Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Welcome to the Autumnal Equinox and the official start of foliage season in the Mad River Valley. The leaves have been slowly changing for a while, but the pace has sped up dramatically in the last week or so. Some trees seem to turn before your eyes.
Everybody is shedding their green uniforms and putting on party clothes!
Speaking of quick changes, Vermont road crews, with help from our Maine friends, have accomplished incredible feats since Irene left the area's travelways bruised and battered. In a little over three weeks, the recovery effort has reopened the vast majority of roads and bridges, including RT 4 through Rutland and RT 100 through Granville Gulf. The flashing sign at the end of RT 100B in Middlesex, "Road closed until further notice" is gone too! Yes, all three bridges on 100B are fixed.
This was Sunday. The leaves are now about 40-50% changed.
In some areas, many folks still need help to get back in their homes and businesses, but the extended community has really stepped up and provided massive levels of support. From raffles, fundraisers and benefit concerts all over the East Coast to individual donations and volunteer time, the show of neighborly help has been totally inspirational. See below for lots of ways to help.
Practicing what he preaches, Joe Grant from Back to Action PT.
Despite extra challenges, the clean-up hasn't stopped important community events from happening. The 16th Annual Mad Dash, the Mad River Path's fun race for kids and adults, was a big success this past weekend. The kids race, which featured a Sugarbush-designed obstacle course, was hailed as the best ever!
Hay, this is fun!
Helping mom cross the finish line.
Coming up next weekend, October 2nd, Sugarbush is hosting the Green Mountain Foliage Festival, in conjunction with the USFS. The Festival celebrates the centennial of the Weeks Act, which provided funding for the creation of the White Mountain, Pisgah, Allegheny, George Washington and Green Mountain National Forests, among others. Come check out free hikes with botanists, biologists and free lift rides on Super Bravo!
Caleb Kessler showing his roadie dad how to roll a bermed corner on Gumball Alley. Smile first.
Repairs from Irene and new trail work continue all over the Valley and on the mountain. Stay tuned for more trail days and other fun as the fall progresses. The peak of riding, hiking and golfing season is here right now. Come and get it!
A quick video of some recent trail work.
While Fungi Fest has passed, the mushroom picking has been extraordinary this September. Many hunters have noted that both variety and quantity are historically abundant. Even if you only look at them, the colors, shapes and sizes are constantly intriguing.
Chanterelles, boletes and puffballs are prolific now.
Remember last week when I mentioned snow in the forecast? Well, some of it ended up at the Alpine Shop's Avalanche Sale. The first snowball of the season felt just right in my hand.
Team Volkl knows how to have fun. Lederhosen and fresh boards!
Come experience the best of autumn in the Mad River Valley. We hope to see you soon!
Director of Strategic Programs and Partnerships
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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.
Sugarbush Bike Parks and Adventure Camps are sponsored by Banshee Bikes. Come try our great rental bikes!
Keep informed on Sugarbush trail updates here.
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