Monday, January 31, 2011

Honesty Muse

I have found honesty is the foundation for good relationships.  Sometimes the question we want answered most is the hardest one to ask.  I have learned the key to good relationships is to ask the hard question, and when asked the hard question give an honest answer.  Even if the truth might be painful, if offered and received with a loving heart, it offers the chance to learn and grow from the experience.
We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us.  But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.  ~Tad Williams via quotegarden.com
 

    I Like this quote I dislike this quote

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trixie's Diner

Last week in the mail I recieved an anouncement from Mary Stefano, a sorority sister telling me of her new book; Trixie's Diner.  I have only read the "look inside," from the online book store, but from read it touched my heart.  I immediately purchased the book.

It is Mary's story of caring for her terminally ill parents.  I related to her story.  It reminded me of caring for my son (see 11/25/10 post).  My son survived, but I understand the loving care involved when those we love are ill. 

Bravo Mary!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Adventure in the Kitchen: Tips for Healthier Eating

I don't know about you, but when I walk in the kitchen hungry, I eat the first thing I see.  That is why, I try to stock my kitchen with healthy snacks.  I keep keep things like fruit (fresh and dried), nuts, yogurt, veggies, multigrain crackers or chips, and cheese in easy reach.

I like to to prep and freeze basic ingredients I use for multiple recipes.  If I am chopping onions, celery, carrots for soup or a stir fry, I chop much more than I need and freeze the extra.  Same thing when cooking meat, soup stock, rice, quinoa, or couscous.  I freeze the excess.

The one thing I don't freeze but prep in advance is salad greens.  I love my salad spinner.  I find even bagged greens last much longer if they are all rinsed once the bag is open, and the bad leafs are removed.  I drain the excess water out of the bottom of the spinner and I keep the greens in the spinner, storing them in the refrigerator using them as desired for around 1 week.  Another tip for making great salads is to keep a variety of nuts, seeds, and crumbled cheeses in the freezer. 

It makes it much easier to make a healthy meal, when most of the prep is already done.  It is like being my own Sous Chef.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Public Hearing to Restore Recreation Liability Protection to Minicipalities: Follow up to January 16, 2011 Post


I received the following message of interest from Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA) via the Farmington Valley Trails Council.

Recreational Liability Public Hearing is Monday
Late yesterday, the Environment Committee set a Public Hearing for Monday, January 31st, Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. 

Working with many supporting organizations, towns, and businesses, we were able to get an active crowd to the MDC Public Hearing last July.  Together we developed a position paper and other materials on Recreational Liability .

The Bill that will be heard by the Environment Committee on Monday is S.B. 831. S.B. 831 would restore the liability protection to Municipalities that is currently afforded to state, private, utility, and corporate landowners who make their land open for the free use and enjoyment of the public.  This liability protection was available to municipalities for 25 years before it was removed in a controversial court case in 1996, Conway v. Wilton. 

** If you wish to testify, sign-up for the hearing will begin at 11:00 A.M. on January 31st in Room 1E of the LOB.  You need to submit 40 copies of written testimony to Committee staff one hour prior to the start of the hearing in Room 1E of the LOB.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for public officials.  Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.

Please help spread the word ... this is very short notice ... and we need you!

All the best,

Eric Hammerling
CFPA Executive Director

p.s.  To assist anyone interested in providing testimony (but who may not have the ability to make 40 copies of it and bring it to the LOB), we are glad to make copies for you at CFPA IF you get your testimony to me via ehammerling@ctwoodlands.org by 9:00 a.m. this Sunday 1/30. 

If you require more information, please contact CFPA directly:

CFPA
16 Meriden Road
Rockfall, Connecticut 06481
(860) 346-2372


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Warren Miller Muse

I love sitting around with a friends on a winter evening watching ski porn.  What is ski porn you might ask?  It is a movie of skiers (sometimes boarders or other snow sliding objects), skiing down slopes I would only ski in my dreams, and I do dream about skiing steep fresh powder in exotic locations. 

Warren Miller is the ski movie producer that has inspired me the most.  When I watch his films it is like sharing an evening with a kindred spirit.  I love his voice, his quotes and the way he puts his movies together. 


If I ask anybody who learned to ski after the age of five, they can remember their first day of skiing -- what the weather was like, who they went with, what they had for lunch. I believe that's because that first day on skis was the first day of total freedom in their life.  Warren Miller
Via: http://www.esquire.com/features/what-ive-learned/warren-miller-quotes-0109#ixzz1CCKKDPtW

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Killington: Cooper's Cabin

Last Wednesday, I skied with my friends Steve and Cindy.  It was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining, no wind, and the tempts were just cold enough (around 25F) to keep the snow squeaky soft.  For most of the day, we just took it easy and enjoyed the beautifully groomed snow.

By mid-morning we were ready for a little adventure.  Steve suggested a detour under the ropes to Cooper's Cabin.  Cooper's Cabin is legendary at Killington.  It is a shelter on the Long Trail that isn't too far from Killington Peak, that doubles as a skier and boarder hangout in the winter.

I had always wanted to find Cooper's, since I heard about it 15 years ago.   I know better then to venture there without a "guide."  There are many stories of people who ventured to the cabin and got lost in the woods, or ended up many miles away on a Wheelerville Road with no way back. 

When Steve suggested the detour, I jumped at the chance to finally check it out.  It is about a half mile from the ski trail through the trees.  Since it only has a gentle grade we had to keep a little speed not to get stuck in the powder, as we twisted along the path and ducked to avoid low branches from the trees. 

The cabin is a small stone building.  We weren't the first to venture there that morning.  Inside a fellow skier was taking a break sitting on the bottom of one of the double bunk type platforms. 

After about a five minute rest, we headed back through the woods with Steve leading the way back to a Killington trail.  I think in the fall I will hike up the Long Trail by foot and check it out again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Adventure in the Kitchen: Grilled Cheese

I always think it is fun to put a new twist on a simple comfort food.  Today for lunch I put a twist on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.

Pear and Gorgonzola Grilled Cheese on Whole Grain Bread

1 Pear cored and finely sliced
Gorgonzola Cheese sliced or crumbles
Whole Grain Bread sliced
Cooking Oil Spray

Spray with cooking oil one side of bread slices.  On non-oiled side of bread cover with cheese, then a single layer of pear slices, cheese then bread.  Place sandwich on a moderate hot griddle, oil side down.  On top of the sandwich use a heat safe saucer on sandwich (the weight of the saucer helps the cheese melt and heat the pear).  After a few minutes check the bottom of the sandwich, when golden remove saucer and flip sandwich, then replace saucer on the sandwich.  Done when the bottom of the sandwich is golden.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Killington: Dew Tour

It has been a busy week and weekend here at Killington.  The much anticipated Dew Tour swept into town on Thursday. 

The preparation for this event started last summer with excavation for the base of the Olympic size half pipe on lower portion of the Superpipe and Dream Maker trails.  It is 3 football fields long and 22 feet high.  The snowmakers and groomers have been blowing and grooming snow since mid-December have it finished by this past week. 


The Snowboard Superpipe Finals and the Freeski Superpipe Finals were last night.  I watched the event both from my friend's living room whose window overlooks the halfpipe, and due to the 30 second delay until it was broadcast, I saw it again up close on TV.  It never ceases to amaze me the height and complexity of the jumps these young athletes can preform.


The freestyle slopestyle course is on the lower Skyeburst the next trail over.  The course consists of 3 rails and 3 huge jumps.  It is hard to gauge just how tall these jumps are, but I will estimate the last one is at least 3 stories high. 

The Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle Finals have been taking place all afternoon.  I have been watching from a distance out the window of a warm living room.  The finals will be broadcast later today on NBC from 4-6 pm.  Both events will be rebroadcast on USA and MTV if you would like to watch. 


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Technolgy Dependent

You may have been wondering where I have been.  I've been in Vermont since Monday, unfortunately I left my computer's power cord adapter in Connecticut.  My BFFE, Lori, was nice enough to drop it in the mail for me on Tuesday morning, sending it Priority Mail through the US Postal Service. 

Today is Saturday, and I am still waiting for it.  So much for 2 day priority delivery service from the USPS.  I have been technology deprived all week, and who knows when and if the cord will arrive, I finally broke down and bought a new one.  I was shocked at the price of the power cord adaptor, but like any techno junkie I paid it.  I need my daily techo fix.

It is amazing how many facets of my life are technology dependent.  I no longer get a newspaper, because I have access to an abundance of news local, national and international at my finger tips from my computer.   Of course the  most important news for me each morning is the Killington ski conditions and weather report.

I follow and handle many of my financial matters online.  I connect with friends via email and facebook.  Of course there is you, my online community that keep me company on lonely winter nights as well.  Ok, I am starting to feeling much better now that I am reconnected to my online world....

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I Have a Dream"

delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!
                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!3

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Walk at the West Hartford Reservoir

Yesterday I ended my post with the dilemma of resting my back or cross-country skiing today.  I compromised and went for a relaxing four mile walk around the MDC Reservoir in West Hartford.

It is a beautiful gem of nature in the middle of a suburban setting.  This area loved by so many is the center of controversy regarding liability and recreational use of public (quasi public) land.  The issue came into the public spotlight when a cyclist was awarded $2.9 million by the Hartford Superior Court in a law suit against the MDC.  The MDC threatened to close their land to public use. 

The public outcry at the possible closure of these lands was displayed at a meeting I attended at West Hartford Town Hall in July.  Hundreds of supporters for the use of public lands attended the meeting, and many more were turned away at the door.  At the MDC agreed to keep the land open to public use.

Now that the state legislature is back in session Rep. David Baram (D-15th District) plans to head up a committee to draft a law to close this loophole to Restore Recreational Liability Protection for Municipalities.  It is important for all CT residents to contact the State Legislatures to support this effort.  Once their is an official Bill number I will let you know.

By the way, the walk was great for my back. It felt nice an loose afterward.  It was the perfect medicine for my mind, body and soul.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Back home in Connecticut

I am back home in Connecticut for some much needed rest after playing/skiing hard the past few weeks.  About a week ago I tweaked my back walking out the door on the way to the slopes.  Over doing it in the fresh powder and moguls the past week aggravated the ache into a sharp pain with any jarring motion.  I tried my usual methods to get rid of random aches and pains which include, vitamin I (aka Ibuprofen), cross-training, stretching and yoga, to no avail. 

My body finally told me enough, go home to CT and rest.  So I did.  My friend Maryellen, who recently graduated from massage therapy school, met me at my home on Thursday evening.  She gave my aching body a much needed massage.

Massage has many benefits for an athlete.  It relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles, reduces spasms and cramping, increases joint flexibility, reduces recovery time , improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort associated with low back pain (massagetherapy.com), all benefits that my body needed.  The massage helped, but there is still some soreness. 
The past 2 days I have been taking it easy, hoping to get my back to relax.

My dilemma for tomorrow is whether to relax another day, or to ignore the random pain and take my new cross-country skis out for glide on the beautiful snow.  The Farmington Valley received 22 inches of snow earlier this week and of course the snow is tempting me.  Stay tuned, I will let you know tomorrow how I answer the dilemma.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Killington: A Perfect 10 Ski Day

Today I couldn't decide if the perfect cordaroy or the views were better.  You decide.



Killington Fine Dining

Last weekend, my good friends Jim and Diana visited with their nephew Stephen.  I played mountain guide on Friday and Saturday, touring with them around the mountain.  I even offered a little instruction and videoed them skiing.

video

They graciously insisted on treating me to the only fine dining experience in Killington - Hemmingway's.  The last time I was there, I was still married.  Until recently you needed to make reservations at least a week or two in advance to get a table.  Now when you drive by the parking lot is hardly ever full.  A sad sign of today's economy.  I was a little nervous that the quality of food might have suffered from the decline in business.  I was happily mistaken.

The restaurant was just as I remembered it.  Unlike most Killington restaurants,  Hemmingway's is quiet and casually eloquent. An eclectic blend of soft music, and original art in the background.  Well seasoned waiters who are polite and attentive.

The food and wine were exquisite.  My mouth exploded with joy as I took my first bite of the wild mushroom risotto.  Its earthy flavor in harmony with the Pinot Noir.  The second course was a wild Atlantic striped bass, Maine lobster, chard, and golden beets was moist and flavorful.  The Pinot Noir was versatile enough to compliment both courses. 

I passed on dessert, opting instead for a capachino served with a small biscotti and maple candy to end a perfect meal.  You might think a meal like this was outrageously expensive, but the quality far exceeds all of the other restaurants in Killington, and the prices are comparable to many.

Thank you Jim and Diana for a wonderful dining experience and an unexpected treat.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Adventure in the Kitchen: Raspberry, Walnut, and Gorganzola Salad

This is a light flavorful salad, the walnuts add a nice crunchy texture.  Please adjust ingredients to suit your tastes.

5 oz. (correction) Mixed Spring Greens 
1/2 cup Raspberries
1/4 cup chopped Walnuts
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 T minced Onion

Place the ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Toss with the Dijon-Maple dressing given below.


Dijon-Maple Dressing:
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Maple Syrup
3 T Olive Oil
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
dash of Pepper
dash of Garlic Powder

Use a small whisk to blend the ingredients.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Prehab

I awoke this morning to a tired sore body.  Listening to my body, as well as to the howling wind, I decided it would be a perfect day for prehab instead of skiing.  What is prehab you might ask?  It is crosstraining, which helps  prevent overuse injuries and improves overall strength and conditioning. 

I went to the Sunrise Fitness Center, and I snowshoed at the High Altitude Adventure Center.  In the woods, the wind was calm, there were flurries in the air, and the sun would peak out to brighten up the woods.  Since many of the trails were matted down from previous visitors, I took to the woods and bushwhacked much of my own trail.

 

When I finished the snowshoe, I hit the gym for some weight training and stretches.  I ended my visit in the hot tub and stretched some more.  By the time I left the fitness center, my soreness was gone and my body felt good.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Household Hint: Wax Clean Up

Today I was a bit clumsy and knocked over a candle.  The hot wax spilled across the table.  My first reaction was to wipe up the mess, but instead I let it cool. Once hard, I used a plastic paint scraper to easily remove it from the table.  A little funiture polish and no signs it ever happened.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Adventure in the Kitchen: Mom's Favorite Soup

I made a yummy soup for lunch from an old Italian family recipe.  I don't know how to spell it, but phonetically my mom called min-A-sha.  She made it with a variety of dark greens like Swiss chard, escarole, spinach, even green beans, depending what was in season or at hand. 



Today I used kale.  I have created my own version from my mom's original recipe.  Anyone who knows me, knows I hardly ever make the same dish exactly the same way twice.  That is why I call this Adventures in the Kitchen.  I like to try different combinations of flavors to see what happens. 

I hope you enjoy it.  I would love your feedback if you try the recipe.

1 small onion coarsely chopped
1/4 red pepper seeded and coarsely chopped
4 mushrooms sliced
1 medium thin skinned potato cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 can of garbanzo beans (or other legume of choice) drained and rinsed well
1 bunch of kale (or other dark leafy greens or beans) very coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Romano cheese (or other hard Italian cheese)
Crusty day old bread

Gently heat butter and olive oil in a 2 qt pot.  Add onion, red pepper, mushrooms, potatoes, and red pepper flakes and saute for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and sauteed another minute.  Add chicken stock and beans.  Bring to boil then simmer about 10 minutes.  Add greens and simmer until greens are soft, but not mushy.  Serve with grated Romano cheese and day old crusty bread.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pico: Killington's Friendly Older Brother

I headed out this morning with my usual expectation of another great ski day.  The ski was blue and the wind calm.  Shortly after my first few runs, the clouds started to roll in, and there was a slight wind. The thin cover of groomed snow was quickly skied off leaving many patches of ice.  It cooled just enough to give me a chill.  No longer feeling the mountain love at 11 AM, I decided I had enough and skied home.

It was too early to call it a day, so after lunch I headed over to Pico Mountain to snowshoe.  Pico is a small family friendly ski resort that has been owned by Killington since 1997 (vermonter.com).  It maintains its clasic Vermont charm, with all trails leading to an old fashion ski lodge complete with a huge natural fireplace to warm cold skiers.  The prices are reasonable, making it an affordable place to ski.

Brad and Janet Mead, Henry Field  (Lorentz p.20) opened Pico on Thanksgiving Day 1937.  A 1200' tow powered my an old Hudson Automobile, brought skiers up the 2.5-mile-long Sunset Schuss trail.  It was New England's widest ski trail at the time with an average width of 65 feet (picomountain.com). 

Pico held its first ski race in January 1938.  Olympic gold medal winners Andrea Mead Lawrence, Suzy Chaffee, Rebel Ryan and Megan and Kristy Brown were all based here (picomountain.com).

Pico alpine operations are closed on Tuesday's and Wednesday's, except during holiday weeks, making it a great place to snowshoe or Nordic ski.  I wandered around the mountain all alone on my snowshoes.  There was an inch of fresh snow under my feet, and more was falling from the sky.


video

In my wanderings, I wandered over to the grave site of Brad and Janet Mead.  They are buried in the woods with a view of the ski trails below.  I paid my respects and ventured on my way.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Killington: Easy Come Easy Go

It is hard to believe a week ago we had over 14" of fresh powder from a blizzard that paralyzed much of the East Coast.  A few days of warm weather erased the snow from that storm.  I guess easy come, easy go, when it comes to natural snow.

Conclusion on Sunday after the thaw
Skiing on Sunday was very unusual.  The snow was soft, weather springlike, and the mountain empty.  A beautiful gift of a holiday weekend in January.  I think most people thought all the runs would look like Conclusion, buy many still had plenty of cover like on the Northridge area. 

Northridge area on Sunday

It was one of those days I planned on taking only a few runs, but a few runs turned into a half day.  It was my own private playground, and I didn't want to stop. 

Today, the temperatures were again cold enough for the snow elves to make snow.  The snow comes again, but with a little more work than when nature provided it. 

Snow replacement the snow elves
My friend Susie, stopped to thank a couple of elves we met on the trail for their efforts.    
Susie with Snow Elves

 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year Eve Party Talk: Are Crocs Edible?

Last night while we were celebrating New Year's Eve, someone commented on my crocs and told me they were edible. I made a note to myself to investigate when I returned home.

I am going to back up and explain why I was wearing crocs.  Killington etiquette recommends bringing slippers or a second pair of footwear when visiting someone's house.  The ground is usually muddy or snowy in the winter, and it would be rude to track this into their home.  So we change shoes at the door.  Not only does this respect our host's home, it is sure comfortable after being in ski boots all day.

Back to the crocs.  When I returned home I looked up the answer on my computer.  It amazed me that there was a long debate on the topic.  It seems like the verdict is pretty much evenly divided.  Below are the two opposite views representative of the discussion, plus a youtube video that gives the definitive answer in my opinion. 

  • Yes, they are edible. The shoes are supposedly 100% organic. If you boil them, you can eat em (I wouldn't try it though, unless you're starving out in the middle of nowhere and wearing crocs, then you should do that but...) answers.com 
  • Crocs are made from a material called PCCR. This is a blend of different materials that only Crocs makes, and is most likely a petroleum based foam. This means that Crocs footwear are not edible.  The Daily Green via Answerbag.com



My final thought on the topic.  I will pass on Crocs for dinner and just continue enjoying them on my feet and not in my mouth.