Alcohol, America, Binghamton, Boat, Bridge, Bus, Canoe, Car, Cigar, Computer, Endicott, Film, IBM, Johnson City, Kayak, New York, Photography, Postcard, Railroad, River, Shoes, Susquehanna, Train, Travel, USA, Vestal, Vintage
10K, 15K, 5K, Adirondacks, America, Atlanta, BBQ, Beer, Boat, Camping, Canada, Canoe, Car, Chicago, Clothing, Cog Railway, Cycling, Fishing, Food, Green Mountains, Half Marathon, High Peaks, Hiking, Hunting, Ice Skating, Jacket, Kayak, Lake Placid, LL Bean, Los Angeles, Maine, Marathon, Mt. Washington, New England, New Hampshire, New York, Olympics, Photography, Rocky Mountains, Running, Sierra Nevada, Skiing, Snow, Snowshoeing, Speed Skating, USA, Vermont, White Mountains, Wine, Winter
I’ve been an LL Bean fan and customer for years. As a matter of fact my life contains a vast majority of their clothing and gear. In my opinion LL Bean’s customer service is legendary, so when I needed a jacket for layering I turned to Bean. February here in New York has been extremely cold, with Jack Frost nipping at the noses of most in the Northeast. In retrospect a perfect environment to put my new remarkably light LL Bean “Ascent” Packaway jacket to the test.
This jacket boasts 60-gram remarkably light PrimaLoft One insulation. Ultralight ripstop nylon shell is treated to shed water and block wind. A highly compact alternative to fleece, packing into its own hand pocket.
Improved fit is trimmer through the body and upper arms with the ultralight ripstop nylon gliding easily under layers for a smooth fit that won’t restrict your motion. Shell resists wind and weather, has a drawcord hem and elasticized cuffs to seal in body heat, rated at -15 degrees.
Center back length, size L: 27″. Imported. Machine wash and dry.
Slightly fitted, best with lightweight layer, falling at hip. I wear a size large but decided to order an extra large for additional layering as I plan on using the jacket snowshoeing in the High Peak’s of New York’s Adirondack Park. Here weather conditions could change within minutes.
Friday February 13th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 3 degrees and a wind chill of -13 degrees. With the wind at a moderate 11 mph I snowshoed around the local park for 3 miles averaging 2.9 mph. This particular park is open with no shelter what so ever. The jacket performed flawlessly. It did what it said, blocked the wind and kept me extremely warm, I was very impressed and extremely excited. I thought the jacket fit just right, I was unrestricted in my movements and after the first mile or so I had to slightly unzip it as I began to sweat a little.
Sunday February 15th 2015 was sunny and cold with the temperature at 0 degrees and a wind chill of -22 degrees. The wind was howling at 22 mph today and I went for a 5 mile snowshoe hike at a place called the “IBM Glen” where I averaged 3 mph. The first and last parts of my hike were .35 miles each across an open wind swept and snow drifting golf course. The wind was pushing at me so hard I had to use my poles to keep me upright. Again this jacket performed flawlessly! In truth I was utterly impressed because it was brutally cold out. Once in the woods I did receive some shelter from the wind. Like I said the jacket fit just right and I was unrestricted in my movements.
On both days I wore the exact same clothing to make sure this test was as accurate as possible. The layer closest to my body consisted of an Under Armour Cold Gear compression long sleeve shirt, followed by an LL Bean “Expedition Weight” base layer, topped with LL Bean’s linden green Ascent Packaway jacket.
I truly love this jacket and its versatility. I felt very warm during the weather conditions on both days. I like the fitted style and feel of this jacket and I strongly believe it does what it says it does, blocks the wind and sheds water. This jacket is perfect for layering during the winter and can stand alone during the Spring and Fall months.
I have no affiliation with LL Bean or was I given this jacket. Just like you I am a consumer and I think I should get what I pay for. With that said I highly recommend this product.
If you are looking for a light weight versitile jacket look no further than LL Bean’s “Ascent” Packaway Jacket. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/86465?feat=ascent-SR0&page=ascent-packaway-jacket
10K, 15K, 5K, Adirondacks, Adventure, America, Aspen, Binghamton, Canoeing, Colorado, Dogs, Food, Friends, Half Marathon, High Peaks, Hiking, Kayaking, Maine, Manhattan, Marathon, New England, New Hampshire, New York, Outdoors, Running, Skiing, Snow, Snowshoeing, Tahoe, Travel, United States, Vermont, Winter
All my fusing, swearing and continued threats of moving to a warmer climate have done little to persuade Mother Nature to cease and desist her continued rampage of cold temperatures and snow. As a matter of fact its snowing right now. Going back to the old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them” I decided to embrace the beauty of winter in New York.
About 5 years ago I tried snowshoeing. I bought a pair of traditional wooden snow shoes from LL Bean. I didn’t do my homework and the experience was miserable. The pair of snow shoes I bought were 30″ and rated at 160 lbs. I did not know that because I failed to read the description. Well, stick a 300+ lb guy at the time on a pair of snow shoes rated for 160 lbs and the experience gets ugly. I was pissed to say the least and threw the shoes into my garage and swore they would become decorations in a future remodel of our basement.
Recently on social media outlets I’ve been seeing all these wonderful images of my friends cross country skiing, snowshoeing, skiing and just enjoying the outdoors. The images that really set off my desire to make a second attempt at snowshoeing was that of some friends who recently hiked the high peaks in the Adirondack’s. In late January they hiked 5 peaks with the tallest one being Algonquin at 5,115 feet. This is the second tallest peak in the park next to Mount Marcy which towers at 5, 344 feet. I myself love to hike and have done some really awesome hikes in the past. Two of my favorites so far are 2,864 foot Mount Willard in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the 1,260 foot Breakneck Mountain in New York’s Hudson Valley. Don’t be fooled by Breakneck’s elevation this is a category 1 hike. In the back of my mind I thought I want to do this!
This past weekend I made another attempt and went snowshoeing locally here logging 5 miles at the “IBM Glen” http://www.watermancenter.org/the_glen.htm trying out a pair of MSR “Lightning Ascent” snowshoes http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/snowshoes/ascent-snowshoes/lightning-ascent-snowshoes/product. This time these were the proper shoes for me and the task of hiking. I had a wonderful experience this time around, that I bought the pair. These bad boys will take me anywhere I want to go. From the hills and fields of the Southern Tier to the high peaks of the Adirondack’s these babies are awesome.
Early this morning the snow and ice had been falling as myself and a few friends made our way over to Wolfe Park in Binghamton to snowshoe, snowboard and run. The hardest part today was trying to get my car up some of the roads to the park. I think I might need a snowcat! Again these snowshoes did not disappoint at all as I logged 2.40 miles today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure out in Oakely Corners in the town of Owego and I will experiment a little and bring the dog. Wish me luck! http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/8144.html
Growing up in suburban Long Island as a child I was drawn to the sport of soccer. Rightfully so as I was pretty good at it. I was especially drawn to the keeper or goalie position at which I excelled at and soccer in general for years. Once in Jr. High as there were no “Middle Schools” back then I continued to play on a travel team and not for my school team. Honestly I cannot remember if we even had a JV soccer team?
Over the course of the next several years and as I entered high school I was fascinated with the more higher profile sports such as football and lacrosse. Only briefly did I give a thought of running cross country. My thought process was this ‘Cross Country is for Wimps” and I never looked back until October 12th 2014 when I competed in my first ever cross country meet 24 years after graduating high school. Was I ever wrong about my assumption of cross country.
I’d always assumed cross country was for the nerds, geeks or the weak. How dare you call cross country a sport especially that there is no contact involved. Cross country is for wimps!
Our first ever meet was through the newly formed Southern Tier Cross Country or “STXC” in partnership with Confluence Running of Binghamton, NY. The days meet was held in conjunction with the Binghamton University Runners Club or “BURC Open” on University campus in Vestal.
Our competition this day would be the 5K open with about 150 runners total. The weather was spectacular, the canopy of fall color radiated throughout the course. With gun going off at 11:00AM runners ascended a one mile hill called the “Pipeline” before cresting in the the Universities nature preserve.
Making our way through the preserve and back out onto campus you could hear the thunderous heartbeat of the other runners. Lastly descending the “Pipeline” back towards the finish this new thrill in my running adventure would soon be coming to a close and a new passion for sport nurtured.
Today I am eating my words. Cross country is definitely not for wimps as it takes quite the stamina to run competitively at a sustained distance. I think what really opened my eyes was my oldest son Michael who ran modified cross country for two years. The sport itself took on a different meaning for me and I saw the effort these kids put into it. Me as a runner, one who loves distance running now knows better.
10K, 15K, 5K, Adirondacks, Airplane, America, Amtrak, Baseball, BBQ, Beach, Beer, Bicycle, Binghamton, Boat, Boilermaker, Boston, Boston Marathon, Breakfast, California, Camera, Camping, Canoe, Canoeing, Chicago, Coffee, Cross Country, Cycling, Facebook, Fall, Family, Film, Finger Lakes, Football, Grand Central Terminal, Half Marathon, Manhattan, Marathon, New York City, New York City Marathon
It’s Sunday November 2nd 2014 as you wake I am standing on Staten Island freezing to death waiting for the start of the New York City Marathon. It will be my first marathon and I am both excited and nervous. So here we go!
Adirondacks, Air Force, Airplane, Airport, Amtrak, Army, Canon, Coast Guard, Color, Congress, Fall, Film, Fuji, Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, Manhattan, Marines, Military, National Guard, Navy, New York, Owego, Police, President, Weather
A typical dreary afternoon on Monday October 23rd, 2006 here in the Southern Tier. Josh Blay and I were out and about looking for something of interest, something cool to photograph. It’s now late afternoon and we had given up, threading our way east along route 17C from Waverly. We were talking about who knows what, and not really paying much attention to our surroundings. Suddenly my eyes became as big as saucers and with a few expletives we were witnessing a low flying helicopter above the Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott. With our new found excitement Josh and I are now rapidly approaching the airport to get a closer look. A screeching of the brakes, doors flying open, camera gear spilling all over and upon closer inspection we excitedly discover this piece of magnificent machinery is the new Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel “V standing for VIP” (US101 Marine One) Presidential helicopter prototype doing what I’ll call Touch N Go’s…
Hands trembling with excitement as I fumble for a new roll of film, finally my camera’s motor drive begins to hum like the rotors of the VH71, I was elated. I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to photograph such an amazing subject despite the dismal weather conditions. Shortly after our excitement had settled Josh and I figured we should promptly leave before someone really takes notice of us and throws us out.
The VH-71 Kestrel program was canceled in 2009 and recently the United States has entered into contract for 23 new Presidential helicopters. The new, initial contract awarded to the American defense contractor Sikorsky, is valued at $1.24 billion. Under the terms of the new contract, the U.S. military will take delivery of two prototype helicopters—based on the Sikorsky S-92 medium helicopter–in 2016. Another 21 fully capable helicopters will follow.
The Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101 (formerly EH101) built to replace the United States Marine Corps‘ Marine One U.S. Presidential transport fleet. It was developed and built by theLockheed Martin–led “US101 Team” of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego (LMSI), AgustaWestlandand Bell Helicopter.
In February 2009, President Barack Obama asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about placing the project on hold or canceling it because of its high cost: over $13 billion for the planned 28 helicopters. In June 2009, the U.S. Navy terminated the contract after spending about $4.4 billion and taking delivery of nine VH-71s. The helicopters were then sold to Canada for $164 million for use as spare parts for its fleet of AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorantsearch-and-rescue helicopters.
It felt good to get back out and run with the Triple Cities Runners Club this morning, I truly look forward to the Sunday runs. Between vacation and my ongoing battle with being injured I have been really slacking. I ran 7 miles this morning at a nice easy pace, then breakfast with friends. I feel good, not New York City Marathon good but I’m slowly getting there. I have only two races planned for the rest of 2014. I will be running the “I Run For Half Marathon” on September 7th and the “New York City Marathon” on November 2nd. Thought depending on how I feel after the half marathon I might try and defer New York until 2015 if possible.
I’m also excited that my team “Team Confluence” is brainstorming a great idea for the running community here in the Triple Cities I will re-evaluate my running and schedule.
Today I celebrate 17 years of marriage to my best friend. Standing nervously on the altar in 1997 pondering what our future held, I couldn’t help but to glance into the blue eyes of my beautiful bride. Her smile put any fears I might have had aside and I knew then we would build a wonderful life and relationship together. With each passing day I adore and appreciate her even more. She has become the glue that bonds this family together with her love, kindness and patience (Especially with me).
Happy Anniversary to my amazing and beautiful wife, I love you! XOXOXOXOXO