mountain biking

deep freeze

Anyone in New England over the past two weeks has experienced a prolonged super deep freeze with temps hovering around 0 and windchills in the negative territory. We absolutely love this weather and have been snowboarding, skiing, biking, hiking and otherwise making the most of winter fun.

Fat tire biking was high on my list of things to do this season. Gosh it was fun and addictive!

The powder has definitely been flowing in NH! After 23 years of only snowboarding I decided to jump back into skiing last season.

There is a little park in Bedford, NH called Pulpit Rock. It is a sweet valley full of boulders and waterfalls and paths. It was fun to hike around and check out frozen walls of ice.

Merrymeeting Lake is frozen solid. This is a panorama of the lake from the dam and public boat launch.

This last shot is of Pleasant Cove on Merrymeeting Lake last week. It was -5 degrees and the entire lake was frozen with smooth ice. 

Happy wintering!

-Evan

Adventure fun in Lake Tahoe, California (and Nevada) - part 1

It is always fun to get out and explore; especially in a new place.  I have visited Lake Tahoe, CA in the winter for some epic snowboarding in the past but last week was my first summer trip to this spectacular spot.  The two adventure highlights of the trip were mountain biking the Tahoe Flume Trail and SUPing on the crystal clear lake. DCIM100GOPRO

The Tahoe Flume Trail is a 17 mile or so mix of single track and fire roads that pack in breathtaking views, a calf-burning uphill, speedy downhills, and adrenaline inducing corners on thousand-foot cliffs.

The day started at tranquil Spooner Pond where I did a quick two-mile warm up around the pond and then linked up with the Flume Trail.  There is no honey-coating what the start of the trail entailed: it was four miles of climbing with a little more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain - just straight up and up and up.

DCIM100GOPRO

I stopped about two miles into the climb to catch my breath and snapped this quick selfie.  It was a gorgeous, hot day and although the hill seemed never-ending, the reward at the top was worth it.

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From the top of the first peak the ride got fun.  An intense downhill brought me to a smaller lake (Marlette Lake) which was picturesque and serene.  After biking a few miles along its shores I got to a dam and the start of the Flume Trail.  From then on it is fast paced cruising at 8,000 feet on single track that varies from three feet wide to just a foot or so in some places.  On the right of the trail was usually cliff or woods going up and on the left was a sheer drop for about a thousand feet.  There was nothing technical about this trail but it was super fun and full of ridiculous views of the lake and mountains.

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

For miles the trail hugged the cliff, letting me traverse the mountain and try not to ride off the side while taking in the views.  The trail eventually peeled away from the edge of the mountain and, after a few warning signs regarding speed, variable terrain, and death, I arrived at a four or five mile downhill which was, needless to say - awesome.  The downhill dumped me back at the bike shop that I started at and the adventure was over.

Part 2 - SUPing the lake - next post.

F is for fall (fun)

Fall is always a great time of year in New Hampshire...especially for a camp director just coming off of a spectacular summer of "work".  Having grown up here in the granite state I have a passion for all things outdoors.  I have been lucky this year that the weather has been great, the foliage scenic, and my hiking companion has four legs and can't say no to a day in the woods! Looks like new! Only 500 hours of use...

The first day of fall for me does not come on a certain date; it is the day I wrap the boat up for the season. This year we had a blast during “summer 2.0”, - what we call what is left of the summer after camp is over – surfing, riding, and occasionally slaloming well into September. At a certain point, though, the water and the sun are no longer warm and it is time to throw in the towel. After eight hours of cleaning, waxing, and winterizing, the Centurion was ready to hibernate until the spring.

Pause. Breathe. Let's go.

Mountain biking has been taking up a lot of my time this fall as I discovered a fantastic network of trails just minutes from my house. Bear Brook State Park has miles and miles of terrain of varying difficulty and great spots to catch your breath and take it all in (see above). It is easy to waste away a whole day cruising the trails.

Squam Lake as seen from a mountain peak.

Of course, New Hampshire is famous for its hiking and I have been trying to get up to the mountains a few times a week to conquer some peaks. This year the foliage has been on full display with limitless views in the mountains of yellows, reds, and oranges.

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I do not see a lot of wildlife these days as Tuckerman, my hiking buddy, is not a stealth hiker. He is only ten months old and still has limitless energy which makes enough noise on the trail to scare almost everything away. We have had some great days hiking smaller NH mountains as I get him ready for higher peaks and his namesake trail on Mt. Washington next spring.

Of course fall fun does not have to be confined to your home base. I was lucky to have spent a couple of weeks in the Caribbean earlier this month and got to scuba dive, sail, and lounge in the sun.

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It is hard to look cool in a foam life jacket but rules are rules right?

I hope that you all are having as much fun this fall as I am and feel free to send over some pics (evan@watermonkeycamp.com) of what you have been up to and maybe we will feature that on the blog!

Extreme Camp Fair at Rye Airfield

Last weekend we joined a handful of other "extreme" camps in NH for a camp fair at Rye Airfield.  For those of you who have not heard of it, Rye Airfield is a massive indoor skate/bmx park in Rye, NH.  Some heavy snow and wind kept most people at home but it was still a good time and I got to chat with the other programs and some prospective campers. Some of the features at Rye Airfiled...possibly the coolest indoor setup I've ever seen.

One of the programs in attendance was Highland Mountain (http://highlandmountain.com/) a downhill mountain bike park nearby in New Hampshire.  We will be adding a day at Highland Mountain to our quiver of special trips for Water Monkey campers.  Downhill mountain biking will be a great activity to switch it up during the week of being on the boat and it now joins indoor skydiving, paintball, rock climbing, surfing, cool hikes, water parks, IMAX movies, and whatever else we think of as possible special day trips.  Awesome special trips are just another reason why our camp is amazing.