu and eggs into the freezer, where we hoped they would have at least a fighting chance of survival.  It really was a sad state of affairs as we listened to our fridge make noises that I thought could only come from an angry bear as it fought for its life.  By early September we had succeeded in saving up the couple hundred dollars required to purchase the absolutely cheapest energy saver fridge on the market.  Then we made the fortuitous mistake of walking into Dick's Sporting Goods one beautiful summer day. 
We left Dick's that day with a canoe!!  Made of the same material as cheap sit-on-top kayaks, our hideously blue canoe was absolutely perfect.  The sales guy made the mistake of dropping the boat while trying to remov…

Ride the Beast Naked: Mountain Biking at Killington in the Summer

“Weave left, right, now around that big rock - don’t look at the big rock - now the root, root, push down, don’t slip, tilt the bike, root, rock, around that branch, pull up, move left…whew, wait - ”

I was amazed at how fast these thoughts came flying through my head as I headed down Trail 7, one of the Black Diamond Trails at Killington Resort. I was riding with my friend, Will, who was visiting from Boston. Earlier, we had reintroduced his 17-year old niece to the sport and were excited to spend some time riding hard on the more difficult terrain. Moving fast through the rocky, off-camber sections that traverse through Patsy’s, I was definitely glad we had spent the morning warming up on the easier trails. Dropping right down the Rock Garden on Double Black 7, a gnarly section of the Gravity East Race Series Downhill course, would definitely not have been a great way to begin my season.

If you’ve ever enjoyed Killington on your board or skis, whether ripping through the woods or f…