Tuesday, September 27, 2011

VT Sports magazine at the Nor'easter

Sarah, Odin and I spent the last four days in Burlington enjoying the sun, music, gear and good folks at the EMS Nor'easter festival.  It was people like Sam Hayden a young climber pictured above that was featured in one of our latest issues and his family that truly made it a wonderful weekend.  It was great to talk with Sam about getting outside and sharing climbing as a family.  This is why Sarah and I find ourselves outside and in the mountains because it is all to often that we encounter others who enjoy just the same as there were many who shared this sentiment during the weekend.  With pedal powered smoothies and a Power tap contest, our booth was full of stories, laughter and good humor as we talked abut the mountains and enjoyed the scenery on beautiful lake Champlain, a great venue for such an event.  We were so busy and tired in fact that we missed out on all the late night music but  found ourselves enjoying the relative serenity at our camp site at beautiful Mt. Philo the last two nights.  In fact I believe we even managed to hear G love and special sauce reverberating off the Adirondacks Saturday night even thought we were twenty minutes south a top Philo. All in all we look forward to more great events where we get to share our love for the outdoors with many others.  Thanks to all  the many new faces from as far away as Texas to Boston, that shared our tent ,we look forward to seeing some of you soon!

Oh and go figure our own Lea Davison placed second on a muddy and challenging Cross course at North beach. Maybe thats why we put her on the cover of our latest issue.....Huh not to shabby Lea, congrats!

                                                                    Now get outside.


                                                             Beautful Lake Champlain

Odin taking a nap

                                           The UBC championships will blow your mind.

Sarah blending up a smoothy Cycle Ops style.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hiking to a Secret Orchard

We've discovered a "secret" apple orchard that is within hiking distance from our front door. When we found it, we had nothing but sweatshirts to use as makeshift bags to carry out our loot. We made a wonderful sauce, apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, and these are some of the best eating apples we have tasted in a long time. Last night we headed out to our spot again, this time armed with packs and moving at a blurry-fast pace through fading light and a thickening fog settling into the fields. It felt like a renegade mission. Or a very secret operation. These orchards are all over the old woods of Vermont, particularly in overgrown homesteads. We can't say enough about the taste of these apples, the sauce that's filling our freezer for cold wintry nights, and the fun of discovering this treasure.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Does It Get Any Better Than This? Biking Through Fall in Vermont.

Here are some pics from a recent dirt road ride. One of the best things to do is pick up the Vermont Gazeteer, maybe rip out the page(s) of interest, stick them in your jersey pocket, and head out on your bike onto the endless dirt roads. You're bound to find adventure in the way of beautiful scenery, farm stands, tucked away bakeries and general stores, or roads that appear on the map to go somewhere but instead bring you to the most beautiful field (and dead end) that you have ever seen. Head back home just as the light is dim enough that you can't quite make out the potholes any longer: extra adventure points.

Happy Trails and Dirt Roads!

A Perfect Fall Hike: Spruce Mountain

One of my favorite things to do in the Fall is hike. It's a nice time to take in the scenery with the foliage, and the crisp air makes for more enjoyable hiking weather. In the end of September and early October, many of the days are clear and sunny, and the nights are crystal clear with bright stars and big moons - perfect for night hiking.

Perhaps the most iconic hike in central Vermont is Spruce Mountain in the Groton State Forest (Plainfield, VT) - a favorite of many. This hike is relatively short (2.1 miles each way) and fairly gently graded, with only a few steep sections near the top. And the summit rewards you with beautiful views to the east from a rock outcropping, from which the White Mountains can be seen on a clear, or even partly clear, day. For those with a higher sense of adventure, the rickety old fire tower offers 360 degree views - absolutely stunning when fall foliage is at its peak.

A recent Friday off from work had me heading to the summit of Spruce with four friends (two people and two dogs), and while the foliage was not yet turning, the views were still well worth the effort.

For those in good hiking shape, the hike takes only an hour-and-a-half to two hours round trip (not including time spent taking in the scenery or eating lunch at the top). For more information on this hike and directions to the trailhead, see the most recent edition of the Green Mountain Club's Day Hiker's Guide to Vermont, which can be purchased at Onion River Sports in Montpelier or at your local outdoor gear shop.

Happy Trails!