Greg took this shot of me on a bikepacking overnight last fall. Its a marker and a reminder of the stark contrast to how I have felt for the last several years – finally kicking fitness and health into a higher gear, dealing with an auto-immune disease, and finding my riding and adventuring spirit again. At the end of last fall I don’t think I felt as good on a bike since I was brevet training back in 2006. I couldn’t ride brevet distances right now – but things were just clicking along. Single speeding most of the summer helped – but also having energy again to actually enjoy being ‘out there’ – be it on a hike or on the bike.
Summer trip with Greg, Wil and a couple of new friends to the Moosamaloo area. ~50+ miles – dirt road, gravel, single track, some schwacking. Camp, swim in Silver Lake, eat, fire, night, ride back to the car.
May favorite shot of the trip:
I really needed to write it up months ago, and revisited it now as the winter weather sort of sucks (rain, freezing rain, disappearing ski base) – so I’ll let the pictures speak.
I rode on my Krampus, but put a 5spd cluster on the King hub’d rear wheel. Worked great, little more range than single speed, saved me on some climbs. Was useless for chasing the crew on the downhills, but that was a known factor.
At the time I hadn’t felt as good on a bike in a long long long time.
First ski of the season, 4 runs at Smuggs.
New skis, new boots, new bindings… everything was different.
Going to take some time to get used to the new setup.
I’ve moved from Maschuss Epoch touring skis (185 length!) and 3 pin cable bindings and Scarpa T4 2 buckle boots to some Volkl Nanuq skis in 177 length with 22 Designs Axl bindings and Scarpa T2 3 bucket boots.
First runs are always an adjustment, but this was a lot all at once. By run 3 I did a few passable tele turns, but alpined most of the day. Run 4 was a mixed bag, lots of fast traffic on the few trails that were open, and my clumsily trying to find my center bending the knee left me wanting for some nice wide open easy groomers to practice on.
10 years ago, on a Friday with an auspicious number, in October we were married in a picnic shelter on the shoulder of Mt. Mansfield. The following day we hiked over the mountain with friends, our pooch, and my nephew.
We went out to celebrate with a summit hike again – from Underhill up Sunset Ridge to ‘the Chin’.
Instead of the calamity of walking down the Stowe side of the mountain with the dog and 10 year old nephew, while waiting for friends to drive around and get us, we came down Laura Cowles trail, which was entertaining in itself – with ice up high, water, slippery rock and leaves…
I’ve been spending a lot of time on two feet this fall. The single speeding and riding has been great – but as my health has improved I’ve really enjoyed getting around in the mountains on foot. I’ve been enamored with Camel’s Hump since moving to Burlington, where I can see it (and Mansfield) just about every day. After a few attempts earlier this summer I finally achieved a full moon and sunrise hike, and I brought along the camera for a time lapse.
Alarm was set for 3:30 am, but I awoke at 3. In the car by 4, at the trail head by 4:45.
The new headlamp, a Petzl NAO with Reactive lighting was excellent. I was skeptical and had buyers remorse – but I am sold – a great light!
Change in layers at the clearing by 6, summit at 6:20, just as the full moon was setting (and hiding in some clouds).
Setup camera, made coffee, and watched the sun rise.
The change in light was incredible.
The morning light on the summit and in the trees just below the alpine zone was amazing.
As I started to descend I watched the shadow creep across the Champlain Valley as I started down.
This was an incredible start to my week.
My presentation from SketchUp Basecamp 2016 was recorded. This was a 90 minute presentation to give an overview of my process for using SketchUp + Layout for timber frame and small building design.