Saturday, November 29, 2008

State College Thanksgiving

Happy Valley is full of traditions and at one time or another almost every member of my family has lived in State College. My first State College memory is of my father taking us to Rec Hall as children so we could shoot hoops and of him explaining how he used to sneak into the PSU basketball games while he was a student at Loch Haven by sitting on the girls bathroom shitter with his legs lifted up before the game. After their divorce, my mother commuted thirty miles one way from State College to teach in Huntingdon twice a day, every day, for over a decade in order to expose herself and her family to more culture and more opportunities. After she finally moved to State College, my brother became a star at State College High School both in football and in track - earning a well-deserved full-ride to the University of Tejas as a decathalete. My little sister also graduated from State High, SHBS, and was the first among us to start a family. My older sister returned to town soon after graduating college to utilize her degree in fashion merchandising, and then again much later with her husband to raise a family, grow the community, and her Silpada business. I attended PSU; learned to mt. bike, climb, and kayak; began a career, succeeded; began another, failed; moved away, graduated; started another, and now return as often as I can with my family - although there are no basketball hoops in Rec Hall today - I enjoy every trip.

This year was extra-special as my father, his wife, and my sister were all visiting from Idaho; my mother came in from Oregon; and my sister and her daugher flew in from Florida - a full house. Oh yeah, and I turned 40.

One tradition is a family hike and this year we had fun. I hiked two snowy miles in my red Dansko clogs while carrying Henry on my shoulders downhill.
Thomas found an "ice fossil" which he carried for about 1.75 miles and then I broke trying to hook it onto the roof rack.
A couple of cellphone calls later the ride was taking shape. Another tradition is to ride in Rothrock over the Thanksgiving holiday and I haven't missed one in years. Some were short, in the rain; some were long, in an Indian Summer; some were tough, some were easy - all were impromptu.

This year's ride followed the family hike and began, as usual, from the Tussey Mt. parking lot.
Despite the snow, the trails were open and rideable.
We were able to ride up Three Bridges, Longaberger, the entire Tussey Ridge, and back down Longaberger (chasing a six-point buck) two plus hours without much stopping and no waiting.
I am leaving out alot, there is always so much that happens there - great beer (we always go out one night), disc golf with the boys, college football, fun games, great food (turkey day is incredible), etc.
Special thanks to Aaron and his sister, Mandy, for taking care of Tussey for the holiday - she went on several hikes and enjoyed all the attention. Everyone should have a good friend from middle school as they are something else.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

4 bergs

Tussey and I hit Iceberg today. There was a little snow on the trail in the morning for the first run, but many tracks made it pretty nice. Ran into the MORE folks doing some major trailwork on Blue. After two laps, I dropped Tussey off at the car - and headed up for two more. Had a nice run on Grebeci with my only dab coming at the bottom of the S-Turn, clipped back in and rode the top clean - Jeez! Seems like a dusting of snow somehow helps.

Great conditions.

Monday, November 03, 2008

3 Bergs

The bar has been raised. Jonathan and Pat recorded three bergs on a single ride this past Sunday - one Grebeci, and two Icebergs. Do I hear four?