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JULY 2015



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PUBLISHER Angelo Lynn C EDITOR Lisa Lynn C STAFF WRITER Evan Johnson C ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Shawn Braley C ADVERTISING MANAGER Christy Lynn C ADVERTISING SALES Greg Meulemans C | (802) 366-0689 Dave Honeywell | (802) 583-4653 C READER ATHLETE EDITOR Phyl Newbeck C MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD Dr. Nathan Endres, Dr. David Lisle, Dr. James Slauterbeck —University of Vermont College of Medicine; Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation

It's summer, so take the plunge! Biddle Duke, who writes about Vermont's sweet swimming holes in Endgame, dives in.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Butch Lombardi, Brian Mohr, Oliver Parini


EDITORIAL AND PRODUCTION OFFICE Vermont Sports | 58 Maple Street Middlebury, Vt. 05753 | 802-388-4944 We welcome unsolicited material but cannot guarantee its safe return. Materials submitted will become property of Vermont Sports. Vermont Sports is independently owned and operated by Addison Press Inc., 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753. It is published 10 times per year. Established in 1990. Vermont Sports subscriptions in the U.S.: one year $25. Canada: US funds, please add $5 per year postage. Other international subscriptions, please call 802-388-4944 for information. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Vermont Sports, 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753

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THE GREAT OUTDOORS Try these new treetop adventures, opening in Stowe and the ADK; go island camping on Lake Champlain; learn falconry in Woodstock and more. P. 9

FISHING, FOR ANOTHER GENERATION Few know lake fishing better than this father/son duo. P. 18

GOING DOWNHILL, FAST You're not truly a mountain biker until you've flown down one of Vermont's six downill MTB resorts. P. 20

Ski Vermont

The Green Mountain Club

14 DAYS ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN The best way to explore Lake Champlain? Follow the route these teenagers took, rowing it end to end and camping along the way. P. 24 ON THE COVER: A balloon descends into Quechee Gorge during the Quechee Hot Air Ballon Festival. Cover photo by Butch Lombardi

JULY 2015

AIR TIME! There are plenty of ways to get high in Vermont. Here are six that are perfectly legal. P. 30

DEPARTMENTS 3 THE START Protect Our Playground 7 SPEAK UP The Most Basic Civil Right 13 PRO TIPS: SUP Champion paddler Bob Arnot

on more paddle power


Muscle Pain: A Doc's Advice 17 READER ATHLETE An Advenure Racer/Writer

29 NEW GEAR & BEER From Specialized, Bern and

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42 ENDGAME The Plunge, by Biddle Duke

ADVERTISERS! The deadline for the August issue of Vermont Sports is July 21. Contact today to reserve your space!



JULY 2015


PROTECT OUR PLAYGROUND “Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact, plans to protect man.” —Stewart Udall, former Secretary of the Interior, environmentalist, and author of The Quiet Crisis.


fell in love with Vermont one afternoon in July, in the early 1990s. At the time, I was working in New York City and I had come to play golf at Sugarbush Resort for a business event. But as I tried to focus on that evasive, small white ball, I had a hard time focusing. I kept looking at the mesmerizing kaleidoscope of green on the mountains all around. I went to swing. A shadow crossed the fairway, a glider, soaring silently overhead. I looked up in awe. My ball went into a sandtrap. After, as set out to drive home, I

came across a group of kids standing half naked on a bridge in the late afternoon sun. One by one they launched off the bridge into the dark, cool waters below, shrieking as they fell. I pulled over, found a pool downstream in the Mad River and dove in. The water was soft, cool and crystalline as it washed over my salty skin and, in some deep place, my soul. It’s a sensation Biddle Duke captures beautifully in his essay, "The Plunge," on the last page of this issue. Too often we take for granted what Vermont has to offer. We have swimming holes, not crowded beaches with restricted parking. We have forests and wilderness, not parks. We don’t have to check the air quality reports before we empty and refill our lungs on a long run or ride. We don’t have to reserve a campsite a year ahead or know someone wealthy to gain access to world class golf greens. It is hard to read Rachel Hemond’s account, “14 Days on Lake Champlain,” without appreciating the astonishing fact that we 124 miles of freshwater in Lake Champlain, sur-

rounded by mountains and dotted with islands. If you choose to follow the Lake Champlain Paddler's Trail, you can have access to more than 600 shoreline campsites, many on land preserved by the state. Vermont is this way because we have chosen to protect it. People such as the folks at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, members of the Lake Champlain Commission, and James Ehlers, executive director of Lake Champlain International, continue to push for that protection. In this issue, Ehlers writes our Speak Up column calling for greater action to prevent run-off, sewage and other pollution from spilling into our lakes and rives, a topic that comes up again in “Fishing, for the Next Generation.” The fact that we have a rebounding fishery, ample fresh water, and forests and wetlands that help filter it, is something that may become increasingly rare as the the climate changes around us. Already, this past winter Vermont eclipsed draught-stricken California as the state with the second-highest

number of skier visits and, not just epic snowfall, but the most snow. While this year may have been exceptional, the trend in climate change is undeniable. Like the short sweet summers we savor, our Vermont landscape is precious. By protecting it—and the waters and air all life relies on—we protect the very things that feed our soul. —Lisa Gosselin Lynn, Editor

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PROTECT OUR MOST BASIC CIVIL RIGHT With recent sewage spills and phosphorous runoff endangering our rivers and lakes, it’s time to take action to preserve Vermont’s waters By James Ehlers


ivers weave the fabric for our lives as Vermonters, people who live in and celebrate the outdoors. Lakes—the places we swim, boat, paddle, and fish—buoy our quality of life.  As a former charter sailing captain, professional fishing and hunting guide, and now leader of a conservation organization, water has run through my life here in Vermont. It now does so for my children and, I expect, for many reading this.   At Lake Champlain International (LCI), the organization I am fortunate to lead, I witness first-hand the economic and social value of our waters. For the last 34 years, LCI has drawn tens of thousands of anglers from all over the country to celebrate family, friends, and fishing over the Father’s Day Derby we put on each June on Lake Champlain and her tributaries.  Nearly 5,000 came from 34 states to participate in this past Derby weekend, a ritual for many families and our marquee fundraiser in support of swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. Fishing is a ritual for many of these families. Some have exchanged wedding vows at the event. Others have literally taken their LCI hats and t-shirts to the grave with them.    Anglers also fuel our economy, bringing a $200 million infusion each year. Most of these dollars are spent in our rural communities where these revenues are not just icing on the cake, but the cake itself.  This is money that comes in regardless of whether there are leaves on the trees or snow on the slopes, but it is money that depends on clean water and a healthy fishery, showing once again how our economy and our ecology are integrally linked. It is with this perspective, and a great sense of responsibility, that I approach our yearround efforts addressing the threats now posed to our water quality.   owever in the past few years, pernicious nutrient and pathogen pollution from industrial agriculture and the developed landscape have wreaked havoc on our waters and on communities such as St. Albans, Lake Carmi, Bridport, Panton, Burlington, Newport, Shelburne, and many others. Formal beach closures now occur with greater frequency.  Some Lake Champlain communities go without municipal water for weeks, relying on tankers trucking water in or turning to commercial bottled water.  Rotting fish pile up on shorelines necessitating community-wide clean-up efforts. Blue-green algae blooms choke Mississquoi Bay and southern parts of the Lake, sending up sulfurous odors and essentially closing off waters. In Georgia, where the problem has been particularly bad, lake-front properties have lost value, causing the grand list to decrease by $1.8 million. During this wet May and June, we saw more than 34 sewage spills send everything from phosphorous to fecal matter into Lake Champlain. Over 25 days, five spills in Vergennes alone dumped 700,000 gallons into the Otter Creek—the equivalent of what 116 milk trucks can carry. These spills are legal, unavoidable, say some, due to aging sewer and water treatment plants. Hard to fathom in a state revered for its environmental ethic.


JULY 2015

James Ehlers is the executive director of Lake Champlain International, a Colchester-based conservation organization working to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. Photo by Angelo Lynn

It is absurd, in my view, that we expect to responsibly manage our home—our economy— while disregarding the study of our home—our ecology. Vermont’s Clean Water Bill that was signed into law this past June (as well as other recent legislative attempts to improve the state of our waters) may have been a political success. They propose steps to improve agricultural practices and limit farm and road run-off. But we are still left with an ecological mess.  If we rely on the same sort of thinking that created the problem to solve it—the false premise that dilution is the solution to pollution—we should expect more beach closures, more drinking water issues, more lost tourism and recreation revenue. This will have implications on property tax and education funding implications, and frankly, it will just lead to more misery.   ith great challenges come great opportunities, however. When enough of us pull together to demand 21st century solutions from our local, state, and federal officials, from our business leaders, and from ourselves we


Have a comment about this column or a commentary of your own? Speak Up welcomes your feedback and opinions. Visit to share your thoughts or propose a subject for a future Speak Up.

can and will affect a clean water economy. By working with the basic laws of physics and chemistry, instead of ignoring them as we have attempted to do with nowobvious horrendous repercussions, we can transform what we currently identify as waste polluting our environment into a commodity, protect our water supplies, and remediate our recreational waters.  The solutions are multi-faceted, but they do exist. Nutrient-fueled reactors powered by algae capture and convert—recycle—the innate energy in our current “waste” streams into bioplastics, natural colorants, feedstock, and stable fertilizer products. Around the world, biogas plants are converting human and animal excrement into usable fuel and electricity.  Ecological, composting toilets can relieve us of our dependence on expensive, unsustainable centralized wastewater facilities in rural communities. Centrifuge systems can transform liquid waste into solid phosphorous negating the dependence on overseas mines for the valuable element critical to all human life.  “Floating islands” seeded with valuable crops can remediate nutrient-plagued lakes and bays, intelligently removing the “pollutants” from the water column. With a new vision for an economy that is in harmony with our ecology, we can create jobs and protect and remediate our critical freshwater supplies.


hat has not existed to date is the same public outcry for what we now consider to be a basic civil rights issue: the right to clean water. When did we accept the notion that is acceptable for those upstream to exploit those downstream?  I don’t think we ever actually did, and that is why I have enormous hope.  This is not simply an environmental issue—it is a fundamental issue of right and wrong.  Institutionalized exploitation of our neighbors is not in the lexicon of any Vermonters I know.   A clean water economy, one built on protecting our quality of life rather than poisoning it, would account for how we manage our energy supplies, to include food (our most basic form of energy) production; how we manage our commercial, agricultural, and personal “waste,” and how we manage lands presently and into future.    It is not that foreign a concept when you consider that the root “eco” is derived from the Greek word oikos or “home.”  It is absurd, in my view, that we expect to responsibly manage our home—our economy— while disregarding the study of our home—our ecology.   Those of us who re-create outdoors need not be told we depend on clean water for our enjoyment.  We know we do. Water is the most basic element of our quality of life.  Having taken clean water for granted for generations, the reckoning has now come due and the responsibility to correct past mistakes and wrongs rests with us. Who’s with me?  

To learn more about the issues and how you can get involved to be a part of the solution, contact James at james@ or at 802.879.2016.  You can also find James and Lake Champlain International on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and the web:




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JULY 2015




f you can remember back to summers as a kid when you climbed hand over hand into the leafy heart of a maple and looked down at the world, you know that life in the tree tops is different. Just how different is what the new Wild Walk at the Adirondacks’ Wild Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y. hopes to capture. The walkway, which opened on July 4, is 40 feet off the ground with views out across the treetops and the Adirondack State Park. The walk is made up of more than 1,000 feet of bridges, connecting experiences that will downsize you to a kid again: a giant bald eagle’s nest you can crawl into; a spider web the size of a trampoline; and a white pine snag with an internal spiral staircase you climb to reach the next walkway. The interpretive walk tells the story of the landscape and wildlife of the Adirondacks, including the more than 72 bird species that call these trees home.

If you want to actually swing through the trees, Stowe Mountain Resort’s TreeTop Adventure Course ( opened on July 3 at the Mount Mansfield base. A combination of 68 different challenges takes you through the treetops on walkways, across cable bridges and short ziplines. Like Smuggler’s Notch Arbortrek Canopy Adventures, (, it’s a skills and obstacle course that can be used for team building, or just letting the kids blow off some steam. Remembering what it was like to be a kid in the trees is what inspired Stratton skier David Rosow to build Magic Mountain’s Timberquest (www. with 20 zip lines and 75 challenges including cargo nets and log bridges that challenge agility and strength. More at Reservations are recommended for all but the Wild Walk and prices vary depending on how many challenges you do.

Spend a day in the canopy at Stowe's new TreeTop Adventure course (above) or the Adirondack Wild Center's Wild Walk, both open July 3.

JULY 2015





his summer, you don’t need to head to the coast to camp on an island. Located 30 miles north of Burlington, midway between Grand Isle and St. Albans, Burton Island State Park sits like a jewel in Lake Champlain’s Inland Sea. Protected to the west by the Champlain Islands and with views east to the Green Mountains, the 253-acre island was owned and farmed by the Burton family through the early 1900s. They lived on the mainland and farmed it in the summers and, later, leased the island to other farmers. Old stone fences still dot the fields and woods. In 1962, the State of Vermont bought the land and originally planned to connect it to the mainland by a causeway then decided it would be better off as a park accessible only by boat. You can bring your own boat over from the mainland to the marina there, canoe, kayak or take the ferry. To get to Burton, it’s a ten-minute ferry ride from neighboring Kill Kare State Park, just outside of St. Albans. The ferry runs daily every one and a half hours from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and costs $4 per person. For the full ferry schedule and campsite reservations visit

With no cars, quiet trails, SUP and kayak rentals and $25 lake-side lean-tos, waterfront living is easy on Burton Island.

Lean-tos and campsites After arriving by boat, you can check in just after leaving the dock and have your gear delivered by truck to the site (for a $10 fee, each way), or throw it in a cart and haul it yourself. The park’s 26 lean-to shelters and 17 campsites have views of the lake and the Green Mountains. Vermont residents can rent campsites for $18 per night and lean-tos for $25 per night (reserve at Be sure to ask for one of a handful of lean-tos directly on the lake, and start your day with a sunrise swim. There are rest rooms and coin-operated hot showers as well. Forget the cooler at home? There is a small store near the marina for grill-ables, beer, wine, ice cubes, snacks and more. The store also offers a small bistro with sandwiches and breakfast items.

Trails The short network of trails around the island is a great way to explore. The Southern Tip, Eagle Bay Trail, West Shore Trail and North Shore Trails are all well marked and lead to rocky bays and a few secluded beaches. The Island Farm Nature Trail loop is a good way for naturalists young and old to learn

about the local flora and fauna, including beaver, bald eagles and raccoons. For cyclists looking for a longer ride, take the ferry back to Kill Kare State Park and head to St. Albans to jump on the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, a gentle crushed gravel bike path that links St. Albans with Sheldon Springs, Enosburg Falls and Richmond, where it ends 26.4 miles later at the Canadian border. The trail is mostly crushed limestone for the majority of the trail.

Boating Burton Island’s 100-slip and 15-mooring marina makes the park a starting point and midway station for those traveling the lake by boat. The park rents tandem and single person kayaks, rowboats, canoes and stand-up paddleboards. The marina also has day-use picnic areas and docks, which also serve as good spots for fishing for pumpkin seeds, perch and rock bass. For a longer trip or an overnight, take a boat to neighboring Knight


Island or Woods Island. Woods Island features just five tent sites, while Knight Island has nine lean-tos and one tent platform. The setting is a little more rustic but you’ll be away from the crowds since there’s no ferry service.

Rainy Days A nature center has daily events and learning activities for kids and adults. Ride the ferry back to shore for day trips into downtown St. Albans or longer excursions south to Burlington.

JULY 2015


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The Sport of Kings, in Woodstock The “sport of kings,” falconry earned its moniker in medieval Europe. At the time, only noblemen were allowed to train birds of prey to capture other game. This month Master Falconer Chris Davis of New England Falconry in Hadley, Mass., is opening an outpost at the Woodstock Inn’s historic 10,000-square-foot Rutherford Barn and 50-acre meadow. The Center gives guests and visitors a chance to get “up close and personal” with the fascinating birds and will host hawk walks, raptor receptions, and even show how the birds can be used as skilled ring bearers for weddings. The Center, which is home to a falcon, a Eurasian owl and six Harris’s hawks, will conduct introductory and extended flying and handling sessions, sharing the history of falconry, raptor adaptations and conservation. Prices start at $50 for observers and $95 for participants. For additional information, visit:

Just How Good Was It? Face shots, waist-deep powder, fresh tracks… Remember the dream winter of 2015? The good news, it wasn’t a dream and, in fact, 2015 may go down on the record books as one of the best winters for Vermont ski resorts in recorded history. This year, Vermont pushed ahead of draught-stricken California to become the state with the second highest number of skier visits in the country, thanks to 4,670,903 skier and rider visits. With a record early opening, ideal conditions for the state’s enhanced snowmaking, and an epic parade of snow storms that gave Vermont the most snow of any state in the continental US, Vermont topped its 2001 record, drawing visitors from as far as Texas and California.

If This Kid Can, Can’t You?

Around the country “critical mass” rides have become a way for cycling communities to show their strength. On June 26-28, the Stowe Mountain Bike Club staged its second annual “Bikes, Bevs and Beats” a.k.a. “B3” — part critical mass ride, part block party— to showcase the region’s growing commitment to wheels of all kinds. With group rides for mountain bikes, road bikes and, yes, even tricycles, it drew just about everyone in town who’s ever put a foot on a pedal. Here, three of the town’s hard core skiers and cyclists— Josi Kytle, Pascale Savard and Kristi Lovell—join in the fun. Photo by Carrie Nourjian.

If you ever had a hard time getting motivated to go for a ride, consider Nolan Myer’s story. Nolan’s mother is an organizer of the Dirty 40 gravel grinder race and last spring, Nolan, age 8, had a chance to meet pro cyclist Ted King. Inspired, Nolan decided he was going to ride his bike to school in Orleans every day of the year. Which was all well and good except for the fact that he didn’t own a bike. With his eye on a $350 Mongoose Fat Bike he had found online, Nolan rummaged through his toy closet and old video games and in one day made $200 in a tag sale. He then helped his father with firewood to earn another $100 and his mother chipped in the final $50. All that was left was a full school year of riding. Between the start of school and its end, Nolan rode a total of 262 miles to his school and back, even on the 14 February days when the thermometer never went above 0. His last day of school, June 16, a big group of friends and fans turned out to ride with him and Governor Shumlin sent him a letter of congratulations. What’s next? Mountain bike camp at Burke.


JULY 2015


MORE PADDLE POWER Champion paddler, medical correspondent and author, Dr. Bob Arnot shares his advice on how to get more power, and fewer back-aches,when you paddle. “Most people can probably gain about a mile per hour by improving their paddle stroke,” estimates Dr. Bob Arnot. Arnot, who, during a race, pushes his board through the water at anywhere from four to six mph, should know. Four years ago, he didn’t know how to stand-up paddleboard (SUP). The last two years, he’s raced in some of the toughest SUP races in the world, including Molokai to Oahu, a 32-mile open ocean crossing with 20-foot waves and curious sharks. “It was incredible,” he says “you’re way out in the ocean with this deep deep blue all around you and enormous waves to surf.” This past June, Arnot, 68, finished third behind Olympic kayaker Terry Kent at the Adirondack SUP Festival in Saranac Lake, N.Y. “Paddle boarding is the best workout,” he says. “It’s a great test of your balance – your legs are constantly engaged. It’s aerobic and anaerobic, it works your core muscles and it builds strength.” And, he notes, you can do it anywhere you can find a body of water. “With so many lakes, Vermont is a great place to learn,” he says. When he’s not writing best selling health and nutrition books (such as The Aztec Diet and 11 other books), the former NBC chief medical correspondent and host of the reality show Dr. Danger can be found training on the Waterbury reservoir as soon as the ice melts. Here are some of his pro tips:

The Stance When I first started out, I thought this was all about strength and my arms and pecks were sore as heck. In truth, there is no better core workout than paddling. When you paddle right, everything is engaged: your abs, your pecks, your hamstrings. To set up the proper stance, stand with your knees shoulder-width apart and bent. Start by making an “A-frame” by leaning forward, using your body to form the left side of the A and then let the paddle form the right side. That’s where you want the paddle to enter the water. Next, extend your lower arm out as far as you can and grasp the paddle, then

JULY 2015

Jason Starr, owner of PaddleSurf Lake Champlain, demonstrates the right way to stack your arms, one over the other with your hips square and body slightly turned to get the most power from your paddle. Photo by Oliver Parini

“stack” your upper arm on top of that. Your body should be facing the side of the board, one arm above the other. How far up or down you hold your lower hand on the paddle is like how hard a gear you use on a bike – higher up will mean a shorter, easier stroke; lower down gives you more power.

The Catch How and where the blade enters the water has a big impact on how efficient your stroke is. To make “the catch,” the point where the blade catches the water, be its most powerful and effective, you want the paddle to be almost vertical. To do that, you have to stack your shoulders, one over the other, and bend at the waist. Your upper hand should be over your head, your torso slightly twisted and your lower arm reaching slightly forward.

The Stroke When you put the paddle in the water you want just the blade in. At this point, arms should be straight, your hips should be square but your torso should be slightly turned and facing the side of the board where you are paddling. You want to use your torso and the pressure on your upper hand to pull the paddle through the water and back to your ankle. Any paddling past your ankle is wasted effort.

The Cadence You typically do 5 or so strokes on one side and then switch to the other. But if you can increase your cadence and do more strokes, you can increase your speed. Don’t focus as much on the power you put into each pull as the speed and cadence. Just like cycling in a lower gear, quicker strokes will have less impact on your body but will keep you moving fast.

I like to paddle with a hear rate monitor and during a race, keep it at about 140 to 160.

Turning If you simply paddle more on one side you’ll start to change direction but to make a tighter turn, you can use a sweep stroke, by putting the paddle blade on edge as it enters the water and then sweeping out and away from board, like if you were sweeping a broom. A more abrupt turn can be made by back paddling and even more so by pivoting the board. To do a pivot turn, put one foot back to sink the tail and lift the nose out of the water while keeping your blade in the water for balance. Once the nose is out of the water, take a series of short strokes on one side to make the board turn to the other then gradually bring the other foot back forward to the regular position.


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Ask the Sports Doc:

until the pain and swelling is reduced enough to allow you to return to everyday activities. The RICE principle (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is also helpful and should be started immediately after injury. Physical therapy to help with return of motion and strength can be critical to speed recovery. Returning to sports should only happen when there is full, pain-free motion and there is no pain with normal activities such as stairs and walking. All muscle strains have a high rate of recurrence. Rushing back to activities too soon can lead to reinjury and increasing the total time for recovery. Prevention of muscle strains is challenging and there are conflicting reports on whether stretching is helpful or potentially harmful. There is evidence to suggest that performing a brief warm up followed by a stretching program about 15 minutes prior to physical activity may reduce the chance of muscle strain. Whenever there is sudden onset pain in a muscle group with limitations in motion, get evaluated by urgent care or a sports medicine professional. —Dr. David Lisle




uscle pulls or, more accurately ,strains are the most common injury sustained in sports. A muscle strain typically occurs suddenly and you will feel it right away. It hurts. Most often, the thing that sets it off is a rapid contraction of the muscle group at the same time it is being extended. For instance, a hamstring strain often happens when the leg is swinging forward and the heel hits the ground at the same time the muscle rapidly contracts. The muscle stretches to the point of failure and a strain occurs. The usual culprits when it comes to muscle strains are the hamstring, the quadriceps (muscle group in the front of the thigh) and the gastrocnemius (the main calf muscle). Other less common muscle strains are the hip flexors (muscle group in the front of the hip) and gluteus maximus (the muscle in the buttocks). The weakest point in the muscle and tendon is the myotendinous junction, which means where the muscle blends into the tendon. This region is typically at the middle of the muscle belly. Just for clarification, muscles get strained and

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ligaments get sprained. Diagnosis of a muscle strain is usually quite straightforward as a patient will describe a specific event where the pain started suddenly, and the pain is centered in the middle of the muscle belly. Often a patient will describe an inability to continue to bear weight or difficulty walking and trouble with stairs. On examination, the muscle belly will be swollen and there is often bruising and tenderness at the region of injury. In more severe injuries, there may be a defect or empty space where the muscle should be. This represents a high grade muscle strain. When the injury is in the middle portion of the muscle, it is most often a strain. However, if the pain and injury location is closer to the bone, it could be an avulsion or a pulling away of the tendon from the bone. This typically causes more severe loss of function of the joint. If an avulsion is suspected, it’s a good idea to have x-rays to be sure that a piece of bone hasn’t been pulled off with the tendon. There are a grading system for muscle strains: mild or grade 1 where the loss of function and pain is minimal; moderate or grade 2 where the muscle strain creates more pain and some inability to function; and lastly, severe, or grade 3 where there is significant loss of function. There is evidence to suggest that if there is a need for crutches, the recovery will be prolonged. This seems like common sense. Most muscle strains will take four

Dr. David Lisle is a sports medicine physician in Burlington, and an assistant professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He is the director for the sports medicine curriculum in the University of Vermont Family Medicine residency program. Dr. Lisle serves as the team physician for St. Michael’s College, the Vermont Lake Monsters Single A baseball affiliate and several Burlington-area high schools. He is also an assistant team physician for University of Vermont athletics.

to six weeks to heal. With proper treatment, that can be closer to four weeks. The key to treating muscle strains is reducing activity level and resting the muscle group. Often immobilization of a calf strain with a walking boot can help speed recovery. For hamstring and quadriceps injuries, crutches may be necessary. Keep in mind, prolonged immobilization of over 14 days should be avoided. Initially, keep from using the muscle


Q: Does drinking beer after exercise make it harder to rehydrate?


e knew someone was going to study this question sooner or later and recently a group of university researchers in Spain took it upon themselves to do so. They set out to see if drinking moderate amounts of beer after exercising in the heat (in their terms, “a common practice” in Western countries) would have any negative effects on rehydration. While beer does contain some of the same properties as sports drinks (carbohydrates, minerals and B vitamins), it doesn’t have much sodium. And it does have alcohol, which can blunt beer’s rehydrating capacity. Two identical trials were done with 22 physically active men who ran on treadmills and then rehydrated with either just water or water and beer. After analyzing results (published in the June 5, 2015 edition of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition), the scientists determined there was little difference between the two groups. The good news: drinking a moderate amount of beer (up to 22 oz., or a little less than two cans) after a ride or a race won’t have a negative impact on hydration. However,a 2014 study found that beer could inhibit muscle recovery, so drink wisely. —L.L.
















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strategy to the next level. In addition to navigation there are decisions about nutrition, sleep and pacing. It’s hard working with people when you’re starving, dehydrated, sunburned, hypothermic and tired. In those races the people who are in the best shape often aren’t the winners. You need people who can work well together.

NAME Brian Stavely AGE: 38 LIVES IN: Marlboro FAMILY: Wife and toddler OCCUPATION: Fiction writer PRIMARY SPORTS: Adventure racing

tion. Later someone found our canoe and maps and gave them to us in one of the transition areas. It was just madness and I thought it was great. We didn’t do well but it was a great introduction to the sport. You never know what to expect.

VS: What has been your best finish? BS: We’ve won the Frigid Infliction twice, but that wasn’t recently. That’s a unique race because it’s one of the only winter races. It involves cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, some wicked post-holing where you have to carry your skis and snowshoes in deep snow and a Tyrolean Traverse which involves clipping into a harness and sliding across a rope strung over a gorge. We also finished second in a 24-hour race in Virginia back in the day when I did more running and was in better shape.

VS: Do you always have the same team? BS: My teams have changed a lot over the years. I was a high school teacher for a while and I used to race the Frigid Infliction, a GMARA race at Bolton Valley, with another teacher. We had that tradition for eight years. Sometimes we’d bring a group of students up with us and let them use it for their winter sport credit. One side benefit of that is some of those kids are now in their mid-20s and I race with them if they’re kind enough to let the old guy hang around. When I was in better shape I took it more seriously and would try to find more competitive teammates from Dartmouth where I went to school. Now I’m just happy to find someone who will thump around the woods with me. The shorter races have teams of two but the longer races have three- or four-person teams so that if one person, say, breaks a leg there is someone who can stay with them while another teammate goes for help.


rian Stavely describes himself as competent at a lot of different sports but not terribly good at any of them. Staveley makes his living writing epic fantasy novels, such as the recently-published The Emperor’s Blades (PanMcmillan) the first in a series he calls "the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne." But when he’s not weaving elaborate myths, he gravitates toward adventure racing which allows him to combine different athletic disciplines together with navigational skills.

VS: How did you get involved with adventure racing? BS: I don’t remember how I started but I know that what drew me in was the idea that it’s like a treasure hunt. You have all these flags in the woods and you have to find them. I also realized that a huge part of this sport is mental. Navigation skills are as important as your fitness level. At a regular race you can generally tell how well you’re going to do at the start but in adventure racing you might make good strategic decisions or you might make really horrible decisions. In theory, any team is in the race. Really good teams can

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make really bad decisions and others can come out of nowhere and ace it.

VS: Tell us about a memorable race. BS: My very first race was a summer race with the Green Mountain Adventure Racing Association (GMARA). I think it was 2004. I had no idea what to expect and dragged a friend along who was also new to the sport. The first leg was on the Winooski River. There had been a lot of rain so the water was really high and the race director warned us that at a certain point you had to go to the takeout so as not to go over the dam. We came around that bend and it was just carnage. At least half, maybe three-quarters, of the racers were out of their canoes and on either side of the bank. We were only an hour into a 12-hour race and we had lost our canoe over the dam. I hoped that wasn’t the end for us so we went to the bank and asked a race official what we should do next and he said “welcome to adventure racing.” I realized they take the “adventure” part seriously. We ended up running most of the canoe leg but since we’d lost our maps in the canoe, another team, all women, had to help us with the naviga-

VS: How do you train for those kind of races? BS: There are two things you need: a high fitness level but also the ability to navigate. It doesn’t matter how fast you are if you’re going the wrong direction. If you miss a flag you can spend five hours looking for it. The way to train for that is just getting out in the woods with a map and a compass and trying to find the best way to reach a point. Just running or biking doesn’t hack it. Bushwhacking through the woods in the middle of the night puts all kinds of strains on your body that you don’t get from a run. I do more weight training with rocks and tires than standard cardio and it’s more fun. These days I push my son in a wheelbarrow across the yard or do hill repeats with him on my head.

VS: What disciplines are involved in adventure racing? BS: The standard non-winter race involves three basic sports: foot travel, mountain biking and paddling. The foot travel can be running or just trudging; the mountain biking can be through a field or technical single track; and the paddling ranges from inner tubes to kayaks and canoes. Sometimes there are gimmicks like rappelling and GMARA has started introducing swimming in their summer races. In a short race which is between six and 12 hours, you may have just one of each leg but for the 24, 48 and 70 hour races you’ll go back and forth a lot, in contrast to a traditional triathlon.

VS: What is your best discipline in these races? BS: Adventure racing is perfect for me because I’m competent at a lot of things but I’m not great at anything. I’m not a really great mountain biker or whitewater canoer or kayaker. I’m a decent runner but my best asset is my problem solving. We generally navigate well and know how to avoid major mistakes. You can correct minor mistakes and that’s a big part of it. I don’t have as much time to train but if you’re savvy you can race against those who are in better shape. I can get outsavvied too. It’s race to race.

VS: Have you done those long races? BS: I’ve done one 60-hour race and one 70-hour race. They were both really hard but they were great races put on by a group called Untamed Adventure Racing. One of them took place in The Balsams in northern New Hampshire and I think in that race we covered three states and were pretty close to Canada, as well. We covered a lot of ground but I’m not exactly sure where we were because I was so tired. Those multi-day races take the

VS: Tell us about your writing. BS: I’m just finishing up an epic fantasy trilogy in the Game of Thrones style. I’ve been working on these books for the last three or four years. I left teaching to do this full time and it gives me time to get outside and be with my family and live in Vermont. I love it. — Phyl Newbeck


Fishing, For Another Generation Lake Champlain International’s Father’s Day Derby tests not only Vermont’s fishermen, but our fishery and water quality management as well By Lisa Lynn | Photos by Angelo Lynn Paul Dunkling, above, gazes out on the waters he's fished since he was a kid. He now runs a charter fishing operation with a son, Paul. His father Ray owns Ray's Seafood Market in Essex Junction.


his past Father’s Day, dads passed on wisdom, sons and daughters showed appreciation, and off the shores of Lake Champlain, Vermonters caught a whole lot of fish. Over the three days of June 1921, nearly 5,000 entrants in the 34th annual Lake Champlain International Father’s Day Derby dropped a line in Lake Champlain with the hope of catching a $10,000 record fish, taking home the grand prize of a pontoon boat, or winning one of more than 150 other prizes as part. Paul and Brian Dunkling were among them. While the Derby is an annual ritual for many, few father/son duos are more tightly tied to fishing this lake than Paul and his son Brian. On an early summer morning, the two move around their boat, the Sure Strike II, in quiet synchronicity as they set lines. Their charter today is composed of a handful of reporters and James Ehlers, executive director of the nonprofit Lake Champlain International. Part of Ehlers’ role with the organization is to run the Derby and other events. The other part is to help improve the quality of the lake and its surrounding watershed. That’s the issue he and the Dunklings are focused on today. It is 6 a.m. and already wind ruffles the waters of Shelburne Bay as the Dunklings set their lines and the boat chugs toward the broad lake.

commercial fisheries in Lake Champlain and it is illegal to sell game fish, such as lake trout or salmon.) “People don’t realize how goodeating the fish from Lake Champlain really are,” says Ehlers. “In many ways, the lake is healthier than it’s been in years. The fish are totally safe to eat.” Chefs are starting to agree. Meghan Sheridan, executive director of the Vermont Fresh Network, has been working with Ehlers and local chefs to raise awareness of the value and taste of local fish. This past January, the VFN and LCI held the first annual Fish Chowder Championships, and gave extra points to chefs who used local fish.

The Dunklings' Sure Strike II takes fishing charters out on the lake. Above, James Ehlers (second from left) and Vermont Sports' Angelo and Lisa Lynn (far right) with the day's catch: lake trout.

“We’ve never won much in the Derby,” says Brian as he drops a hook down 55 feet to where the larger lake trout and salmon are swimming, sending up blips on the boat’s electronic fish finder. “But that doesn’t matter, we catch fish out here pretty much every day of the season.” For the Dunklings, who run Sure Strike Charters, fishing is a business that goes back generations. “My grandfather was a lobsterman in Maine and my father, Ray, started Ray’s Seafood Market

in Essex in 1951, so I guess it’s in my blood,” says Paul. The first seafood retailer in the state, Ray’s remains one of the largest with outlets in Burlington and Essex, and a mobile van that goes to Bristol on Fridays. Ray’s also provides wholesale deliveries to restaurants around the northern part of the state. While much of its seafood comes fresh from Maine or Massachusetts, Ray’s increasingly buys and sells local fishermen’s non-game catch, such as Lake Champlain perch. (There are no



n the 1700s, there were so many wild salmon swimming in Lake Champlain and its tributaries that signs warned horsemen crossing the streams where they spawned not to let their horses slip on the fish. Records show you could trade two barrels of salmon for a third of a cow. With development the fishery changed. Dams began to block access to the spawning grounds. By 1800, wild Atlantic salmon were gone from the lake. A century later, lake trout were almost extirpated as well. Since then, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife has taken measures to both restock and protect the current populations. Each year, it raises and

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releases more than a million fish in an effort to keep the populations growing. In 2015, that included salmon and lake trout. With lake cleanup efforts in effect and programs to control the predatory cormorants and lamprey (parasitic fish that attach themselves to other fish), sport fishing on Lake Champlain has rebounded. “No question, even six or seven years ago you wouldn’t have seen this many lake trout,” says Dunkling, as he helped a guest land a 27-inch lake trout, the fifth in an hour. Ehlers agrees. “The fishery is the healthiest it has probably been in the past 100 years. But it wouldn’t be that way if we weren’t raising millions of trout and salmon in concrete runways. If that didn’t happen, there’s no way we’d be out here catching trout today.” Though both the numbers and the size of fish have grown in recent years, the populations are still not reproducing in the wild at a sustainable rate. Scientists are not yet sure why. But the biggest threat Ehlers and Dunkling see to the fishery today is not other predators or chemical pollutants, but two staples of the Vermont diet — dairy and meat. “The first thing we need to do to help clean up our waters is to restrict the run-off from our farms,” Ehlers says. As Sure Strike II clears Oakledge, Paul Dunkling points to a long line of brown water on the horizon off Burlington. “See there, that’s all silt — runoff from farms and dirt roads that’s pouring into the lake from the Winooski.” Heavy rains caused more than 35 sewage overflows in May and June, and washed dirt and debris into rivers up and down the lake from the Otter Creek to the Missisquoi, including the LaPlatte, which feeds directly into Shelburne Bay. “Brook trout, salmon and many other fish need clear, cold water,” says Ehlers. “We shouldn’t have rivers like the Otter Creek or Winooski running brown.”


he greatest impact of runoff comes from phosphorous, a naturally occurring nutrient that is released with soil erosion. In recent years, high amounts of phosphorous have caused algae growth, in particular the toxic blue-green algae blooms that have literally choked shallower waters in the southern end of Lake Champlain and in the north, particularly in Missisquoi Bay and St. Albans Bay, starving the water of oxygen. As part of the Clean Water Act, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has set new standards, known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL), for how much phosphorous Lake Cham-

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plain (and Long Island Sound, the other large body of water Vermont’s watershed feeds) can carry. Vermont has some catching up to do; and if it does not voluntarily meet the new TMDLs, the EPA could mandate stricter laws on water quality that could affect everything from road building to farming to home renovations throughout the state. In response, the Vermont Legislature passed a water quality bill, H.35, this past session that essentially lays out a plan for how the state will reduce the phosphorous load so it can meet those standards. Governor Shumlin signed it into law on June. 16. “But it’s more than just phosphorous that’s impacting our fishery,” says Ehlers. Silt alone slows the water flow in the spawning streams, lowers the oxygen level and raises the water temperature. The runoff also carries pesticides from farms and lawns, as well as other contaminants — oil and salt from roads, asbestos powder from brake linings, pharmaceuticals that have seeped into waste water from home use and even caffeine. “Did you know that Burlington Bay is slightly caffeinated?” asks Ehlers.


f so, the trout the Sure Strike II takes in today don’t seem to have the jitters. By 11 a.m., nine good-sized lake trout are in the cooler. “Overall, I’m really optimistic,” says Ehlers. “Ten years ago the largest trout we’d see caught at the Derby were 12 pounders. In recent years, they’ve just gotten bigger and more plentiful and we’re seeing more lake sturgeon, more muskies and a return of whitefish.” This year, the trout population has done so well that the Derby has raised its minimum length for a recorded trout from 24 inches to 28 inches. Derby fishermen may pull more than 3,000 fish from Lake Champlain this coming weekend, but many of those are weighed, measured and then released, hardly affecting populations. For Paul and Brian Dunkling, the fishery rebound is good news for their livelihood and also for their family. Brian’s children will be the fourth generation of Dunklings fishing Lake Champlain and he’s looking forward to teaching his kids the secrets of the lake, just as his grandfather and father have passed down that wisdom to him. “I’m hopeful for the future,” says Ehlers, who has three children and a fourth on the way. “With all the science we have now, with all the awareness and the legislation, we have a chance to restore the lake. My hope is that my kids will be fishing for salmon and trout that were born in the wild. If we set our priorities right, that will happen.”

FISH FACTS Lake Champlain, 124 miles long and more than 400 feet deep in many places, may be the largest of our lakes but it’s not the only place where you’ll find record fish. In fact, some of the largest fish in the state have been caught in Lake Willoughby, in the Northeast Kingdom and in Lake St. Catherine, in the central southwestern part of Vermont. While everyone loves a big fish story, here a few facts to keep things in perspective:

44 pounds, the size of the state record bow carp (and the largest fish caught in Vermont), caught off Shoreham in 2014 by Darren Ouellete. 50 pounds, maximum weight of a large suitcase before airlines start charging a luggage surcharge. 35 pounds, weight of the record channel catfish caught by Robert Scott (above) right off his dock in Lake St. Catherine in 2012. 36 pounds, the weight of two very large Maine coon cats 42 inches long, 10 inch girth, the size of the record-setting eel, caught in Lake Champlain in 1989 by Robert Tatro.

42 inches, 2.61 inches, the length and girth of a standard baseball bat. 148,139, number of landlocked salmon yearling smolts stocked in Lake Champlain in 2015.


48 the number of youngsters who competed in the 2014 Little Anglers event portion of the LCI Father’s Day Derby. 67,500, number of rainbow trout yearling smolts stocked in Vermont’s inland waters in 2015. 119,909, approximate number of fishing licenses good for one day or more sold in Vermont in 2014.

13,506.87, the dollar amount of prize money Plattsburgh's Craig Provost won in the 2015 Derby for his record 10.26 pount walleye.

350, cost in dollars for one to four people for a a four-hour fishing charter on Lake Champlain with Sure Strike II Charters. 25, cost in dollars for a season-long Vermont state fishing license. 35, pounds, 43 inches, size of the state record lake trout, caught in Lake Willoughby by Shawn Dutil in 2003.

14.95, price in dollars for a pound of smoked trout at Ray’s Seafood Market in Essex, VT


When was t Take h a lift u e last tim e p, for th e ride strap on y you really our h s of y let of elmet our li By Ev f the , hold fe at an Jo brake these hnson o n s? a n new d d get r ownh ill tra eady ils.

Burke's flowing banks, berms and jumps are legendary, thanks to trail designers Knight Ide, Kyle Ebbett and CJ Scott. Next year, Burke adds 11 new trails.


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o you’ve ridden all the trails within 50 square miles of your house. You may have explored other states too. But you are not a true mountain biker until you’ve ridden downhill. Not just down the hill, but downhill. Fast. On a full suspension bike so you can get airborne off small bumps and cruise around banked berms. If you live in Vermont, you have no excuse not to at least try downhilling. It didn’t take long for our state to become the downhill riding capital of the East. The sport here is still growing. There are now close to a half dozen ski resorts ready to carry you and your bike to the summit. And they’ve crafted swoopy, banked, beautiful singletrack and fun little drops to get you to the bottom fast. This is a big year for improvements: Killington has expanded its trail system, Okemo has brought trail-building pros from Crested Butte to construct the resort’s first trails and Sugarbush is hosting a series of clinics with local hero Alison Zimmer. To make the most of the experience, your average mountain bike won’t cut it. Fortunately, the resorts rent downhill bikes designed to handle everything the mountain throws your way with full suspension, wide tires and special downhill handlebars. Most carry the newest models from Norco, Scott, Kona and other top brands so no need to shell out $6,000 for a ride of your own right away. You can also get knee and elbow pads, body armor and full-face helmets to protect you. And if that sounds intimidating, newer riders can build confidence with classes that will teach you the tricks to keeping the rubber side down. For info on lift tickets, rentals and lessons, visit each resort’s website.

Mount Snow Since opening its trails to biking 29 years ago, Mount Snow has been a destination for riders from around New England. The site of multiple NORBA races, Mount Snow has been adding more features to the 12-mile system of trails every year including most recently, Trail 7, for novice downhillers. Expert riders are drawn to Trail 9, also known as the Jump Trail, with several large jumps and steep berms. In addition to guided tours, Mount Snow offers two unique learning experiences designed to introduce new riders to the sport and to advance their skills. First Lift is a learn-to-ride program that familiarizes participants with a downhill mountain bike and teaches proper body position and technique. The more advanced level, First Drop, is for riders ready for more advanced terrain. This spring, Mount Snow expanded its fleet of rentals with new bikes from Can-

field Brothers and Scott. Mount Snow will also host the second stop of the Vittoria Eastern States Cup with enduro and downhill races over the first weekend in August. The area surrounding Mount Snow is home to the Cross Town Trail, a cooperative effort between the ski resort and town of Dover. The Cross Town Trail features over 35 miles of terrain including singletrack, dirt town roads and even old ski trails that run through forests and roads.

Okemo This summer, Okemo breaks onto the mountain bike scene with four miles of downhill trails constructed by Christian Robertson, Evolution Bike Park Manager for Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. For the first time, Okemo’s A and B quads in the base area will access two miles of flowing descents over 400

To air is human at Burke where trails are made for lift off At Sugarbush, below, the views might be distracting but keep your eyes on the trail. Bottom photo, John Atkinson.

vertical feet through open terrain and pockets of forest. Robertson and partner Alyosha Paden have designed two trails that cater to beginner and intermediate riders. This is Okemo’s first foray into downhill mountain biking and Robertson says the goal for this first season is to establish a base to expand upon in the future, hopefully using Okemo’s Sunburst Six chairlift as a means of accessing top-to-bottom terrain across the entire mountain. Evolution Bike Park opens the weekend of July 4. Lift tickets and day passes are $30 for adults and bike rentals are $60.


Killington Mountain Resort The Beast’s K-1 Express Gondola and the Snowshed Express Quad provide access to nearly 40 miles of trails on five peaks and the chance to do 2,200 vertical feet of riding. The higher you go on the mountain, the more advanced the trails, with beginner and intermediate development areas on the lower Snowshed areas. Trails have been designed by Gravity Logic, a Whistler, British Columbia-based trail building company with experience designing and building trails in Europe, South America and all over the United States. As a part of a $3.5 million investment in summer infrastructure, Killing-

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of these trails is Kyle Ebbett, a professional trail builder whose design portfolio includes building trails for competitions such as the Colorado Freeride Festival, Teva Mountain Games and the Red Bull Bike Battle. The center houses work shops, a staff of 16 coaches (clinics take students as young as three years old on strider bikes) and a fleet of 60 rentals including road bikes, cruisers, hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes. In addition to the existing ten miles of beginner and intermediate double track, trail builders are restoring advanced downhill trails that became overgrown and plan to have 2.5 miles finished by the end of this season. The expansions are part of a three-year plan that includes working with the local Brewster River Mountain Bike Club to connect the resort with the town of Jeffersonville.

Q Burke Resort In the Northeast Kingdom, Q Burke Resort and Mountain Bike Park keeps riders on Burke Mountain all summer on 19 trails, including downhill trails maintained through a cooperative partnership between Kingdom Trails and Burke Mountain. On weekends you can access a 12-mile downhill trail system via the Sherburne Express High Speed Quad. Starting at 3,271 feet, these trails descend through flowing banks and berms designed by professional trail designers like Knight Ide and Kyle Ebbett as well as tight and technical singletrack developed by Kingdom Trails Manager CJ Scott and the rest of the maintenance crew at neighboring Kingdom Trails. Dead Moose Alley and J-bar, two of the park’s first trails, are fun crosscountry options. Be sure to look up the Knightslayer trail, a mile-long, manmade jump trail for advanced riders; Enchanted Forest, an advanced mile-long downhill singletrack with natural and man-made features; and the Black Forest trail, another advanced trail with benches and berms. Q Burke Bike Park is a two-time Top Five winner in the Riders’ Choice Best Bike Parks Awards for the Northeast. This spring, in addition to expanding their fleet with 20 downhill bikes from Norco, Q Burke filed an application to begin construction of an additional 11 mountain biking trails, including three or four advanced trails at the summit and seven beginner and intermediate trails at the bottom. These trails won’t be ready to ride until later this season. For riders looking to improve their skills, Q Burke also offers the Gravity School with clinics covering the fundamentals for beginners and advanced tips for more experienced riders. With a day pass ($15 for adults on Fridays, $35 on weekends) you can access the trails by chairlift or the shuttle bus. The park stays open until October.

With nearly three decades of experience trail building, Mount Snow has downhill nailed. Trail 9, aka the Jump Trail, more than lives up to its name with bermed turns, whoop-de-doos that will leave you whooping and smooth, sweet singletrack. New this year, Trail 7 for novice riders.

ton has expanded its rental fleet with more than 50 bikes from Scott and Kona and begins a two- to five-year expansion of five new beginner and intermediate trails in the Snowshed area. New this summer, the Snowshed Express lift will run all week. The Peak Lodge and K-1 Express Gondola will also continue to serve guests daily, along with new services in the Snowshed Lodge including an expanded retail and bike shop, the new BOGS Hiking Center and food court. Killington’s trails also host the Vittoria Eastern States Cup and the USAC championship July 4-5.

Sugarbush Mountain Resort Sugarbush’s 25 mountain bike trails stretch over 18 miles. Accessed by the Super Bravo Express Quad, trails of every difficulty cross the lower Lincoln Peak area, ducking in and out of the woods on

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narrow singletrack with names like Over The Ledge, Turkey Tumble and Rocks & Roll. Lift accessed terrain also includes pitches on some popular ski trails including Snowball, Murphy’s Glade and Domino. Sugarbush also offers lessons and clinics for youth and adult riders as well as summer camps for the even younger crowd. Campers 8-to 17 in the Mountain Bike Adventure Camp experience all forms of mountain biking and even get to try their hand at trail building. New this summer, Sugarbush hosts the Discovery Mountain Bike Clinics for women with Alison Zimmer, a professional rider from Lincoln, Vt. who has competed all over the United States and abroad with team MTBVT. The Wednesday evening clinics start on July 1 and cover downhill riding at Lincoln Peak and the surrounding Mad River Valley. For those looking to compete or

just spectate, Sugarbush hosts the third stop of the Vittoria Eastern States Cup, Aug. 22-23. If you also want to ride cross country, Sugarbush is within easy reach of trails at Blueberry Lake, which has been designated an IMBA Model Trail Gateway network for younger or newer riders. Nearby Phenn Basin and Tucker Hill are renowned for their mix of flowing and technical features popular among more advanced riders.

Smugglers’ Notch In northern Vermont, Smugglers’ Notch expands its mountain biking this summer with a two-acre downhill mountain biking skills park with 350 feet of vertical drop. Two flow trails, a rock garden and jump line are built into a hillside close to the village center and accessed by magic carpet. Leading the design and construction



Lake Champlain DAYS ON



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“The world is reduced, softened and encircled by the shifting whiteness. The clacking oarlocks and the

murmur of voices are markers in the clouds come to earth.”

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The sturdy rowboats the Kroka Expedition used were built by students at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. The Kroka students rowed as much as 23 miles in a day and did their own navigating. To get to Lake Champlain, they canoed down the Lamoille River from base camp.


t nearly 125 miles long and 14 miles at its widest point, Lake Champlain stretches from the Canadian border to the mouth of the Hudson River. Most of us may spend a day or two on it. A few may have motored or sailed the

length of it. This past spring, a group of 13 teenagers rowed the length of it in 14 days.

Their journey by rowboat was the latest leg of a 600-mile circumnavigation of

Vermont’s wilder places by way of cross-country ski, canoe, longboat and mountain bike. The trip was organized and led by Kroka Expeditions, an experiential learning school based in southern New Hampshire that emphasizes wilderness adventure and community living with the practice of traditional and indigenous skills. (Visit VTSports. com to read our coverage of an earlier leg of this annual adventure in the TK issue.)

In the deep of winter, the students began preparations: calculating distances on

maps, weighing and bagging food, practicing telemark turns and crafting tools to carry with them. In early February they departed from their home base wearing anoraks they had stitched themselves and carrying packs heavy with a winter’s worth of gear plus food.

They trekked north on the Catamount Trail from the Massachusetts border up

the spine of the Green Mountains. In early April, they reached Sky Meadow, a retreat center in Greensboro Bend in the Northeast Kingdom. There, they left their skis behind and prepared for the long journey by paddle ahead of them, starting out by canoeing the Lamoille for five days to where the river feeds into Lake Champlain, close to Burlington.

Along the way, students documented their experiences in journals and on a

group blog. This edited selection of student Rachel Hemond’s blog posts follows their springtime journey from Greensboro Bend on the Lamoille River to Lake Champlain. In Grand Isle, the group traded their canoes for rowboats and began a two-week trip south to the locks at Whitehall, N.Y. 

— Evan Johnson

t is late May and there is a new sweetness to the air as the winds bring the smells of treetops and flowers in bloom. Once again, we walk barefoot, last year’s leaves soft as a whisper on the soles of our feet. Spring brings with it freedom. The change of seasons also brings a change in our way of life. No more skis and snowshoes; instead we take to the rushing waters of the Lamoille River by canoe. Starting in the headwaters, we spend a day learning the basics of paddling, before plunging headfirst into the freezing rapids, and for some of us, that plunge is literal. This is a terrifying, exhilarating journey by whitewater, demanding a primal skill that hones awareness to a razor’s edge, throwing each rock, riffle, and hole into sharp relief. But even on the days when we flip a half dozen times, we easily right overturned canoes and return to the warmth of our base at Sky Meadow to dry wetsuits, hang clothes by the stove, and wring the river water out of ourselves. Finally ready for our journey, we paddle down the Lamoille toward Lake Champlain. Our five days on the river are long but relaxed. As we float past big stretches of open farmland and tracts of dense trees, we see the world coming back to life; our path is marked by shouts of “GREEN” whenever a particularly vibrant patch of grass is sighted. Then at last, we see Lake Champlain, the seemingly endless water extending before us.


e start our Lake Champlain expedition on Grand Isle, sleeping on the eastern shore at Grand Isle State Park. The rowboats arrive around lunch the next day, but to call them such does not do them justice. Our boats, Saint Ayles skiffs (the Perseverance and the Resilience) and a pilot gig (the American Shad) have been built by other high school students, enrolled in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s program for kids who struggle in a traditional school setting. I take charge of the white and blue Resilience; Cat takes the navy and red Perseverance, and Jamie the yellow and blue American Shad. As captains, we are in charge of keeping our crafts shipshape by coiling ropes, checking oars and pins, loading and unloading, and singing the boats ashore with the Norwegian songs that one of our teacher, Emily Turner, has taught us. With anywhere from six to fifteen people on a boat, we are able to lift the heavy hull clear of the high water mark each night and set them on shore, safe from waves. Our path is somewhat roundabout as we row first north on the Inland Sea to Burton Island State Park to


spend the night before swinging through “the gut” between North and South Hero out to the broad lake. From there, it is a long paddle to Valcour Island, a rock-rimmed island that is part of the Adirondack State Park system. There we stay for a three-day layover, learning about the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island and sitting on the shore where it happened. The days here truly feel like heaven; swimming in the frigid water, wandering the trails on the uninhabited 895-acre island, and learning the history of the land and lake. Nights are spent sleeping under the stars in one of the park’s campsites. Some of us begin to rise early. Sunrise finds a scattering of silent figures, perched on rocks and in trees, watching the light creep across the water to our land.


rom Valcour we row south, spending a night at Law Island, a public campsite just off the Colchester causeway. On the island we find ramps, wild onions that we learn you can eat. Leaving early the next morning, we set off down the Vermont coast to Rock Point School, a boarding school set on the lakefront just north of Burlington that has invited us to stay the night. The instant we are all settled into the chapel where they let us sleep, the rain pours down. Rock Point marks the first time we have been around another group of people our own age. Too soon it is time to leave but as we reach the beach where we left our boats we realize a new challenge: Covering the lake is a blanket of opaque white fog as far as the eye can see (which wasn’t more than 200 yards). But after taking a compass bearing to our next campsite, we set off nonetheless, the shore swiftly disappearing. The world is reduced, softened and encircled by the shifting whiteness. The other boats, which we had carefully kept in view, become ghosts of themselves. The clacking oarlocks and the murmur of voices are markers in the clouds come to earth. Soon the wind picks up and the fog lifts, but those moments of quiet remain engraved in my memory.


e reach Shelburne Farms around lunchtime and are greeted by Marshall Webb. Webb has preserved his family’s vast historic estate and its stunning 1,400acre working farm, by turning it into an inn and educational institution. We have been given special permission to visit and camp and, after quickly setting camp, we set off to explore. We find homes that look like castles, endless fields of the greenest grass, and herds of

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Brown Swiss cows ranging on the land. On our return to camp, we found that the wind has picked up so much that it forces us inland to shelter behind a stand of trees. The next day we have math class and earn our keep by on the farm by pulling invasive garlic mustard. From there, it is a 16-mile row south to Barn Rock on the New York side. We have a strong tailwind and make good time, getting there in daylight and make camp in a tiny site not far from the Palisades cliffs. The next day, we row across the deep narrow lake to the Basin Harbor Resort and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. There we take in exhibits and clean artifacts such as old glass, musket balls and pottery. That night, we find our way back across the lake to camp at Barn Rock and prepare for the next adventure... a 36-hour fasting solo. For the solos we are sent out from Barn Rock and disperse along the trails of the 3,700-acre Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest that stretches the cliff-lined New York coast. We have nothing but the clothes on our backs and sleeping bags. For the next two days we find ourselves wrapped in contemplation. We come back with a new sense of ourselves. When the fast is done, our teachers greet us with a wonderful feast and we set off once more to Crown Point, located 12 miles south. We leave as the sun sets, rowing into the gathering darkness. Affixing headlamps to bow and stern, we slip silently through inky waters that reflect the stars. We reach camp at Five Miles Point very late, and simply set out our sleeping bags and fall into a deep sleep.

THE 14-DAY JOURNEY After paddling down the Lamoille River, students with Kroka Expeditions spent the next 14 days camping and paddling this route down Lake Champlain. Burton Island State Park

17 miles Grand Isle State Park


8 miles

1 night 6 miles

Valcour Island 3 nights

Lamoille River

Law Island

1 night

7 miles

By Evan Johnson


hile many of us aren’t up for two weeks of travel down Vermont’s largest lake, there are plenty of ways to paddle portions of it, camping out along the way. The Lake Champlain Paddlers’ Trail serves as a recreational corridor for human-powered craft and operates 43 launch access sites. From there, paddlers or sailors can chart their course to campsites in state and town parks and private property. The movement to create the Trail began in 1988, when a group of 18 paddlers (three of whom were over the age of 70) made a nine-day paddle down the length of the lake. Working with the Lake Champlain Kayakers Club (a local club no longer in existence), the group received funding from the National Parks Service and Lake Champlain Basin Program and reached out to local paddlers and communities alongside the lake. The trail was opened in 1996 and the organization behind the trail today is the Lake Champlain Committee, a nonprofit that focuses on public access, clean water and a healthy lake. With a $45 membership donation, you get an annual guidebook with maps and information about private and public campsites.

Colchester Port Kent

Rock Point School

6 miles


9 miles

Shelburne Farms Shelburne

16 miles Essex

Barn Rock (limited to 2 campsites)



23 miles


he next day brings us to Fort Ticonderoga. Unlike the crumbling barracks of Crown Point, a key fort in the Revolutionary War, Ticonderoga is fully preserved. Actors, dressed in 18th century costumes put on reenactments and share the history of the area. We row most of the following day, fighting a headwind. Nonetheless, spirits are high as the sky clears and the sun shines, encouraging us to slow down and appreciate the osprey nests in the bays, and the marsh grasses at the edges of the lake where it narrows nearly to a river. Camp is set on a piece of private land and five of us take out one of the boats and swim, relishing the cold water and hot sun. The next morning, we set off into a slight headwind, rowing hard until we reach the lock at Whitehall, which spills nto the canal. From here, the last leg of the journey is across the southern hills of Vermont and back to our base in New Hampshire. We will continue by mountain bike homeward. Our days on the lake are done.

1 night



Route Public camping is available Private sites, reserved for Kroka Expedition students Five Mile Point

1 night 16 miles


1 night 9 miles


Camping Options Campsites on the trail are mainly located in state parks in Vermont and New York, some with extremely limited amenities, and others and with a more traditional camping experience. Before heading out, make sure to reserve a site online or get a permit, as needed. Many of these sites fill up fast and some, such as Barn Rock, have only one or two campsites available and are often full in the summer. Burton Island and Grand Isle, two Vermont State Parks in the northern part of Lake Champlain, are open to the public and visitors are expected to pay regular site fees. Valcour Island, near Plattsburgh, N.Y., is maintained as part of the Adirondack State Park and visitors are required to have permits to camp. Other campsites lack potable water and visitors are expected to pack out all trash, including human waste where latrines are unavailable. The total number of sites at these sites, when added together, totals over 600. The LCC also has agreements with seven private property owners who will let well-behaved members camp on their shores. The LCC is currently planning to expand the number of overnight campsites so that there will be one every eight to ten miles on the New York and Vermont shores, a safe distance for a competent paddler under fair weather conditions. One of the largest stretches currently without an overnight site is from North Beach in Burlington to Kingsland Bay in Ferrisburgh, a distance of roughly 18 miles. The official guide to the array of camping options on the lake is available in a book published by the LCPT. The 100-page guide to Lake Champlain features “chartletts,” distances, campsite locations, natural history, daytrip tours, safety precautions, recom-


mended gear, stewardship techniques and more information on enjoying the lake by paddle or sail.

Big Lake, Big Risk At 14 miles wide, the lake has plenty of exposure on the northern sections to high winds, six-foot waves and weather that can change from pleasant to stormy in minutes. To be prepared for this, file a float plan that includes an anticipated itinerary with put-in, take-out, planned stops and final destinations. Set up back up plans for inclement weather, regular contact information and “call points” to check in with contacts. As always, water travelers should wear personal floatation devices and carry nautical charts, a compass, a waterproof VHF radio and cell phone. For emergencies, pack an audible signal such as a whistle or horn, a visual signal (at least three safety flares) and a waterproof flashlight or headlamp.

Choose Your Season and Your Weather Before heading out each day, check the marine forecast for Lake Champlain at While the hardiest of paddlers will explore the lake until ice and snow blocks the way, the best time to paddle the trail is August or September when the water is at its warmest. Summer’s temperatures can last into October as well, but as the region enters autumn, the chance of stronger weather increases. Most importantly, LCC executive director Lori Fisher emphasizes people should explore the lake within their ability. “Your paddling experience is much more enjoyable if you know your limits and the limits of everyone in your group,” she says.

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GEAR & BEER Rethinking the Mountain Bike Helmet

Bern helmets feature a low, fully encompassing profile that wraps your head with protection in an urban style. This year Bern introduces the same style into a line of off-road helmets. The women’s Prescott and its brother, the Morrison, feature the same cranium-hugging construction found in Bern’s all-season snow, bike and skate lids but with more ventilation and a tapered shape catered to mountain biking. Sixteen vents keep air moving well under the rather close fit. Typically I wear a medium, but I could easily size up from the M/L to the L/XL, which is only available in the men’s line. (Bern’s website does suggest sizing up if you’re on the cusp.) Folks who fall within a size range can crank down the BOA dial at the back of the moisturewicking liner for a customized fit. The liner is replaceable and can be swapped out for a fresh one after a long, sweaty season. The large, overhanging visor is a nice addition without adding much weight, but it is not removable or adjustable. At thirteen ounces, the Prescott is fairly light. A PVC shell combined with high strength-to-weight ratio foam allows for less bulk while still meeting safety standards. The Prescott/Morrison is not a super techy helmet, but it is a great option for those looking for basic style. $99.99

An Epic 29’er with a Secret Compartment

Specialized's R&D department takes innovation seriously, making incremental improvements each year to its S Works racing line The Epic World Cup 29 is a finely tuned endurance and racing machine. There are eight versions of the Epic, with the top tier World Cup model featuring all the latest bells and whistles, a low weight and a high price tag. If you have the means to test one out, I highly recommend it. If not, the basic Epic model offers a great ride, and a sundry list of features at a more reasonable price point. The S Works Epic World Cup is the first 29er to win a World Cup. It’s built to go fast. It’s also the first model to incorporate SWAT technology, which stands for Storage, Water, Air and Tools. The system stores emergency repair tools in a triangle-shaped box that can be attached right on the carbon frame, eliminating the need to wear a pack to take these essentials along during a race or long ride. A tube, lever and CO2 cartridge fit into the box which attached with a bracket. Meanwhile, a multi-tool slides into the a compartment just above the rear shock. Two snug-fitting water bottle cages also fit right inside the main triangle below the rear shock. Epic frames have full suspension with a highly intelligent rear shock called the Brain. Specialized has been incorporating the Brain in its rear suspensions since the early 2000’s (the World Cup also features this technology in its fork). The Brain uses an inertia valve to distinguish the difference between inputs from the rider and inputs from the trail and adjusts shock rigidity according to surface conditions and pedaling. It remains firm during pedaling and softens to active mode on bumps. This makes the bike ride smoother, more efficiently and, ultimately, faster. Several other differences make the World Cup an aggressive racing machine. The single trigger shifter moves between eleven gears smooth and fast – no gran-

Lost Nation’s brews are on the lighter side by design. The Morrisville brewing company produces session beers with low alcohol levels so you can feel comfortable enjoying more than one at a time and at 4.5%

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ny gear here. The World Cup fork travels 95mm (versus 100mm on the Epic) and has an ever-so-slightly steeper head tube angle, slightly shorter chain stays, dropper seat post and carbon wheels. Women looking for a similar ride experience can turn to the Era, built with slightly different construction and components. The Epic World Cup runs $10,500. Epics start at $3,100 for an aluminum frame and at $4,200 for a carbon frame.

Lost Nation’s Summer Session

ABV, their Gose is a refreshing choice for summer. Gose (pronounced “GOH-zuh”) is a German style beer, brewed with wheat, coriander and sea salt. It is pale gold, with some effervescence and a thin lattice. Aromas are light and fresh with hints of yeast, citrus and malt. The saltiness, sour citrus and sweet malt flavors all come through individually but none are overpowering and the balance continues on the light, dry finish. During the warmer months, you can enjoy this and other easy drinking varieties while lingering in Lost Nation’s beer garden or pair it with locally sourced pub fare from the tap room kitchen. Gose was recently released in 16 ounce cans so you can take a 4-pack to go and pack this summer sipper in your cooler or picnic basket. —Hilary Delross


AirTime There are plenty of ways to get high in Vermont. Here are seven that are perfectly legal. By Lisa Lynn


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et me start by saying that I am not good with heights. I get vertigo looking down a stairwell. Slacklining is scary. The idea of bunjee jumping, sky diving, or doing anything that Dean Potter, R.I.P., might have done, gives me hives. I call that a healthy survival instinct. My husband calls it, ‘being a wuss.’ I am, I like to point out, a walking, breathing wuss. That said, there are few things I find as alluring as flight. I don't think I'm alone. Ever since the ancient Greeks sat around the campfire telling Icarus stories, humans have dreamed of being airborne. To that end, we’ve built planes, rocket ships, and blimps. We’ve also found ways to fly without motors: hanglgliders, ultralights, parachutes, and now wingsuits, zip lines and flyboards. In an effort to appease my thirst for adrenaline and conquer my phobia of being too far off the ground, I’ve sampled many of the following ways to get some air time. I won’t lie, flying is fun.

Flyboarding, Vermont’s Newest Sport There have been surfboards, wakeboards, windsurfers and kiteboards. Now there are flyboards. Flyboarding is exactly what you might think would happen when a French jet ski champion with the name Franky Zapata decides to invent a new extreme sport. Invented in 2011,just last year flyboarding made its East Coast debut in Enosburg Falls’ Lake Carmi, thanks to Phil Snyder. Snyder, a Tae Kwan Do instructor from St. Albans, just opened a second outfit, Flyboard Vermont on Bootlegger Pond at Smuggler’s Notch Resort. The sport involves you, a pair of boots attached to a small board, a jet pack and a 60-foot hose. Hit the throttle and the words “beam me up” come to mind as you get propelled out of the water like a superhero. Beginners will spend time getting used to what amounts to balancing on a jet of water. Advanced flyboarders can do flips, zoom around like Superman and loop. A beginner lesson is $129.

To Soar is Human When the art thief Pierce Bronson plays in the classic movie, “The Thomas Crown Affair” wants to impress a beautiful investigator, (portrayed by Renee Russo), he takes her on a series of over-the-top dates, the first of which is soaring. It’s easy to see why it worked for Bronson. After being towed up behind a motorized plane, your glider is let go. Then, it’s just you, the pilot and the ultralight glider silently swooping over mountains, gaining altitude on the thermal and ridge lifts and diving to build speed. In Stowe, a ride will take you past Mount Mansfield, close enough that you can see hikers beneath you. The sport has become so popular that in the Mad River Valley, the Sugarbush Soaring Club holds races over July 4 weekend and even has Youth Camps to teach kids as young as 13 to become pilots. At Sugarbush Soaring, scenic

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"Beam me up, Scotty," may be the first words out of your mouth when you try flyboarding (above). Get good and you can do flips and swoop like Superman. At Sugarbush, opposite, a glider gets ready to silently soar across the Green Mountains. Gliding photo by Chris Courtney.

rides start at $109 and a lesson at $166, ( Soaring rides start at $99 and lessons at $35 an hour.

The Fun of Freefalling If you really want to fly and get a sense of how vast the farmland is in Addison County, try jumping out of a SuperCessna two miles above the ground. When the door opens at 12,000 feet, the wind is rushing at you at about 100 miles per hour, and the farms and buildings are laid out way, way below like a Monopoly board, it’s time to jump. At 12,000 feet, the freefall lasts for just about a minute before the parachute pops open

and you float gently another 3,000 feet to the ground. That’s the time when you can relax, look west to Lake Champlain and east to the Green Mountains. Vermont Sky Diving Adventures, located just past the Ass-Pirin miniature donkey farm in Addison, lets first-timers do a tandem jump ($250 a person). Once you complete a one-day First Jump course, you can start the Accelerated Freefall Program, which starts with a jump from 12,000 feet, with two instructors holding onto you and a third on the ground guiding you to the landing. There’s also the option of a static-line jump from 3,500 feet where your chute is automatically deployed.

Paragliding and hang gliding In the 1970s and ’80s, Rick Sharp was a hang glider pilot often flying from advanced launch sites near West Rutland and Burke Mountain. “We’d shoot for downwinders. Some hang glider pilots made it 98 miles, all the way from Rutland to Georgia, paragliders have done 40 miles cross-country,” Sharp recalls. In 1992, Sharp and his wife bought Cobble Hill, a piece of property in Milton. The following year, paragliding burst onto the scene and that hill proved a perfect place to learn. Paragliding is to hang gliding what snowboarding is to skiing: an easier, less equipment-intensive way to fly. At Cobble Hill, Sharp starts people off



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Beginning July 4 weekend, you can fly down Mt. Mansfield at 70 miles per hour on the third longest zip line span in America. Stowe's new ZipTour has nearly two miles of flying. In Milton, learn to parasail at Cobble Hill and after enough time in the air, you can get certified to make more advanced flights from West Rutland, Burke, or Jay Peak launch sites.

running down the hill from 75 feet. “You get the feeling of the parasail opening, then lifting 10 or 15 feet off the ground— that’s flying” he says. From there, he teaches turns and moves students up the hill. “When you can master a 180-degree turn, you can go off the top at 300 feet,” he says. This is all, he warns, weather dependent. Since he only teaches beginners if there is less than 12 knots of wind he recommends calling ahead or putting your name on the email alert list. The only paragliding school in Vermont, Sharp offers a one-day beginner package for $150 and a Para 2 certification course, for $990. “Once you are Para 2 certified, you can fly from the top of Burke or West Rutland, both about 1300 feet in altitude, with an instructor present,” Sharpe says. People also launch from the top of Jay Peak and Bolton ski resorts and experts can try their hand at Ascutney, where hang glider pilots come from all over New England to fly. If you are hell bent on learning to hang glide, Morningside Flight Park, just

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across the Connecticut River, teaches hang gliding and paragliding. A fourhour introductory course is $175 or a two-lesson weekend course ($329) moves you up the training hill for longer practice flights.

Not Your Daddy’s Zip Line If you stand at the top of the gondola at Stowe and look way, way down and across the mountain at Lower Nosedive trail, you may have a sense of how intimidating Stowe’s new three-span Adventure ZipTour is. The third longest span in the continental U.S., the double line could be a wild, nearly mile-long ride of open-mouthed terror, except for one thing: you control the speed, letting you go anywhere from 10 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour. And that’s just the first span. Add in two more spans and that comes to 10,193 feet of cable and a nearly two-mile ride. By way of comparison, Bromley’s zip line, which is also made by ZipRider, spans 2,400 feet with a 26 percent grade, which means you can reach speeds of 50 miles per hour. Okemo’s

longest span is 900 feet and lets you go speeds of 30 miles per hour. Sugarbush, Smuggler’s Notch, and Magic also have zip lines of varying lengths and scream factors. Stowe’s Adventure ZipTour was scheduled to open July 3. A ride costs $109 and includes all-day access to the gondola. Or pair it with a pass for the new TreeTops Adventure Course for $139.

Hot Air Ballooning If you think hot air ballooning is something reserved for marriage proposals and leaf peepers, think again. With two major festivals and a landscape that seems custom made for it, Vermont has become a hotbed for the sport. And yes, it is a sport. Think of it as three-dimensional sailing where you control where the 70-foot tall balloon goes by figuring out what altitude you fly at based on varying currents of wind. Pilots can control altitude to a measure of feet and flights can hover above tree line or go up to about 3,000 feet. Where you go on what is, typically, a 30-minute flight at about 8 miles

per hour, still depends on where the wind blows so be prepared to land in a field. The 29th annual Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival, coming up July 10-12, will bring close to 25 balloons to Stowe with sunrise and sunset launches and rides available for $275 per person ( The Quechee Balloon Festival is held each June. A number of outfitters do balloon rides throughout the season for similar prices, with most flights going out when the winds are calmest, at sunrise and sunset. In Swanton, you get views north to Canada and south across Lake Champlain with Balloon Rides of Vermont ( and U-Ken-Do-Ballooning (hotairballoon. org); in Essex, Above Reality ( offers rides over the Green Mountains and along Lake Champlain. In Quechee, Balloons Over New England ( and Balloons of Vermont (balloonsofvermont. com) will let you hover over the Quechee Gorge or explore the mountains down to Killington.



By Evan Johnson

3. Overnight at Stratton Pond


From the trailhead located a short drive from downtown, the trail leads 5.4 miles into the Lye Brook Wilderness, a 14,600acre preserve in the Green Mountain National Forest. The trail passes the 125-foot Lye Brook Falls (the longest waterfall in the state), and continues past Bourn Pond to Stratton Pond, in the shadow of Stratton Mountain, the tallest mountain in Southern Vermont. Spend the night in the Stratton Pond Shelter or a campsite on the shore. In the morning, link up with the Long Trail for a 3-mile hike to the summit of Stratton Mountain or head back to your car. Pick up maps and information at the ranger station on Route 30.

anchester is far more than designer outlets. Located within easy distance of three ski areas (Bromley, Magic and Stratton) it's a great base if you want to access miles of hiking trails in the Green Mountain National Forest, find a quiet campsite or take some long loop road rides through the hills and valleys of Southern Vermont. Summer is quiet season and here are nine ways to enjoy it.

1. Hike Mount Equinox

2. Wander Merck Forest

The tallest mountain in the Taconic Range, Mount Equinox dominates the area skyline. With an elevation gain of 3,235 feet, over 5.2 miles, it’s also home to the longest privately owned toll road in the United States. Equinox Skyline Drive and about 7,000 acres are owned by the Carthusians, a Roman Catholic monastic order. Shortly before reaching the top, their monastery is visible to the southwest from a flat stretch of road. When you reach the top, hike a short distance to Lookout Rock for views east across the Green Mountains.

In the 1940s, George Merck (founder of the Merck Pharmaceutical Company) began buying parcels of land that now make up the 3,000-acre Merck Forest and Farmland Center. Today, the Center features more than 30 miles of trails open year-round. The Center also offers educational programs and a working farm. At the end of the day, get a campsite or spend the night in one of eight hike-in cabins available for rent. Each differs in style and sleeps between two and 15. Cost is $50 to $90 a night, depending on the cabin.

4. Mountain Bike Dorset, Then Take A Dip in the Quarry The Manchester Mountain Bike Club ( has worked with private landowners to build a short network of


trails in nearby Dorset. After getting hot and dirty from those rides, head for the abandoned marble quarry just north of Manchester on Route 30. Spend the late afternoon lounging in the sun or cool off. The far end features sheer faces with cliffs up to 20-feet high to jump from and flat decks for sunbathing while the shallow end is more popular for families. There are a few sculptures carved in the rock to find. On summer weekends the quarry can be packed with families with coolers and radios and parking can be difficult, so check back in the evenings or during the midweek when the crowds are gone.

5. Ride the Vermont Challenge Loops Go any direction from Manchester and you will find a beautiful rural road ride. The Vermont Challenge, four days of group rides August 13-17 with a Gran Fondo that starts and finishes in Stratton on Saturday, August 16, is a great way to explore the roads in Southern Vermont.

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8. Fuel Up

The web site, lists all the details and routes that range from 29-mile flat valley rides to challenging century rides with plenty of climbs.

If you’re on your way to or from your latest adventure, stop by Bob’s for delicious diner fare, a setting complete with polished steel trim, lots of neon tubing and a friendly staff that can direct you to the trailhead, gas station or wherever you’re headed next. Depot 62 is an eclectic combination of a Turkish carpet and furniture shop and organic Turkish bistro. The Perfect Wife and its tavern, The Other Woman, is a Manchester classic and still where everyone goes for a beer, great pulled pork sliders, a round of foosball and to watch the game.

6. Fish the Battenkill There is a reason that Charles Orvis started his legendary fishing company in Manchester and it’s called the Battenkill. This gentle, scenic river is great to fish, paddle, or just float. The upper section near Arlington features flat water good for fishing and bird watching. Here, you’ll find thick woods interspersed with mountain views, sandbars and shady stretches around Eagleville Covered Bridge. Orvis offers a one-day fly fishing school for $245 ( For daytime canoe rentals, check out BattenKill Canoe Ltd., located on 7A between Arlington and Manchester.

9. Stay in Style Manchester is known for its grand hotel, The Equinox Resort & Spa. The historic hotel not only has cush accommodations ,but also plays host to the Land Rover Driving School and a golf course that has been named one of the 75 best in the U.S. by Golf Digest. There is no shortage of other historic inns as well, such as the classic, chintzy Inn at Ormsby Hill, the more updated Hill Farm Inn and the Inn at Manchester. And visit Hildene, the historic estate owned by Abraham Lincoln's descendents from 1905 to 1975.

7. Hang out at a Horse Show Over six weeks in July and early August, the Vermont Summer Festival brings some of the finest horses and equestrians from around the world to the showgrounds just north of Manchester. There, they compete for cash prizes of up to $30,000 in jumping, hunting and other disciplines.

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You an also play tourist. Three things Manchester is most known for: views from Mt. Equinox (opposite page); Hildene, Abraham Lincoln's son's mansion and 412-acre estate, and shopping.


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JULY 2015

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Event organizers! Listing your event in this calendar is free and easy. Visit, and e-mail results to Or, for a small fee, you can be a featured event, as seen in the highlighted boxes. All area codes 802, and all locations Vermont, unless otherwise noted.


SWIMMING JULY 7/25 Seventh Annual Kingdom Swim, Newport

7/11 Dirty Girl Mud Run, Killington

Kingdom Games hosts 15-, 10-, 6-, 3- and 1-mile swims plus ¼ mile and 100-yard swims for youth on Lake Memphremagog. Lake Memphremagog is now the venue for the World 10 Mile Open Water Championship sanctioned by the World Open Water Swimming Association. Races are capped at 100 swimmers per course. 

Killington Resort hosts a 5K mud run to support breast cancer awareness and research. The event is untimed and covers 11 obstacles.


7/18 Tri-Obstaclon, Benson

8/8-16 Swim the Kingdom

Shale Hill Adventure Farm hosts an obstacle racing-themed triathlon with three categories. Sprint: Bike 5 miles to the lake, swim 300 yards, bike 5 miles back to Shale Hill and then run the 5K obstacle course. Power: Bike 5 miles to the lake, swim 300 yards, bike 5 miles back to Shale Hill, and then run the 10K obtacle course. Elite: Bike 5 miles to the lake, swim 600 yards, bike 5 miles back to Shale Hill, and then finish with a 20K obstacle course.

Kingdom Games hosts a series of distance swims as follows: August 8: Crystal Swim, 5 miles; August 9: Island Pond Swim, 4 miles; August 10: Echo Lake Swim, 6K or 12K options; August 11: Lake Seymour, 6.2 miles; August 12: Lake Massawippi, 9 miles; August 13: Lake Memphremagogo, 6.2 miles; August 15: Lake Willoughby Swim, 5 miles; August 16: Caspian Swim, 3 miles.




7/26, 30.1 Colchester Triathlon After last year’s 30th Colchester Triathlon was rained out, organizers reattempt with race 30.1. The Colchester Triathlon includes a 500-meter swim or one-mile kayak, 12-mile bike and a three-mile run.

AUGUST 8/1 Aquaman Even-Up/Ollie Even-Up, Derby Kingdom Games hosts three varieties of triathlons. The “Aquaman” features a half marathon run, 34-mile bike ride and 3.5-mile swim. The “Ollie” includes a 1.75-mile swim, 15mile bike ride and 10K run. The event also features a “sprint” option with 500-yard swim, 13-mile bike and 5-mile run.

8/9 Lake Dunmore Triathlon, Salisbury Vermont Sun holds a .9-mile swim, 28-mile bike and 6.2-mile run in Branbury State Park and along the shores of Lake Dunmore in Salisbury.

8/9 Vermont Sun Triathon, Salisbury Vermont Sun Fitness Center holds a 600-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 3.1-mile run in Branbury State park on the shores of Lake Dunmore in Salisbury.

8/1 Hours of Shale Hell, Benson


Obstacle course racers attempt as many laps as they can in a 24-hour race on the Shale Hill Adventure Farm. Racers can compete solo, in a pair or teams of four.

8/16 Lake Monster Sprint/Olympic Triathlon, Shelburne

7/5 Great Race XXXVI, Saint Albans, Vt.

Race Vermont hosts two classes of triathlons starting and finishing at the Shelburne Town Beach. Sprint triathlon includes 500-yard swim, 15.8-mile bike and 5K run. Olympic triathlon includes .9-mile swim, 27-mile bike and 10K run.

8/1 Bitter Pill, Bolton

The Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts a 3-mile run, 12-mile bike and 3-mile paddle in the Saint Albans Town Park.

The Green Mountain Adventure Racing Association hosts a 12-hour adventure race for teams of two or three. Race disciplines include hiking, mountain biking, swimming, paddling (canoe or kayak) and constant navigation with map and compass.

7/12 Vermont Sun Triathlon, Salisbury

8/16 Moss Anniversary/Benson Bear Race

7/18 Willoughby Triathlon, Sutton

Shale Hill Adventure Farm hosts a 5K and 10K race on their Benson course. The 5K features over 30 obstacles, the 10K has over 50.


Vermont Sun Fitness Center holds a 600-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 3.1-mile run in Branbury State park on the shores of Lake Dunmore in Salisbury.

Kingdom Games hosts a 7-mile bike on the logging roads of Bartlett Mountain followed by a 1.2 mile swim in Lake Willoughby and then a 2.6 mile run to the finish at the top of Mount Pisgah. Event also includes a youth division. Race is held near the town of Sutton, Vt.

8/22 Echo Lake Road Race and Swim, East Charleston Kingdom Games in the Northeast Kingdom holds a classic run and swim to help support the Orleans County Citizen Advocacy on dirt roads around Echo Lake offer up some running and biking. The bike will be held separately from the run. The event includes a swim of 1 mile or 3 miles on Echo Lake to benefit the Echo Lake Association. Taken together they offer an opportunity to do all three as part of a stage triathlon.

9/19 – 20 Reebok Spartan Race, Killington This obstacle race brings amateur athletes alongside Olympians to battle for $250,000 in cash and prizes. Races include the 26-mile Ultra Beast Race, 12-mile Beast Race and 3-mile sprint with obstacles including spear throwing, fire-jumping and more.

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JULY 8/11 Raquette Lake Sprint Challenge Race, Raquette Lake, NY The Northern Forest Canoe Trail hosts a ten-mile paddle race on the The race is open to canoes and kayaks. Race classes include solo, pair, family and four-person canoe options.


8/13 Brattleboro Outing Club paddle trip on the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers, Greenfield, Mass.

nd July 31st - August- 2603-542-BIKE(2453) • 12 Plains Road, Claremont, NH Hours: M-TH 10-5:30, Fri. 10-7, Sat 9-5, Sun Closed

The Brattleboro Outing Club hosts a paddle trip on the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers, from Greenfield to Sunderland, Mass.

JULY 2015


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Racks • We Service All Brands • 603-542-BIKE (2453) 12 Plains Road • Claremont, NH Hours: Mon-Thur 10-5:30, Fri 10-7, Sat 9-5

Sunday, September 20 THROUGH 5 TOWNS IN THE BEAUTIFUL BERKSHIRES Bike • Canoe/Kayak/SUP • Run Triathlon Team & Iron Categories and


CALENDAR OF EVENTS BIKING/CYCLING JULY 7/5 Spindependence Day, Warren The Common Man Restaurant in Warren hosts guided rides for all skill levels from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Suggested $15 donation benefits VMBA chapter Mad River Riders.

7/10-11 8th Annual Prouty Ultimate, Lebanon, N.H. The Prouty Ultimate is two days of century bike rides supporting patient services and cancer research at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, N.H. Friday’s ride is from Manchester to Hanover, Saturday’s ride is a loop starting and finishing in Hanover, N.H.

7/11 Flyin’ Ryan Festival, Williston Presented by the Fellowship of the Wheel and the Flyin’ Ryan Foundation and hosted at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center, this family friendly event includes group rides and runs, bike demos, games, slip ‘n’ slide, vendor area, large silent auction, pig roast dinner, and reggae tunes.

7/11 Tour De Grace, Stratton This 17.5-mile downhill ride from Stratton Mountain to Grace Cottage Hospital is good exercise in the fresh air and it’s fun for all ages. Stratton Mountain buses will shuttle riders and their bicycles back to Stratton Mountain about every 30 minutes.

7/11 Raid Lamoille, Stowe Stowe hosts a 100K non-competitive gravel grinder ride with approximately 6,000 feet of climbing through the area. www.

7/11 Newton’s Revenge, Gorham, N.H. Riders race 7.6 miles up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, gaining 4,600 feet in one of the toughest hill climbs in the world. You must arrange a ride down before you race, you cannot ride your bike down.

7/12 Farm to Fork Fondo, Pittsfield

7/18 Tour De Zack, Quechee Tour De Zack includes a 27-mile ride from Quechee through West Hartford, and a 47-mile ride, continuing to Bethel and Barnard through Woodstock and back to Quechee. All will meet at The Quechee Green, for a picnic provided by Jake’s Quechee Market, at 1 p.m. Diners who choose not to cycle are also welcome to join for lunch.

7/18-19 Bike It If You Can Weekend, Fayston The Westchester Cycle Club, Mad River Riders, White Plains Ski Club, North Jersey Whiz Skiers and the Ramapo Ski Club host a weekend of road biking based from Mad River Glen ski area near Waitsfield. Rides depart from the MRG parking lot at 9 a.m. with three levels of routes on Saturday and a short ride on Sunday. Barbeque and brews follow in the afternoon at the MRG Basebox.

7/25 Onion River Century Ride, Montpelier The Onion River Century Ride to benefit the Kellogg-Hubbard Library is a beautiful ride through the heart of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Riders can choose from the 110k (68 mile) Metric Century or full 111-mile Century or the 40-mile Cruiser.

7/30-8/2 NER Downeast 1000K, Montpelier The New England Randonneurs hosts a 1000K ride from Montpelier to Acadia National Park in Maine. Riders have up to 75 hours to complete the non-competitive and unsupported ride.

7/31-8/1 Vermont Mountain Bike Festival, Ascutney Vermont’s mountain bikers gather for their annual weekend of bike rides, demos, live music, vendors, free onsite camping, showers/bike wash and a whole lot more.

AUGUST 8/1-2 Bike MS: Green Mountain Getaway, Burlington Starting at the University of Vermont, riders complete two days of out and back rides in the Champlain Valley. On Saturday, riders choose between 50-, 80- and 100-mile rides. On Sunday, riders travel 45, 75 or 100 miles.

Wrenegade Sports hosts a three-distance, fondo-style ride to celebrate cyclists, farms and beautiful landscapes. Food stops are at the farms and best eateries in the area.The ride is open to the first 500 who register. Distances include 10, 40, 74 and 102 miles starting in Pittsfield, Vt.

8/2 Great Maine Getaway, Biddeford, Me.

7/18 Tour De Bondville, Stratton

The Harpoon Point to Point presented by National Life Group is a cycling event to benefit the Vermont Foodbank. Choose from a 25-, 50- or 100-mile ride starting at finishing the Harpoon Brewery.

The annual Tour de Bondville features a bike ride, golf outing and after-party benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Choose between a 50, 53, 25 or 16 mile bike ride, a day on the links, or just the after party and celebrate the best of Vermont and help raise money for a good cause.

Ethan Allen Biathlon Club 2015 Summer Race Series

DATES July 9, 16, 24, August 6,13, 20 TIMES 5:00 pm - Registration 5:30 to 6:00 pm - Zeroing 6:15 pm - Race Start WHERE Ethan Allen Biathlon Club Ethan Allen Rd., Jericho, VT

NEW: See our website for NEW mandatory

Safety Clinic information

Two-day ride raises funds for the National MS Society and offers riders views of the Atlantic Ocean, with a beach to swim in after the finish.

8/2 Harpoon Point to Point, Windsor

8/15 Irreverent Road Ride, Waterbury Waterbury hosts a bike race with two dirt loops on double track, jeep roads, Vermont pave, ATV and other rugged terrain. The “Original” loop will be between 110-125 miles and the “Short” will be close to 70 miles. https://www.bikereg. com/irreverent

8/8-9 24 Hours of Great Glen, Goreham, N.H. A 24-hour mountain bike race wrapped into a weekend-long mountain bike festival. Hardcore racers tackle the singletrack and carriage roads for 24 hours while families enjoy the festival games and 24 Minutes of Great Glen kids’ race.

8/13-16 The Vermont Challenge, Stratton The Vermont Challenge traverses Southern and Central Vermont over three or four days plus a one-day Gran Fondo century option for all riders.

8/22 The Millstone Duel, Websterville Info:

Riders compete solo or in teams of two or three in an eighthour race on the Millstone trail network. Riders compete against other teams as well as their team members for the fastest lap.


8/23 Putney Cider House Classic MTB Race, Putney The Route 66 mountain bike series returns to the same course in Putney with some new terrain and tweaking other sections with three categories of 9-, 7- and 4.5-mile loops.

8/23 Vermont Overland Grand Prix, Woodstock A 51-mile dirt road bicycle race featuring 5400 feet of climbing, seven sections of “Vermont pavé” (unmaintained ancient public roads), a village downtown start/finish and a street party afterwards. 8/23 Race to the Top of Vermont, Stowe A run/bike up the Mount Mansfield Toll road. The course is 4.3 miles long and climbs 2,564 vertical feet. Racers will experience a steady incline averaging about 11 degrees over the length of the course.

8/30 Del’s Ride, Huntington Del’s Ride is a singletrack mountain bike event to benefit Cure AHC in support of Delaney Johnson. Six-year-old Delaney, of Essex Junction, Vermont, has a debilitating disorder known as Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC) and Epilepsy. Ride includes three loops on the trails at the Sleepy Hollow Inn and Bike Center.

SEPTEMBER 9/4-7 Green Mountain Stage Race, Mad River Valley Four days of challenging time trials, gran fondo rides and circuit races in the Green Mountains. Registration available at

9/5 Dirty 40, Derby Traveling 70 miles through the towns of Derby, Holland, Morgan, Charleston, Westmore and Brownington, the Dirty 40 race includes grades as steep as 13 percent and 5,600 feet of elevation gain. Neutral support, feed zones and a feed wagon are also available.

9/6 Darn Tough Ride, Stowe The Darn Tough Ride is a road cycling event held in Stowe. The ride includes the King and Queen of the Mountain Competition and two timed hill climbs over Smugglers Notch for for those seeking an extra

9/19 8th Annual Bart Center NO LIMITS Benefit Ride, Manchester The Bart J. Ruggiere Adaptive Sports Center offers rides of 30, 60 and 100 miles as well as a nine-mile family ride through southern Vermont and New York to benefit the center. All rides are fully supported.

9/12 Kelly Brush Century Ride, Middlebury A scenic, fully supported ride through the Champlain Valley, the Kelly Brush Ride has 25, 50 or 100 miles routes, with options for 65- and 85-mile loops as well. Funds raised support the Kelly Brush Foundation’s mission to conquer the challenges of paralysis by helping athletes with spinal cord injuries purchase specialized sports equipment and to improve ski racing safety. Tasty and festive post-ride barbeque follows the ride. Entrants are encouraged to build fundraising teams.

9/12 Green Mountain Cycling Challenge MTB6, Pittsfield Green Mountain Trails and Peak Races host a series of races on a 13-mile loop. Riders can opt to do one or two laps or race the course for six continuous hours.

9/13 Cabot Ride the Ridges, Cabot A fun and challenging mostly dirt road bike ride through the scenic landscapes and rugged terrain of Cabot and Peacham Vermont. Distances include 10K, 30K, 60 and 100K. www.

JULY 2015

CALENDAR OF EVENTS 9/26 Stone Valley 50, Poultney The Stone Valley 50 is a 50-mile gravel bike race and 25-mile ride through the Rutland County towns of Poultney, Castleton, Middletown Springs and Wells. The rides raise money for the Kellen Sams Memorial Scholarship.

9/23-27 Tour De Kingdom – Fall Foliage, Newport Kingdom Games hosts five days of supported rides on both sides of the border with brilliant foliage and optional routes of varying


7/19 Stowe Trail Race Series: Ranch Camp Ramble, Stowe The Stowe Mt. Resort Nordic Center host a 5 and 10K on local trails. This is the first race in the Stowe 2015 Trail Race Series. Award presentations will follow the race, with refreshments and product prizes to the top 3 female and male runners in open and masters

7/19 Fourth Annual Chris Ludington Memorial Trail Run, Stowe The trails around the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe host a 5K and 10K trail race to benefit the Chris Ludington Scholarship Fund.

7/26 Barre Heritage Festival 5K Trail Race, Barre

JULY 7/4 Harry Corrow Freedom Run, Newport Kingdom Games hosts a 10-mile, 10K, 5K and 1-mile run on the Newport-Derby bike path and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation Trails.

7/5 Echo Lake Color Challenge, East Charleston Runners/walkers are invited to travel a 5K loop on beautiful Echo Lake while being showered with colored powder. Challenge begins at 10:00 a.m. on West Echo Lake Rd. All proceeds to benefit the Echo Lake Protective Association.

Spaulding High School hosts a 5K trail race on the trails of the Barre Town Forest. Registration in the field on Little John Road across from Millstone Lodge. Proceeds to benefit Spaulding H.S. Cross Country Team. Contact: Lori LaCroix, 802 249-8996 or

7/26 Biggest Loser Run/Walk, Killington Killington Resort’s K-1 Lodge hosts a half marathon and 5K. Post race party and gondola rides to follow.

7/26 Caspian Challenge, Greensboro

Smugglers’ Notch hosts 4, 8K and kids races on dirt tracks around the Smugglers’ Notch area.

The town of Greensboro hosts a 5K and 6.8-mile run through the center of Greensboro Village and along the shore of Lake Caspian. Races begin and finish at Tolman Corner at the ball field. Proceeds benefit the Lakeview Union School food programs.

7/11 Bear Swamp Run, Middlesex

7/26 Essex Half Marathon, Essex

7/10 Smugglers’ Notch Trail Race Series, Jeffersonville

Onion River Sports and Central Vermont Runners host a 5.7 mile-race on hilly dirt roads. Race day registration only (8:008:45 am) at the Rumney School in Middlesex, Vt. Contact: Tim Noonan 802 223-6216.

7/12 Mad Marathon, Waitsfield Full and half marathons in the Mad River Valley on a course certified and sanctioned by the US Track & Field. Relays and walkers are welcome.

7/12 Stowe 8-Miler, Stowe The Stowe 8 Miler is a classic summer race now in its 34th year. For the full 8-mile run the course is an accurate 8 mile with 2 miles on a maintained dirt road. This year the relay has been replaced by a 5K option. stowe8miler

7/18 Goshen Gallop, Goshen The Blueberry Hill Inn in Goshen hosts a 5k and 10k trail race in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area; 12 miles south of Middlebury. It’s billed as the “toughest 10K in the East.”

7/18 Vermont 100 Endurance Race, West Windsor The Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run is a 100-mile ultramarathon held at Silver Hill Meadow in West Windsor. It is one of the four 100 mile races that comprise the Grand Slam of Ultra-running.

7/18 Isle La Motte 5K, Isle La Motte The northernmost island on Lake Champlain hosts a flat and fast 5K run on the western shore, beginning and ending at the St. Anne’s Shrine. Course is certified by USATF.

7/19 Chris Ludington Memorial Trail Run, Stowe The Trapp Family Lodge hosts a 5K or 10K walk or run on cross-country trails to benefit the Chris Ludington Scholarship Fund.

JULY 2015

Essex High School serves as the start and finish line for an out-and-back half marathon on dirt and paved roads. Course is USATF certified.

AUGUST 8/1 Fairfax Egg Run, Fairfax The Fairfax Recreation Department hosts 5K and 10K races with eggs made to order at the finish.

8/1 Moosalamoo Ultra, Goshen The Moosalamoo National Recreation Area hosts two distance races, a heavy half marathon (closer to 14 miles) and an ultra marathon of 36 miles. All races are on trails and some single track. There is no pavement.

8/8 Kingdom Run, Irasburg The town of Irasburg hosts half marathon, 10K and 5K races on a dirt road between Irasburg and West Glover. All proceeds benefit the Northeast Kingdom spay-neuter program. www.

8/9 Stowe Trail Race Series: Cady Hills 5K, Stowe The Gold Eagle Resort is the start and finish for the second race in the Stowe 2015 Trail Race Series. Award presentations will follow the race, with free refreshments and prizes to the top three female and male runners in open and masters

8/1 Smugglers’ Notch Trail Racing Series The Series consists of 3 trail races in and around the Smugglers’ Notch cross-country trail network. Each race will feature a 4k, 8k and Kids’ Fun Run (ages 7 & under), and all races are open to runners of all

8/15 100 on 100, Stowe to Ludlow A 100-mile team relay through Vermont. Teams of six runners complete three legs each, starting at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe and finishing at Okemo’s Jackson Gore resort in Ludlow.

8/20 Berlin Pond 5-miler, Berlin A 5-mile loop counterclockwise around Berlin Pond, mix of flat and hilly dirt roads, part of the CVR ORS Race Series. Race day registration only from 4:45-5:45 p.m. at the Berlin Town Clerk’s office. Contact: Jeff Prescott, and Sue Emmons,

8/22 Bolton Valley 5K to benefit Vermont Adaptive, Bolton An annual trail run at Bolton Valley Ski Area, where runners and walkers head out to make strides on the Bolton Nordic trails to raise money for adaptive sports programming and equipment. Children, ages 8 and under, are encouraged to participate in an untimed 1k Fun Run. www.vermontadaptive. org/bolton5k

8/23 Race to the Top of Vermont, Stowe A run/bike up the Mount Mansfield Toll road. The course is 4.3 miles long and climbs 2,564 vertical feet. Racers will experience a steady incline averaging about 11 degrees over the length of the course.

8/30 Archie Post 5-miler, Burlington Certified point-to-point course on a bike path. A free 1/4-mile kids race will be held at the Archie Post fields at the end of the 5-Miler.

8/30 Howard Center Zoe’s Race, Burlington This 1K fun run or 5K run/walk around Oakledge Park helps raise money for accessibility projects for Howard Center clients.

SEPTEMBER 9/5 Northfield Savings Bank 5K, Northfield A certified 5K course as part of the CVR ORS Race Series. Start and finish in front of the Northfield Savings Bank at the Green in downtown Northfield,

9/16 Sodom Pond 4 Mile Race, Adamant Rolling 4-mile dirt road course around Sodom Pond in Adamant. Race day registration only, across from the Adamant Co-op. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223-6216.

9/20 Stowe Trail Race Series: Trapp Cabin 5K & 10K, Stowe Beginning and ending in the Trapp Family Lodge Meadow, the races wind through 800 vertical feet. The races follow a dirt road briefly before merging with double track cross-country trails. The 5K diverts at Old County Road and follows Russell Knoll back to the finish. The 10K continues to the cabin and returns on the new single track trails.

9/26-27 Adirondack (N.Y.) Marathon Distance Festival, Schroon Lake, N.Y. Schroon Lake, N.Y. hosts a full weekend of distance racing in the Adirondack Mountains. The race weekend features marathon, half-marathon, relays, 5k and 10k races, as well as fun runs for kids.

9/27 Vermont Sun Half Marathon, Salisbury, Vt. Vermont hosts a 5K, 10K, and half marathon in Branbury State Park on paved out-and-back courses.

OCTOBER 10/4 Kingdom Marathon, Coventry, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a marathon in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom on dirt roads through Coventry, Brownington, Barton, Irasburg and Glover. Course features three options: 26.2 mile, 17 mile, 13 mile with a special youth bike option on the 13 mile route.



ike Shops 4


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35 Portland St. Morrisville, VT 802-888-6557 Hours: Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 8:30-5 Sun 10-4

North Central Vermont's Trek and Giant Dealer. With over 200 new and used bikes, PPS has a bike for everyone. Service and rentals too!



Earl’s has Vermont’s largest selection of mountain, road, hybrid, and kids’ bikes, clothing and accessories, helmets, shoes, and car racks. Plus an extensive women’s department, a full service department with a wide assortment of parts and tools on hand, ample parking, and a test ride trail!



125 Hours: Mon-Fri 10-7, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5



439 Rt 114, East Burke, VT 05832 802-626-3215

2500 Williston Rd, South Burlington, VT 802-864-9197

SKIRACK 85 Main St. Burlington, VT 802-658-3313 Hours: Mon-Fri 10-7, Sat 10-7, Sun 11-5

Locally Hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm 7 days owned since 1969, Skirack a week provides gear, clothing and accesLocated in the sories for all cyclists, with full service center of Kingtuning and repairs...and beautiful dom Trails, we casual and fitness clothing. Designatpride ourselves ed one of America’s Best Bike Shops, in expert knowledge and customer Skirack is just blocks from Lake service. We sport an enormous rental Champlain. Open at 8am Mon-Sat for fleet and a full service shop for on the bike service pickup and drop-off, car spot repairs. racks and rentals. Road and mountain bike rentals can be booked at rentals. Visit today for a truly ONION RIVER unique Vermont experience.



20 Langdon St. Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409 Hours: Mon-Thurs 9-6, Fri 9-8, Sat 9-5, Sun 11-4

Whether your idea of a bike ride involves pedaling the rec path, conquering a stretch of single track, outsprinting the competition in a road race, or cruising through the country, we’ve got the perfect bicycle for all of your two-wheeled adventures—and the friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you find it. We are a full-service bike shop staffed by experts who are committed to helping you keep your bike rolling at top performance.



37 Church St. Burlington, VT 802-860-0190 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10 - 8, FriSat: 10 - 9, Sun: 10 - 6

New this year at Outdoor Gear Exchange is a fully equipped bike repair shop. Having brought in specialists in bike tech work, this service is quickly gaining momentum. OGE also carries an extensive collection of bikes, apparel and accessories.



BIKE CENTER 74 Main St Middlebury, VT 802-388-6666 Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:30-5:30, Fri 9:30-8, Sat 9:30-5:30, Sun 1-4

Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs. Upstairs in the sales room, we offer the best in new and used road, mountain, lifestyle, and children's bikes and new gear. We carry brands that offer superior products that balance innovation and performance with reliability and value.



105 N. Main St. Rochester, VT 800-767-7882 Hours: Open 7 Days a week 10 am to 6 pm

Located in the center of Vermont, the heart of the Green Mountains, we are surrounded by terrain that calls to mountain and road bikers alike. Whether you ride twisting trails or back-to-back gaps, we service, sell, and rent all styles of bicycles, featuring Kona, Lapierre, Xprezo, Jamis, Juliana, Raleigh, Santa Cruz, Transition, and Hinderyckx bikes - hand crafted by our own Rochester boy Zak Hinderyckx. So STOP READING and RIDE YOUR BIKE!



1240 Depot St. Manchester, VT 802-362-2734 Hours: 9:30-5:30 everyday

Full selection of men's and women's clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6:00 pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6:00 pm.

MAY/JUNE 2015 JULY 2015



49 Brickyard Ln Putney, VT 802-387-5718 Hours: 10am - 6pm, Mon-Sat

Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a low-key, friendly source for bikes ‘n gear, service, and rare wisdoms. We are known regionally as the go-to place for problem-solving technicians. Our bike fitters specialize in comfort without sacrificing efficiency. More recently, we’ve been focusing on stocking gravel road bikes, with awesome dirt road riding right out our door. Our annual (and infamous) cyclocross race has been described as “the Providence race in Carhartts.” Come join us for us for one of our adventurous rides!

part of the

Kingdom Triathlon Series July 18, 2015

Willoughby Tri – 7 mile mountain bike, 1.2 mile swim, 2.5 mile trail run to the finish at the summit of Mount Pisgah Willie Youth Tri – 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike, 1 mile trail run to Pulpit Rock

August 1, 2015 Aquaman Even Up: 3.5 mile swim, 34 mile bike, 13.1 mile run Ollie Even Up: 1.75 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 10K run Kingdom Sprint: 500 yard swim, 13 mile bike, 5 mile run

August 22, 2015



Echo Lake Road Race & Swim – An adjustable stage triathlon 5 or 10 mile run – 5 or 10 mile bike – 1 or 3 mile swim

20 Hanover St, Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522

With support from:

and Jay Peak Resort, The Town of Derby, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeast Delta Dental, The City of Newport, Community Financial Services Group, Derby Village Store, The Front Desk, Mempremagog Press and Louis Garneau Hours: Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5, closed Sunday

The Upper Valley's bike shop since 1964. We carry road bikes, mountain bikes and kids bikes from specialty brands, including Trek, Specialized and Colnago. Featuring a full service department offering bike fitting, bike rentals and a kids' trade-in, trade-up program.

2 Stellar Locations 2 Terrific Menus



, STOWE 1669 MOUNTAIN ROAD 3-3100 802-25 Just off the Rec Path •

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1O RAILROAD ST, MORRISVILLE Hours: Mon - Thu 10 - 5:30, Fri: 10 - 7, Sat: 9 - 5, Sun: Closed

On the new rail trail aka VAST trail

802-253-3100 • fb 10 Railroad St.

Claremont Cycle Depot is a bike shop committed to making everyone who walks through our doors feel welcome and takes pride in our staff, products and services. Our service staff is professionally trained and certified to work on all bicycle makes and models, not just the ones we sell.

Stop for a Great Meal as part of your Bike Adventure! Offering House-smoked BBQ & our famous Blue Donkey Burgers plus many more options for everyone. ENJOY OUR GREAT FOOD AT BOTH BEAUTIFUL VENUES!

2015 JULY 2015 MAY/JUNE



THE PLUNGE By Biddle Duke


e scramble and climb hand over foot up a bank to reach the jumping ledge. It is wide enough for both of us to stand shoulder to shoulder and we lean back, skin pressed against the rocks and look around. This is always the best part: right before the jump. The swimming hole is deep in Terrill Gorge just outside of Morrsiville. If you hit it at the right moment in the middle of the day shafts of sunlight cut through the ash, maple and unusually large cedar, piercing the dark, churning pools below. The falls are the last big drop in a cleft, a chasm, really, that over the years Kenfield Brook has cut deep into the forest floor. The brook must have knifed its way through the forest’s soft rot until it found granite, and from there it ground away ledge giving us a perfect little canyon. Some 30 or so feet below a broad tongue of whitewater roars over stubborn stone that has held fast for thousands of years. We can see trout, colorful little brookies most likely, darting in and out of the splash zone and bubbles. “How deep do you think it is?” my son asks. He is big now, at the end of his teenage years, almost bigger than I am. Around water, these have always been the questions: How deep? How high? How cold? How much current? There was a time when he would ask: How safe? And I would reply: “As safe as you make it.” “What does that mean?” he, or his sister, would rightly demand. When our two children were growing up we ferreted out swimming holes around northern Vermont, and it was my daughter who always jumped first and jumped from the highest spot. My sense is she felt she needed to set reasonable boundaries and goals for her little brother who might follow the older risk takers. “You can be really safe and not jump at all, or you can take a little risk and leap off the lower ledge, or step up on the next ledge, or go for it off the high one. It’s as safe,” I would repeat, “as you want to make it.” Water has been a gathering place and a testing a ground for my family for generations. We were lucky enough to grow up on Atlantic beaches in the sum-

"How deep? How safe?" are good questions to ask, even when you think you know a swimming hole, as water levels vary and trees limbs and other hazards can lurk below the surface. To find popular holes in Vermont, visit Photo by Brian Mohr//EmberPhoto

“There was a time when he would ask 'how safe?' And I would reply, as safe as you make it.” mer and my own mom and dad rarely let a day pass without a swim in the ocean. Not a quick plunge, but a long, often challenging, crawl and breast stroke. They would round up the children and anyone else and head in, the rougher the surf the better. I learned at a young age that skill in the big blue—swimming ability combined with calm and learned confidence—earned respect from the adults. There was nothing worse than being instructed to remain on the shore on a rough day because it was too dangerous. It was a special honor the first time we

walked down and looked out at an angry sea and Mom asked: “You feel like swimming with us today?” This was a time when, nearly naked, we would shed our various land-bound disguises—the grubby teen, the stockbroker friend, the glamorous houseguest—and be pressured, however merrily, to join in the family swimming ritual. I remember when my oldest brother, who had long moved out of the house, came for a visit. He had become a rancher in Wyoming. He arrived for his week’s vacation in cowboy boots, a big hat and a snap-button shirt. He was big and loud and brash. But on the beach, in a bathing suit, he was pale, and slightly pudgy, and when we swam out until the people on the shore were little dots I saw that he was vulnerable, too. I have found that tingle of vulnerability and discovery in Vermont’s lakes and streams. When you glide out into the deep middle of Caspian or Champlain and realize you are in 400 feet of water, only calm and patience will get you back to shore. When you perch on the edge of ledge, ready to plunge, only faith in

yourself will let you take the next step. Everywhere in Vermont there are ancient, clear pools that beckon and high above them, rocks and ledges. I can measure the passage of time by the rocks and swimming holes near my home. There are the jumps for ten year olds and the ones for teenagers. Now that I’m older I know there are jumps that are so high you grow out of them and you begin to jump again from down below. Anticipation is sweet. As a kid on the beach I loved that moment when we all gathered and looked out, knowing the fun, and the challenge, ahead. “You want to go first?” It is my son. “You go ahead. You first.” Peering down 30 or more feet into the dark pool below he seems stronger and more muscular than I had noticed before. He points me to the safe landing zone. He jumps. I follow a few seconds later. Down at the rim of the pool we pull ourselves onto a rock. He asks, as my mom or dad might have, “Again?”

Biddle Duke, is the co-owner and former editor and publisher of The Stowe Guide and Magazine, The Stowe Reporter and The Waterbury Record weekly newspapers. He lives in Stowe.


JULY 2015

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Vermont Sports, July 2015  
Vermont Sports, July 2015