Four years ago to the date the boys and I were on our annual guys trip to Vermont. It has been a standing tradition that we always stop at Long Trail Brewing for lunch on our journey. This morning we embarked on yet another annual guys trip.
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My previous post I wrote about running this race for fun and that is exactly what I did. The whole weekend in itself was fun. Saturday my friend Sue and I drove to Long Trail Brewing in West Bridgewater Corners, VT where we met up with her cousin Kaye-Lani from North Carolina. We also met up with our friends Chris and Lori who moved recently from Endicott to New Hampshire and as an added bonus my friend Ian made the hour drive from his house as well to join us all for some beer, food and laughs.
Kaye-Lani had rented a rustic cabin retreat about 8 miles outside of Woodstock, VT. After lunch Sue, Kaye-Lani and I got to the cabin, settled in for a bit. Shortly we were off to the pre-race pasta dinner at the Suicide Six ski resort. The evening weather was absolutely perfect, returning back to our cabin we spent several hours enjoying the rest of the evening chatting before crashing for the night as we had an early start to our Sunday.
Sunrise was beautiful as we got ourselves dressed and ready for the days race. Once parked and ready to board our bus that would take us to the start is when the rain began to fall and it fell. It rained during the entire race, after the race and all the way home back to New York. The rain during the race did however feel great, kept the body temperature in check. I did have one issue as my sock was quite wet and was chaffing at the bottom of my right foot making it a little uncomfortable.
We began the race together and I ran the first two miles at 8:44 pace stopped for a brief bathroom break and then gradually got into a really comfortable groove for the rest of the race. I finished the half marathon in 1:41:25 finishing 188th out of 1,890 runners and I had a blast doing it.
Cold and completely soaked I found the Harpoon Brewery beer tent and celebrated appropriately. Afterwards we made a quick return to our cabin to wash up and some dry clothes before heading into Woodstock for lunch. We met back up with Chris and Lori at the Worthy Kitchen, the “Worthy” is completely worthy of your business.
After lunch is when we all would part ways ending a fun weekend with friends in Vermont.
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Once again it’s Thursday and I’m throwing it back to July 2012. Each summer the boys & I make a trip to Vermont & New Hampshire together to yuck it up and just have fun.
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This is an extremely impressive feat, especially in a 9.5 foot recreational kayak. Paddling this type of boat in some of the bigger lakes along this route had to be hell, especially if it was windy. Back in 2009 I paddled a minuscule portion of this trail from Old Forge to Inlet which is about 12 miles in a 10 foot recreational kayak complete with 2ft swells. I was exhausted and sore! Kudos to Cathy for taking on this adventure and life changing moment, cheers!
The below story was taken from http://www.canoekayak.com
Cathy Mumford wasn’t aware of the double precedent she could set when she loaded up her kayak and set off to paddle the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail alone this summer. Mumford, a Colts Neck, NJ-based graphic designer and mother of two, did the journey both to celebrate her 50th birthday and to “clear my mind and do something that made me feel good.”
Before she launched her 9.5-foot Perception kayak in upstate New York’s Fulton Chain of Lakes in mid-June, Mumford, who’s been paddling for five years, had only car-camped and done daylong trips. When she finished her Northern Forest expedition in Fort Kent, Maine, on the St. John River last Monday, she’d fallen in love with wilderness tripping. She also became the first woman to through-paddle the NFCT solo-in a recreational boat, no less.
Mumford paddled in four-foot swells and ran rapids up to Class II on her trip, which crossed the states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, and the Canadian province of Quebec on the volunteer-maintained NFCT. She says the biggest challenges were the portages, which in her case involved emptying her kayak and making three trips over muddy, ankle-twisting trails. The infamous 1.8-mile-long “Mud Pond Carry”, the portage leading to Maine’s Wild and Scenic Allagash River, took Mumford seven hours to complete. But even on the toughest days, Mumford says “the incredible beauty and solitude” made her forget the sweat, pain and toil of shouldering her boat and gear. “Even after a bad day, I would sit down and watch the sunset and found I couldn’t possibly be sad.”
All told, fewer than 30 paddlers have completed the full length of the NFCT in a single trip, since the water trail was completed in 2006. For Mumford, her precedent-setting trip on the NFCT is only the beginning. She hopes to share the “empowering challenge” of wilderness tripping with young women, and write about her experiences. “I know I’m going to be taking more trips like this,” she says.
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Today I bring you another piece of our history here in America, however more importantly right here in New York. Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks was opened on July 7th 1956 in Old Forge by A. Richard Cohen, a hardware store owner and commissioner for the Adirondack Authority in charge of the development of ski centres on Whiteface and Gore mountains. When opened, it had 35 employees and encompassed 35 acres of swampland. Admission was $1 for adults and 25¢ for children. Over time, the park expanded in size to its present 60 acres.
The design for the park, incorporating a large circus tent and a series of houses with themes from children’s nursery rhymes and fairy tales, was based upon research by Cohen’s daughter and wife, whom he sent to several amusement parks across the country to study how they worked. Concept watercolor paintings for the park were done by Russell Patterson, who also worked on the designs of the several individual fairy tale houses in the park.
The only mechanical ride at the park in 1956 was a train, the Enchanted Forest Express, that traveled around the park. However, this changed during the 1960s when rides were introduced to the park.
In 1977, Cohen sold the park to the Noonan family. In 1988, the park’s name was changed to Enchanted Forest Water Safari, as a result of the popularity of the Wild Waters Water Park (two 350-foot waterslides) that had been added in 1984.
Today’s Enchanted Forest Water Safari & Calypso’s Coves includes 32 heated water rides, including Curse of the Silverback, Killermanjaro, The Shadow, Black River and Rondaxe Run. The park features two circus shows, a petting zoo, an Enchanted Forest Water Safari museum and multiple video game arcades and side show games throughout the park. Adjoining the park is the Calypso’s Cove which includes an arcade, go-carts, children’s go-carts, rock climbing, mini-golf, batting cages, bumper boats and a zip line.
For the first time this year I was able to finally get out in my canoe this evening. I made the 40 minute trip to Long Pond near Smithville Flats. Launching my boat I made my way down the pond. The water was placid and the surroundings quiet only to be disturbed periodically by the chorus of song birds. Looking off to my right I noticed a female Canadian goose sitting atop a mound. I instantly realized that she was with her young.
Moving on quietly the silence of Long Pond was interrupted by a fisherman hacking his brains out as I watched him return his cigarette to his mouth. I paddled into a cove on the east end only to be greeted by two more fisherman sitting along the shoreline. After a few words I was on my way again slowly paddling along the shore.
I paused for a few minutes in an attempt to photograph a Northern Flicker but it proved fruitless. Then I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my right eye. Slowly I turned and there I spied a beaver having some dinner. I dipped my paddle in the water and turned my boat cautiously toward him. A few soft paddle strokes to move closer. This beaver has yet to notice my presence as I ever so slightly reach for my camera. Click, click, click and he still does’t know I’m there. Click, click, click and now his attention turns to me and he disappears into the brush.
I patiently waited to see if he would return but to no avail. I returned back up the pond to the launch site feeling excited about my return to Long Pond.
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On a recent morning before going to work I was reminiscing in my mind of a trip to the Adirondacks I had taken not to long ago. The trip was a memorable one to say the least. Fresh in my mind was the vivid sunset I had laid witness to while in Tupper Lake, NY that evening. I’d have to say it was one of the most breath taking I’ve seen in my lifetime.
I was fortunate to be able to make several images of that sunset during its many stages. However one image in particular I never really liked so it never made it to the editing process. Over the past several days that particular image has grown on me and I’ve found myself going back to look at it repeatedly. I finally realized what it is I have come to love about that image. Its not perfect, and neither am I or anyone else for that matter. It reinforces to me that even though we as humans are not perfect there is something to love about everyone.