Anticipation: Hunter Opens 2019

Anticipation. It started late last spring, over Memorial Day weekend. It grew, on the summer solstice, as I bought new skis when most were considering summer beach plans. Almost before the season was over, I couldn’t wait to slide on snow again.

Hunter Mountain is open
Hunter Mountain: November 17, 2019

My plan, as always, was to start my ski season the day before Thanksgiving. But this year, the recent cold snap encouraged the big hills in the east to blow snow, I couldn’t resist the urge to get out earlier.

With only a day to ski, I wanted to stay close to home, downstate. With no natural snow in the Catskills, I turned to the “Snowmaking Capital of the World” — Hunter Mountain — which opened for the season on Friday.

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Mountain Biking at Sterling Forest State Park

Twelve years ago I purchased my first full suspension mountain bike, a Kona Dawg Dee-Lux. It was a trail bike with 130mm of travel front and rear. Over the years, I replaced several parts, some multiple times, including three wheelsets and I rebuilt two rear shocks and the front fork. That bike owed me nothing.

Devinci Django 29
Devinci Django 29

This fall I finally got a new ride, a Devinci Django 29. It has a carbon frame, SLX/XT buildkit in a 1×11. I read great things about the bike and was able to test ride it in both a medium and large frame size. Other than the super wide (800 mm) handle bars, I felt comfortable on the large from the start.

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Weekend Getaway in the High Peaks

My wife, our pooch Crosby and I were in the great Adirondack North Country for a weekend. With lakes surrounded by mountains practically wherever you look, it was the perfect venue for a nice, relaxing weekend filled with some great hiking.

high-peaks-dog

We bagged Cascade and Porter on Saturday afternoon once the light mist subsided. The day turned out quite nice. The weather improved dramatically from the morning and while it stayed cool, the clouds broke and the views from the top were outstanding.

They say Cascade is the easiest of the 46ers. But it’s not an easy hike compared to most mountains I have hiked in the Catskills or the Greens. The terrain is more rugged, and at times, the trail is little more than a path of boulders through the forest.

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