Sunday, August 29, 2010
So at last write, we were recuperating from a minor accident. I am happy to report all is well, a minor concussion with lingering vertigo for several weeks, but back to normal. In the weeks after, the weather took a turn on the wrong direction, and the snow started disappearing in a hurry. By the First week of March trails were pretty much closed except for the northern most high elevation trails.
We went to the "Sno-deo" in Stewartstown, NH, as they still had snow, and there was the opportunity to test drive the new model snowmobiles. They also had lots of antique snowmobiles, racing, and other vendors. First up when we arrived, the antiques. So many types and vintages to see, from a Model T, to Polaris Ski-Doo, motorized toboggans, and many, many more.Considering there was very little snow at our place they more than made up for it here. After the antique exhibit, we went to test drive the Ski-Doos. A big difference from our older ones to be sure. Next I went over to the the Yamaha booth, and was able to try the "Cadillac", a 4 stroke with power steering-very sweet! I tried to test drive the new Polaris but the line never shrank. Too bad as it looked like a nice ride- and my favorite name-a RushAfter looking at all the vendors, we headed back home, and the next day traveled west to try and check out Champlain College. The trails out there were not any better than in our neck of the woods.We arrived at the college, but alas they has just departed for spring break, so a tour was out of the question. We walked around a bit the headed to the harbor of Lake Champlain. The day was crisp, and a thin coating of ice was creaking and could be seen rising and falling with the waves.The harbor side was beautiful, with some amazing granite statues and a huge compass rose.>April saw a last minute trip to Philadelphia (See Philly Whirlwind on the other blog). May turned out to be very interesting, with a trip to Jamaica, which Karen won from a radio station (See Yea Mon Jamaica!-coming soon) June was a quiet month, mostly working due to staffing constraints and application roll out. I did however take a little time up north to build our guardian of the property- July was a little time to kick back and get a new toy! We purchased an ATV or Quad (whichever you prefer), to help with the chores up north and to possibly pick up some other seasonal trail riding too! Apparently most of the Class 3 and 4 roads(dirt) are also considered trails, so riding can be very abundant in our area. August was a busy month at work but we found some time to get away and do some chores. I purchased another item that will prove invaluable for some time until we build a house. After my purchase I spent some long hours cleaning, scrubbing, and disinfecting. We packed it on the trailer and brought it up, and met my sister and family up north for a long weekend. We picked up the remaining supplies at the local hardware store, and spent some time digging holes fore poles, installing gravel base, and removing stubborn rocks. When we were finished, we had an outdoor solar shower, and a rest room! We had a smaller, camper toilet we have been using, but this one is a little more roomy and I can have it cleaned on a regular basis, so less carting for me. I even added a Solar powered light for those night time excursions! After all that work, I took off for a quick 20 mile jaunt down the scenic back roads and trails to cool off just a bit.Everyone else hung around for a bit, and we had a nice dinner, and lit a great fire to sit around later in the evening. Nothing like a fire on a cool evening, when the sky is clear and the stars are glistening above. The next day we all travelled to the other side of town, and did The Great Vermont Corn Maze. The corn maze covers 8.5 acres with around 2 miles of trails, lined with 10-12 foot towering walls of corn (as described on their website)The object of course is to get to end. With a number of trails to choose from at the start, we picked "Moe"Traveling through the maze we came across several bizarre items. There were punches located in various parts of the trail, and they would help you figure out the path you took once you finished. There was no map handed out, so it was trial and error. First we came across a boat, and later a huge tunnel. Around the halfway point, we came across the "Bell of Frustration". Part of the goal in reaching the end was to ring the bell signifying you reached the end. Well hidden in the middle was another bell Onward we trudged through the maze searching for the elusive path to the end searching for the "Bell of Success". Winding through the maze, we finally reached the end! And you could leave the maze and say- And that brings us to the end of the update....for now. Fall is coming and that means cooler nights, fairs, and getting the snowmobiles ready for winter. I hope to volunteer to help with the trails a bit as well, In the meantime from us to you, enjoy the rest of your summer!!
Friday, February 5, 2010
Winter is a strange creature to be sure. A few weeks back we had plenty of snow, and awesome trails. Then we had a sudden warm up, with a driving rain, and the trails were reduced to ice and then another big freeze. All the wonderful snow we had was reduced to a flat base. While it filled in some of the holes in the trails, it wasn't the best for riding. Since the January thaw, there have been several small snow squalls, which started to build the base back up. With the extreme cold (-14) and lack of snow, we decided we would take a ride and go look at one of the Vermont colleges on Ryan's list of potential candidates, and give the temperature a chance to climb.
We headed down south to Randolph Center, VT to Vermont Technical College. Along the way, as always, we were treated to the sights of Vermont. After paralleling a river for a while, wondering how the water could still be flowing. We rounded the next corner and saw a spectacular ice jam, which covered at least a mile of river.
Onward we traveled over the back roads, winding its way to our final destination, led by a slightly confused GPS aptly nicknamed "Madge". As we crested one hill, we saw an Inukshuk marking the end of someones driveway. An Inukshuk is stone landmark built by humans, originally used by the Inuit, Inupait, and other peoples of the Arctic region. It is thought that it was originally used as a point of reference, or possibly a marker for hunting grounds. The most common Inukshuk was usually formed with a single stone pointed in an upright manner, and the Inukshuk is actually confused with an inunnguaq, a cairn representing a human figure. FYI a cairn is a man made pile of stones (refer to my blog from July for a more detailed definition.)
After our encounter with the "rock star", we meandered our way into Randolph Center, and finally, Vermont Tech. The first impression I had was boarding school. As we drove further into the campus, the buildings took on a more modern appearance.
Vermont Tech seems like a very nice campus, with a nice mixture of old and new architecture, and outstanding views. We happened to show up on the weekend, so there wasn't much that was open. We met with a security official, who provided us with a information packet, and gave us a brief tour of the campus, including the student building, which housed the pool, gym, workout room, and one of the cafeterias. Armed with all this information we departed for our return trip to our "lodge".As we left we noticed a historic sign, which of course spurs more curiosity, and the inevitable "hmm, so that is where that came from.
Does it ring a bell to you? Arriving home, we were greeted by a present from the trail master. A nice private snowmobile trail sign to mark our trail. I immediately put it to good use. I eventually put it out back on the trail head. I decided to take my sled out for a quick ride, since it had been in the shop for a mystery oil leak. I jumped on the back trail, and headed out to get gas and the trails were not all that bad. A little thin to be sure, but still rideable. I rode down the rail bed for a bit, and stopped to pull some trees off the trail that had blown down in the wind. The further west I rode the more snow I encountered, so I kept going. My 10 mile quick ride turned into a 50 mile excursion. I forgot my camera, but had my phone and did snap one picture. I stopped at a junction and was reviewing my map, and a small sign on the junction pole caught my eye, so I just had to snap a picture.
Definitely good advice when it is -14 out!
Next up February vacation!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Simply bizarre. Further down there was a maple syrup container where all the lines from the woods ran down to. We passed lines for a mile on either side of the tank as well. That must have been a lot of work running all those taps and lines during the warm season. Once we reached Greensboro Bend, we took a smaller feeder trail to connect over to Wheelock. This trail started going down the side of the road and then into a field. At the end of the field we entered what appeared to be a dormant campground, with the picnic tables all neatly stacked until spring. At the far end of the campground we entered the woods, where the trees were so close together and the trail so narrow, it seemed like we were making our own trail as we went.Looking up in the dense vegetation, it was hard to see the sky with all the branches blocking the light. We looped around and made it back to the rail bed near Danville and decided to extend our ride a little further by going up the Highlight Trail. This is a new trail our local club created last year and it has not been added to the map yet so not to many people know about it. It is a couple mile trail which loops back to the rail bed, and depending on the direction you go there are some nice views of Joe's Pond or the hills to the north east. We chose the Joe's Pond direction, and after passing a cross country skier on the trail we reached the crest of the hill and sat looking down on the island in the middle of Joe's Pond.
Heading back towards home Karen stopped in the "ice cave" as we call it to get a close up shot of the ice. Note the blue in some of the veins of ice coming down the cliff. Again the picture really doesn't do it justice. Riding t the end of the rail bed we took the detour over the hills where we stopped for a minute to get a picture of one of the farms behind our property. A pretty postcard shot if ever there was. We arrived back home and warmed up with some soup and packed up for the long ride home. Next time we come up is the end of January for our local clubs fundraiser spaghetti dinner. Remember to enjoy the day and think snow!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The next morning the guys came up, and we ventured out for a short 30 mile ride. The trails were smooth this day, as it was still early, so we went down the rail bed and up across the new "skyline" trail in Danville. Hardly a bump anywhere, nothing but freshly groomed trails made for a nice finish to the weekend before driving back home. The scenery was very similar as well. Breathtaking!
As we headed back, just before we parted ways, I saw this and it made me wonder- Why does the Turkey cross the road? Probably to get out of our way! Be safe, ride right, and have fun!