Monday, February 25, 2013

Ski-O and visit to FDR

Last Saturday I got to try my first-ever ski-O event (orienteering on cross-country skis).  What a blast!  There were options to use trails to each checkpoint, or you could bushwhack your way through the woods anytime you wanted.  I used trails for the first 4 points (out of 10), except for a short few feet through some trees when I ended up on the wrong parallel trail.

In the next set of 4 points I saw some off-trail snowshoe tracks (which John had made while doing the Score-O version on snowshoes, collecting as many points as he could).  This inspired me to attempt a longer off-trail stint, and that worked so well that I continued across the north section of the map hopping from trail to trail.  The woods were open enough that I didn't have much trouble getting my skis in between the vegetation.  And it was great fun trying this for the first time.

Plus it was real nav with a compass bearing instead of just following trails.  In some cases I'm sure it was slower on the direct route, but I was having fun (and not caring about competition on that day) so I stuck with it for CP7 which was rather out in the middle of nowhere.

Then it was a fun, long ski back on trails and a climb to CP9 on the top of the hill.  From there I wanted to take a direct route down the hill, but it was too steep for my ski abilities so I took off my skis and ran down.  That worked great, a bit more skiing on trails for CP10, then downhill to the finish.  John collected a bunch of CP's in 2 hours and we both enjoyed the day very much.

On Sunday we drove down to the FDR home, memorial, and library in Hyde Park.  We spent some time on a tour of the house and grounds, wandered through the exhibits, and read lots of interesting information about these amazing people.

Eleanor and Franklin:

Their grave site on the property, the same size as his desk in the Oval Office:

FDR's childhood room:

Eleanor and Franklin's adjoining rooms:

A nice view down toward the Hudson River - must be very pretty here at other times of the year:

The stables - love the name on one of the stalls:

A flock of geese flying over the library - is it possible that Spring is coming eventually?

A couple photos of young Franklin:

Franklin's four freedoms, and a view of the Roosevelt Park in NYC that we would like to visit:

We went for a run on the snowy/icy trails up to Val-Kill (Eleanor's house) and Top Cottage (nice views) and down to the river.  I love running around National Park trails, always interesting things to see.

John has been looking for a sledding location, but apparently you can't sled on the Vanderbilt property:

The Rip Van Winkle Bridge over the Hudson River:

And a view of the river itself:

It was a lovely weekend, despite the gray weather.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Marathon - ?

Last weekend the HMRRC club put on their annual Winter Marathon event around the university and state office campuses.  John and I are still building up our mileage numbers, so we didn't commit to finishing the whole thing.  When the day turned out cold and ridiculously windy, that sealed the decision to run the miles we wanted and then stop.

My legs are doing better (and my jaw is doing great - pretty much all healed!) and I was happy to finish with just over 20 miles at an even pace.  And then go inside and drink soup to warm up.  Brrr!

At the start, wondering what we were thinking:

 John might be trying to keep a side wind off his face here:

Me in the background:

 John Geesler (on the left), an ultra-running great:

So far, so good John!

Now this is just crazy.  I'm talking about the one in the middle, if you didn't figure that out already:

I'm smiling because I'm almost done with my "fun run"!

Now this is the proper way to spend a winter weekend - in California  :)  Mom and Dad visited Kip and he took them to Muir Woods to see some big trees:

And more Redwoods at Big Basin with some friends - looks fabulous!

 All in all, a satisfying weekend on both sides of the country.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snowshoe day in the Catskills

We were lucky to get a beautiful day on a weekend, so we jumped on it with all four snowshoes.  Snowstorm Nemo put a bunch of white fluffy stuff on previously-bare ground, time for a winter workout.  Blue, sunny skies - no wind - even mild temperatures - it was a really nice day to be outside for a few hours.

So we drove down to the Catskills and hiked up to Windham High Peak.

Someone had circled these trees a couple times.  We call this "To Infinity - and beyond!":

John looking dapper:

We continued on the trail behind the peak for a couple miles of mostly cutting our own tracks.  Good exercise, is what that's supposedly called.

It also makes me appreciate actual running all that much more  :)

Look out, big hairy monster shadow!

Hiding behind that tree!

Oh, it just dapper John - hi John!

Today the snow is starting to melt.  It's a strange cycle this winter, but after experiencing the constant snow of 2 years ago, I still ain't complaining.

Thanks for a fun day, John!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

RPI Freakout with Friends

We had a mini RPI reunion last weekend, at least our class did.  Kathy and Bob, Pete and Luanne, and Naveen and his friend Walt all came to visit - sweet!  It was an awesome weekend of reminiscing and checking out the campus and Troy to see what's new many years later.

Plus we got to watch an excellent hockey game - the annual Big Red Freakout that somehow John and I have made it to 3 times in a row.  Let's Go Red!

Thank you to Bob for this photo:

Saturday before the big game we drove around Albany and Troy, checked out the Troy farmer's market and the Albany co-op, and stopped by to see Nipper on the roof:

Kathy found a lead for the Troy Arts Center so we stopped in for a look.  Nice view of the Hudson from inside:

They are currently showing artwork from Hudson Valley Seed Library, very interesting:

Our first visit to the campus bookstore in many years - Bob took full advantage of the offerings in preparation for the game:

It's genius!

One of our favorite shirt designs:

The site of our "hockey line" hangout where we waited a couple weeks for season tickets (back then we had an air mattress at least):

Our senior year living quarters:

Time for some hockey!

Pete was really prepared - we were impressed!

Yay Puckman!

A happy crew, watching RPI go up 3 goals to none:

A few action shots:

The Engineers played well and hung on for the shutout win.  Awesome.

Sunday morning we went for a walk/run around the University of Albany campus.  Bob found a place to rest for a couple minutes before the start:

He also noticed this sign:

A little chilly, but maybe the sun will come out?

John in the 10-mile race:

Kathy and Bob heading out for a walk:

Sunday afternoon was another highlight - we got an insider's tour of EMPAC, the new (well, new to us) arts center on the RPI campus.  We were really lucky that Ian and Rosalee were willing to show us around all the spaces we wouldn't normally get to see.

A caricature of Mr. Rolnick who has been teaching here for many years:

Such interesting designs and spaces:

Inside the White Room where artists set up to practice and perform:

The view down toward Troy:

The smaller auditorium, another fun space:

Naveen was with us Saturday evening, but somehow I neglected to get a photo of him.  He had different seats at the game and we didn't get a group picture at the Polish restaurant pre-game nor at the bar post-game.  Next time!

He did mention these waterfalls near campus that none of the rest of us had heard of.  It's spectacular, hard to believe we didn't know about it back then!  Lots of ice decorations around the creek right now:

We also visited the Mohawk Falls, which I never tire of looking at.  Lots of ice around this one too:

Thank you, friends, for a most excellent weekend!