Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bike-Cation Maple Syrup and Covered Bridges

The vote for the family vacation this year was wide open for most of the year. We talked about Jackson Hole, Whistler, Western NC Mountains, and even a "Nor-Easter". Due to budget constraints this fiscal period, the CEO and Executive Board of Directors ruled out Whistler for sure. Jackson Hole was soon to follow. Apparently it's expensive to go out of country or out "west" to a ski area in the summer. Who knew? We go for 2-3 weeks and lodging gets out of hand for that long. It looked like Western NC was going to be the winner-winner-chicken dinner. The CEO then did some searching on the internets and found some kids camps in Vermont. Holy maple syrup, you mean we can ride mountain bikes everyday? Deal done. Covered Bridges and Moose, here we come.

 First though an important stop at the Camelback waterpark in PA on the way up, yes, we drove!

Little guy and I had a blast on the slides. I honestly don't know which of us was having more fun. That's one of the great things about having children - You can act like a silly idiot and no one thinks any different of you! In fact, the more slap happy I get, the better the Dad I look like!

We chose the Killington area near Rutland, VT for the first leg and holy crap was it a good decision. The riding in that area combined with temps in the upper 60's/lower 70's and all the fun family things to do made it a great place to stay. Bonus, little guy LOVED his camp.

A big Hike to the top of Okemo Mountain

I actually got welcomed by the local wildlife the first day riding the bike park at Killington. A Catamount, which is the Vermont name for mountain lion, chased me for about 50 feet. Lucky for me, I was going downhill already and this really helped me just pin it. He lost interest quickly, and I think that I surprised him and he thought I was a deer at first. The bike park does not disappoint. High speed gondola to the top and tons of trails to choose from to get down. It was very rideable on my 140mm all mountain 29er.

After 4 or 5 days shredding the greater Killington area and bike park we headed north to Burlington, VT. Really cool town on Lake Champlain. Awesome downtown scene with tons of shops and restaurants. Driving distance to Stowe and Sugar Bush. A killer bike path next to the lake that led all the way to Canada.

Nice bike path that cuts right up the middle of the lake

After a day riding around Burlington, we ventured over to Sugarbush ski resort after hearing that it was the only lift accessed park in this part of Vermont. 

Super fun riding - high speed technical. Tons of rocks the whole friggin' way down without a break. Rocks, boulders, pebbles, and more rocks. It was also steep. Definite DH bike territory. I was feeling a little under gunned on my stumpy fsr evo. Oh well, that's why they put brakes on your bike.

Next day we decided to check out Stowe area bike trails. I skied Stowe as a kid so it was cool to see it again and get to experience a different side of it on the bike. 

Long trail with so much tech and rocks it was silly. Many breaks were needed, luckily they provided us with some places to sit. To bad they were not operational.

A stop at the Burlington beach - 62 degrees and "sunny". Notice the water is pretty empty?

A quick visit to Burton Snowboards where I found the board that started it all for me 25 years ago.

Then we headed to the Great White North of Can-A-Dia. First though, of course, we find another place to ride bikes. Back to Stowe again to try another trail.

Is it a VT Moose, the elusive Sasquatch? Nah, it's the Mrs. riding all covert like

We cross the border into Canada and head to Montreal for a visit. Very much like Europe - or so I'm told since I have never been to Europe. It looks like what I have seen in the movies anyway. Interesting thing is that everyone who greets you says Bon Jour/Hello and waits to see which one you say back before figuring out how to talk to you. 

We pretty much did the tourist thing and discussed the finer points of French cuisine. Below Brock is saying, "what do you mean they don't have pizza in Montreal Daddy?"

Just kidding there buddy

Lots of interesting street performers and of course tons of restaurants and good things to eat everywhere. We ate food 24/7 and walked around like clueless Americans.

We headed back to "Merica" and ended up going back to the Killington area since we liked it so much. The weather was pretty good on our trip - we had one rainy day up at Stowe where it poured and we got skunked on biking, but overall it was perfect weather. When we got back to Killington it decided to make up for all our good weather. Since the lifts were closed and the trails would be super sloppy we went and hiked some of the Appalachain Trail.

The weather passed after a couple days and we got one last day at Killington to enjoy the bike park again before heading home. We took full advantage. 

Even though it was a pretty cold day, the "Snug" toughed it out and rode until her fingers couldn't pull the brakes anymore.

Laps in the Gondola

Brockster had a great trip with lots of camps and lakes, beaches, hiking, and riding new adventures. He really liked the Ho and tels(his name for hotel) and getting to sleep in the same room with Mommy and Daddy.

Bask in the Elements

I sure will miss riding up these things……….