Stoke Exchange
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Out of Water

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First things first ... despite this being the last official week of summer, SNOW is in forecast for the highest elevations of New England! As the rains move out late tonight, the cold may be enough to support some frozen precipitation. This weekend promises ideal September conditions though, with temps in the 60s and brilliant sunshine.

Fungi Fest was awesome last Saturday.

The Mad River Valley is chock full of great autumn events and this weekend is no exception. This week's highlight is the Mad Dash, the Mad River Path's annual fun race for kids and adults. The kids race will feature a Sugarbush-designed obstacle course, similar to the one we build for the Triathlon.

We found about three times more species than normal.

In addition to all the homes and businesses that were affected by Irene, the Path was also heavily impacted and the Dash helps provide much needed funding for repairs. The Path is vital cultural and recreational resource for the Valley community. Please join us for the Mad Dash!

Find out why toadstools are another name for mushrooms.

Last Sunday, Sugarbush hosted the Fellowship of the Wheel, Chittenden County's chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. The group has done a ton of great work to promote biking and build trails just over the ridge from us. We also share some important human resources.

Fellowship board member Peter Hawks enjoying a run on Grand Stand.

Peter is a famous Outback Guide and one of the heads of the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation. Mickey Stone, Sugarbush's Blazer Programs Supervisor, is also one of the Fellowship's principle trail builders.

Of course, Egan was on hand to help show the Fellowship around the trails.

The mountain bike community in Vermont is pretty tight knit and has a strong history of cooperative efforts that benefit all. Look for more collaborations in the future!

The leaves aren't the only things turning at Sugarbush.

The clean-up and recovery work from Irene continues at a strong pace. More than 90% of the roads have been reopened, so you can get here from there again. Local farms, businesses, schools and families still need a lot of help though and many charity events have been organized to assist them.

The storm's impacts were so clear and present that even the godfathers of the Vermont music scene got into the act last night with a benefit concert at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds.

A timeless quote from the Helping Friendly Book painted on local artist Michael Egan's van.

This was Phish's first Vermont performance since their "final" shows at Coventry in 2004 and the return was marked by both triumph and tragedy. The band was rocking, super tight from nearly two years on the road, but the occasion certainly kept the mood a little more somber than typical.

Welcome home!

Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley played an integral role in the ascendancy of the band, who played at the old Gallagher's in the late 80s, then launched onto the world stage after the landmark shows at Mount Ellen in the mid 90s. However, Phish is not the only widely popular band that has connections to the Valley. Stay tuned for more awesome smaller benefit shows in the area, including a very special one on Community Day weekend.


The mountains are slowly moving towards their autumnal peak. Come see for yourself!

Everything there is to love about fall is here now. The air is clear and crisp, the colors are coming in, the trails are in great shape, the Sugarbush Golf Club is playing its best and the harvest bounty is so tasty.

We hope to see you soon!

John Atkinson
Director of Strategic Programs and Partnerships
802-583-6534 | jatkinson@sugarbush.com

A lot more work needs to be done to help clean up after Irene. Here are links to organizations that can use our support. (Many thanks to BigDaddy for the links!)

• Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.
• You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.
• The VT Irene Flood Relief Fund is raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund was set up by Todd Bailey (the former director of Vermont League of Conservation Voters) and is being administered through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union.
The MRV Community Fund to help Mad River Valley residents, businesses and farmers who experienced losses due to the flooding.

VTResponse.com is working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. If you want to help clean up and rebuild, let the folks behind this site know.
• Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.
The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebook is functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.
• Vermont Helping Hands is also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.
• The Help Vermont Facebook group is another place to share recovery information.
• The Red Cross is in need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.

Get your 2011-2012 season passes and programs now!

ForTwenties pass for $399. Check out this great video.

Sugarbush Bike Parks and Adventure Camps are sponsored by Banshee Bikes. Come try our great rental bikes!

Want more?

See the full listing of fun events here.

Visit our webcam and follow us on Facebook.

Keep informed on Sugarbush trail updates here.

Check madriverriders.com and madriverpath.com for trail days, new maps and other info.

View past Stoke Exchange Adventure Blog posts and videos.

View our YouTube channel.

Sugarbush Seasonal Programs Report - Updated every Wednesday throughout the winter.

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John Atkinson

About John Atkinson

Follow our own 'John of all Trades' as he explores and documents adventures in and around Sugarbush Resort and the Mad River Valley.



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