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!