Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An Excellent Weekend in Vermont

We were able to take a four day weekend and go to Southern Vermont for some Cross Country skiing and relaxation. Helen and I drove up to West Dover Vermont on Friday afternoon in a significantly heavy rainstorm. We assumed that the conditions for cross country skiing would be miserable. Our friends from Boston, Ron and Phil, joined us for the weekend. Many thanks to Helen's cousins for the loan of their condo for our stay.
On Saturday, we chose to travel northward to Viking Nordic Center, in Londonderry, Vermont. At this venue, which is the oldest XC ski center in the USA, we found excellent skiing conditions and professionally groomed trails. The center provides about 40km of trails of varying types, and is a satisfying one day ski. 
Fortunately, Vermont has had a lot of snow lately, and base depths of 30"-45" are common. For our second day of skiing, we stayed locally at the Timber Creek Cross Country Ski area. The trails were a little icy to start, but warmed up in the afternoon, and became slow and soft with the temperature in the high 30's F. 
On Monday, Helen and I skied Prospect Mountain XC center, in Woodford, Vermont. Due to the elevation of this former Alpine ski mountain, the conditions are usually favorable, and there is almost always snow. The temperature fell to 19 degrees F, and the wind was blowing. We had a great ski on the wide open trails, although it was a little colder than out previous spring like experience.
For our return to Long Island, we took the slower but more scenic route back via Bennington Vermont. There, we had a late lunch at the Blue Benn Diner, long a fixture of the area. Ready at our table was a Seeburg 160 Wall-O-Matic. One quarter for two songs seems reasonable, and our meal was lit up by the sounds of oldies. All in all, it was a great weekend .

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Morning of Snowshoeing

Our winter weather and snowboundedness has continued for quite a few weeks now. Last night brought a few more inches on top of the top crusted foot of snow from earlier in the week. The snow crust will not support my body, and a lot of post-holing has been going on. Cycling has not been possible in these conditions for over a week, although I did get a good trike/bike weekend in last weekend. Since I hate going to the gym, I got out my original Vermont made Tubbs snowshoes for a few hours of shoeing in the crusty mess.
The stark beauty of our local winter scene has always fascinated me. From the time I was a small child, I loved to participate in winter sports. My first choice is XC skiing, but that was impossible on the unstable crust, even with my wider full metal edged backcountry skis.