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Posted in Guide

Cure for Cabin Fever

Winter can be a tough time of year for the pursuit of outdoor hobbies. When days are so short, it can become very difficult if not impossible to get outside after finishing your workday. There is no way to change daylight hours. So, rather than simply waiting for spring, here are my favorite ways to still feel connected to the outdoors even when short days make that especially difficult.

Photo by Stefan Stefancik on Pexels.com

Get Outside EVERY Winter Weekend

This might seem obvious, but when you cant get outside after work, make sure you get outside when you aren’t working. For me, this means every weekend I’m picking at least one day to go skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing and I make sure to actually get out and do it. Cold dark weekend mornings make it especially tempting to stay inside and sleep in, but make use of every daylight minute you have. If you get the winter blues like I do, this time in the sun is super important to your mental health. That Netflix binge can wait until the sun goes down!

Go Out at Night

A good headlamp can extend your outdoor hours if you are interested in exploring after dark too. I’ve found that hiking at night in the winter can result in some pretty spectacular stargazing on clear nights. Just be careful to not put yourself in a dangerous situation if the weather gets too cold, or if your light source stops working. This winter I’m hoping to try out some nighttime ice fishing and will probably put out a video on this at some point as well. Some ski areas also offer night skiing which can be a welcome change of pace after a long workday.

Gear Check and Inventory for Summer

During warmer months, my adventure style changes. Contrary to winter, I like to make my summer plans very last minute with a “Carpe Diem” mentality, perhaps deciding on a Friday at 4PM to spend the weekend camping in the woods. However, it isn’t safe to leave civilization behind without being sure you have all the necessary gear for your trip. One way to allow this last minute planning is to spend some winter evenings setting up adventure boxes with all your gear for different trips. Make sure everything in the boxes are inventoried with a proper packing list and if things are missing, replace them as soon as you can. The last thing you want to happen is to open the box the day of your trip and realize that something needs to be replenished or replaced. That way, you can just grab the box and get out there.

Plan a Larger Summer Trip

Small trips can happen with minimal planning in the summer, but one way to certainly beat your winter blues and cabin fever can be planning out a bigger trip. Organizing friends, mapping routes, finding campsites, permitting and shopping for new gear are all important factors in planning a bigger trip, and the cold winter months are the begin this process. Sometimes this can add to your sense of cabin fever if you’re really itching to get out there, so find out for yourself if this idea works for you.

Learn a New Skill

One of the amazing things about the internet is the wealth of information available in every imaginable subject. Specifically for outdoor adventurers, you can find blogs, videos and instruction articles on everything from skiing moguls to hand-tying fishing flies. Find something that interests you and learn something new. My own current inspiration has been camping skills taught by YouTube video creator Joe Robinet. Spend your winter months learning some new skills that will help to make the warmer months more adventurous!

Posted in Guide

4 Pre-Adventure Breakfast Stops| Burlington, VT

food plate sandwich meal
Photo by Angele J on Pexels.com

Whenever I head out exploring, whether it be a day of skiing in the winter or fishing in the summer, I want to start my day with a good breakfast. Usually for me, this is either a Bagel and Cream-cheese or a Bacon, Egg and Cheese type sandwich as well. There are a number of different places in my “home base” city of Burlington, VT so I figured I would share my favorite 4 Breakfast stops! Without further ado, and in no particular order:

City Market

Many times, if you were looking for a good breakfast sandwich, you might not think to check your grocery store. In Burlington though, City Market is not just a grocery store! Inside, the deli has fantastic lunch sandwiches to order, but also their “Breakfast Bagelwich” is available to order from 7 to 11am. I usually order the “Deluxe Bagelwich”, adding sriracha and sprouts. Once I get one of these sandwiches in me, I’m ready for a day in the mountains!

Burlington Bagel Bakery

On Shelburne Road, less than a mile from the highway on-ramp, is Burlington Bagel Bakery. Conveniently in the same parking lot as a gas station, you can fuel up not only your car, but also yourself. This place is popular on the weekends after 9, so if you made a late start, be ready to wait in line. Burlington Bagel Bakery has a wide variety of bagels as well as flavored cream cheeses. A great sandwich to order here is the “Triple B” which is a Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich with a hash-brown and chipotle mayo added on!

Meyer’s Bagels

If you’re making an EARLY morning of your adventure, Meyer’s might just be your best choice of breakfast stop. At 4am Meyer’s opens its doors for hungry adventurers to get their breakfasts. I usually get the “Conquistador” sandwich which is sausage, egg and cheese with avocado and sriracha on the signature “Montreal Spice” Bagel.

Kountry Kart Deli

Perhaps more famous for being the last stop of the night after a night downtown in Burlington, “KKD” is also a fantastic spot to stop for your breakfast before a road trip. Not only do they have a great selection of sandwiches, portion sizes are pretty large. Do you normally think of a breakfast sandwich going on a foot long sub roll? At KKD, a large breakfast sandwich comes on just that!

Posted in Skiing

Bluebird Saturday at Stowe

My friend and I got out for some skiing today at Stowe! The conditions were fantastic. The sun was shining, and the snow was soft and easy to turn on. Unfortunately I crashed pretty hard, but conveniently I left that out of the video I made! I hope you all enjoy.

Posted in Geocaching

Geocaching at Parmelee Farm

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading! This morning I am in Killingworth, Connecticut to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I hope you are celebrating as well! For my celebration, I decided to hit the trails.

It’s stick season in Connecticut

Before the festivities begin, I was able to squeeze in a quick geocaching adventure with my blog’s first official subscriber (Hi Mom!) and the two dogs, Brookie and Barley at the Parmelee Farm nature trails. This morning was pretty bitter cold for November, below 20 degrees, but once we were out walking the trails, it wasn’t too hard to keep warm. On the walk, soggy ground had frozen and expanded forming these really cool looking icy pillars, almost looking like mushrooms poking out  of the ground. This was the best picture I could get of these cool ice structures.

Ice crystals growing right out of the ground

Each cache was found relatively quickly by myself, but Mom seemed to enjoy watching me laugh at her while she spent another 5 minutes looking for the hidden Tupperware containers! Thanks for coming on an adventure Mom!

Mom, Brookie, and Barley
Posted in Skiing

Opening Day 2018 at Stowe

I woke up Friday morning to perhaps the best text message I could ask for. “School cancelled for Friday November 16, Please complete work from home!”

I sprung out of bed and immediately began getting my “work from home” tasks completed as fast as I could. I was going to get on the road to ski as fast as I could. It took me a couple hours, but by 11 I was free and ready to head to the mountain.

As soon as I got off the highway, I was reminded that perhaps school was cancelled for good reason, as the roads were all still covered in snow and I had to drive about 25mph down roads that are normally posted for 50 mph. Either way, I eventually got to the mountain, got my new Epic Pass from the counter and made the quick walk to the FourRunner Quad. Despite the foot of snow that fell overnight, I didn’t need to wait in any lift line. I hopped on the Quad chair and had the ride all to myself. 

The chair sped me to the top of the mountain and before I knew it I was at the top. I took a quick selfie (Insert obligatory selfie below), and my 2018/2019 ski season had begun!

I was amazed on the first few runs at how great conditions were. Usually, before Thanksgiving, skiing consists of skidding down a single icy glacier of snow making snow with little, if any natural snow. This year however, has been an especially stormy November and the mountain certainly benefited from that. There was a variety of trails to ski and many of them opened up with just natural snow!

In total, I did 12 runs over the 4 hours I was there and enjoyed every single one of them. I’m very excited that my preseason workouts seemed to have paid off as well. Usually my legs only last for 3 or 4 runs this early in the season. It seems like this fall is setting up to be a great winter. Get outside and enjoy it!

Also, I wanted to mess around with video editing, so I made a quick Youtube video. Check it out. I might make more of these videos since I think they might fit my subject matter.

Posted in Disc Golf

First Snowy Disc Golf Round

After a day of blustery geocaching and letterboxing, Sunday was spent disc golfing with some friends at Wrightsville Beach Disc Golf course. It was nice to spend the day outside in fairly mild temperatures compared to the bone chilling wind the day before.  I managed to keep my feet mostly dry, but pretty soon I’ll be needing more than regular hiking shoes to stay dry out there. I didn’t have my camera out much, but at the end of the day, I was able to catch part of the group taking some ace runs at hole number 11. Enjoy!

Posted in Letterboxing

Prayer Rock Letterbox Found

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Today, I thought I would explore the Burlington Bike Path and perhaps find some geocaches. When I got to the waterfront however, I was met with conditions I wasn’t really expecting! I was only able to take a few pictures of Lake Champlain and some angry looking water before I needed to retreat to the car.

Despite the sun and fluffy clouds, the temperature was in only the high 30’s and the wind was howling so it felt much colder. I attempted to find one geocache, but the cold and the wind made me retreat back to the car for warmth. At first, I was disappointed in myself for not being prepared for the conditions, but the wind by the lake was just a little too strong for me to enjoy spending much time away from the car. Rather than giving up on a bright and sunny afternoon, I decided to change my plans and go for a different adventure. I decided to go for a drive away from the lake and go letterboxing!

Similar to Geocaching, Letterboxing is another outdoor scavenger hunt game that I have enjoyed for some time. I was more involved in the game while I was in high school, but since moving to Vermont, I had never been able to find one of Vermont’s most famous letterboxes! The Prayer Rock Letterbox was originally placed in 1998, right after the sport started in the United States. In fact, this letterbox is famous for being the first to feature a piece of hand-carved stamp art for each finder. Today, this practice is commonplace and so clearly, I needed to find the first!

The exact location of this box is shrouded in a small amount of mystery, so I wont be the one to spoil the fun for you, but as someone who has been a part of this game for over 15 years, finding a letterbox that has existed for 20 years was very exciting. If you are interested in finding this original Letterbox, find its clues here.

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After we found the box, we hopped back in the car and proceeded to get lost on Vermont dirt roads making our way slowly back to Burlington. On the drive alone, we saw 3 new parks and trails that I had never noticed before. Looks like more new places to explore next time!

Posted in Hiking

Snow in the Hills!

Two weeks ago, I went the lazy route of mountain climbing. It was the last weekend of “Summer/Fall” lift service at Stowe Mountain Resort and so my girlfriend and I went to check out the Vermont fall colors. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to see a different color at the tops of the mountains.

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When I moved to Vermont 10 years ago, it was because I wanted a longer ski season than the 3 months of slushy conditions I was used to in southern New England. Whenever I see the hills go white early in the season, I know its almost time. In years past, I had hiked up Stowe to get a few “very early season” turns. But this year, I didn’t have the skis in the car yet. This year, I got to use my new Epic Pass in order to get a free lift ride to the top. The Stowe Gondola delivers riders up to an elevation just over 3000 feet above sea level, and we needed almost all of that elevation before we got to the snow zone, but it was a treat to watch the seasons transition from the base area, to the top of the lift. We snapped a few pictures, made a tiny snowman, and enjoyed this tiny preview of winter.

The valley looks pretty colorful! But looking further up the mountain?

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