Archive for February, 2016

todays hiking picture

February 20, 2016


52 degrees today so i took little guy for a hike.

aeolus the masot taking a nap on the coldest day of winter

February 13, 2016


One of my favorite pictures from this past fall

February 11, 2016

We are currently taking foliage reservations for the 2016 season.

The days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to turn. The weather is mild and pleasant, in the fall! Some of the best hiking of the year is then. There is more wildlife to see, including migrating birds. Fewer hikers on the trail, no insects and the cool air makes an easier time on the trail. We suggest the last week in September through the first week in October for peak foliage viewing. Don’t wait until the last minute to book, we already have a fair amount of hikers scheduled:-)

guided vermont hike


February 4, 2016

ATA’s 2016 season runs May 20th through October 10th

We are currently taking reservations for the 2016 season and have limited room’s available August 19th-21st.

Appalachian Trail Adventures (ATA) offers a distinctive adventure vacation with guided daily hiking, kayaking, and caving in the Green Mountains of Vermont that targets families and individuals who are adventurers, families, and those seeking an active vacation, including hikers who do not feel comfortable hitting the trails alone.

ATA provides an affordable all-inclusive hiking or fitness vacation giving a real Vermont outdoor adventure. That’s why it has the best hiking vacation at the lowest possible prices, starting at $232.00 per night, per person, including taxes and gratuities. Unlike most spas, ATA’s owner John Keough is engaged daily with the guests, encouraging them on the trail and kayaking.

ATA offers a variety of options to help customize one’s vacation. The most common is the Hiking Vacation that consists of an air-conditioned room with three daily spa meals, snacks, a guided novice, intermediate or advanced hike and an afternoon of kayaking, an excursion or caving. Massages, yoga classes and tennis lessons are available a la carte.

The Summit Lodge

Long considered Killington’s classic four-season resort hotel, the Summit Lodge is an ideal destination for your Vermont vacation that is why ATA has chosen it for their home base. Located in the heart of Killington, the lodge is situated high on a private knoll with magnificent views of Vermont’s second highest mountain and the surrounding Green Mountains. With eleven acres and forty-five comfortable rooms, the facilities and grounds are extensive including an outdoor heated pool, Jacuzzi whirlpool, saunas, weight room, five tennis courts, massage therapy, a library, two restaurants and bars, duck pond, game room, a bocci court, horseshoes and shuffleboard. A sit down breakfast and a bag lunch are supplied by the Summits chef, while dinner is served at the Foundry Restaurant.

The Foundry Restaurant

The Foundry Restaurant’s Executive Chef Sean Miller has created a delicious spa menu for ATA hikers who are seeking healthier meals. The menu is able to cater to special dietary restrictions such as vegan, low sugar, sodium-, wheat- and dairy-free options. This enables ATA to accommodate couples, athletes, weight loss vacationers, as well as all those with no dietary restrictions who seek to eat healthily.

Located on the banks of the Summit Pond, The Foundry offers a distinct year-round dining experience. In addition to the ATA hikers’ menu, The Foundry offers two menu options: an American Bistro-Style menu in its formal dining room, as well as a more casual Tavern menu in the bar. Their impeccable chef-driven cuisine provides guests the finest cuts of prime meats, fresh seafood, homemade pastas and much more. They use the freshest ingredients to create mouthwatering appetizers, flavorful side dishes and irresistible desserts, designed to engage all of your senses. The Foundry experience focuses on providing un-paralleled hospitality in a warm and relaxing setting. In addition to its dining options, The Foundry offers live entertainment regularly and is host to many of the area’s events.

Aeolus the beagle update:

Aeolus has a new friend Nun a very cute Chow, there is a picture of them posted on ATA’s Facebook page. He is also from a rescue and in the smaller weight class as Aeolus, so when they are dog wrestling things are very fair. Of course, since we finally got snow, Aeolus has been chasing me around the yard while I drive my snowmobile. It’s so cute seeing him running after me. I even tried to have him go for a ride, but he jumped off after a short distance. The big news was the fox that went through the yard this week. Aeolus saw him through the window and went nuts, barking and whining out of control. He wanted to get outside real bad to chase that fox. The look on his face was telling me “please dad let me out, I was bred to chase and hunt foxes”. Even after the fox left Aeolus was running around the house to all the windows and doors looking and sniffing for the red fox. For our city adventure, I had to get an oil change so I brought Aeolus with me. He was a hit in the waiting room, everyone thought he was cutest doggy. He just loved all the attention from folks and even the employees. When they walked by and saw him they had to stop and say hello. Aeolus has such a friendly face and literally smiles at you and then with that little tail wagging it helps the cute factor. People were going crazy for him, it was so funny.

Aeolus is named after a cave where myself and a friend dug open a blocked passage discovering the largest cave in New England back in 2000. The cave is located just north of Manchester, VT and named after the mountain, Mount Aeolus.

Aeolus or Eolus (Greek: Aiolos [jjolos]), was the Custodian of the winds in Greek mythology. A minor deity, he is the son of a king called Hippotes, and lived on one of the rocky Lipara islands, close to Sicily. In the caves on this island were imprisoned the winds, and Aeolus, directed by the higher gods, let out these winds as soft breezes, gales, or whatever the higher gods wished. Being visited by the Greek hero Odysseus, Aeolus received him favorably, and on the hero’s departure presented Odysseus with a bag containing all the adverse winds, so that his friend might reach Ithaca with a fair wind. Odysseus did as Aeolus bid, but in sight of his homeland, having been untroubled by foul weather, he fell asleep and his men, curious, opened the bag, thus releasing all the fierce winds, which blew their ship far off course (Odyssey X, 2; Vigil I, 52).

Hiking Tip: Pre-hiking Conditioning and Strength

Imagine that you’re a thigh muscle and how about one of the quadriceps. You’ve been at rest in the passenger seat of a car for the last two hours, while traveling to a trailhead. Now you’re headed toward that trailhead. You’ll be expected to perform maximally without complaint for the next four hours, with only brief rest stops. What would be your dearest wish as you head out? A good long stretch, of course.

Muscles are what I regard as the faithful dogs of the body, you may ask or demand, they oblige. It’s unkind to ask these faithful servants to go to work without a good stretch, both before and after a hike. Quick and easy hiker’s stretches will keep your muscles less prone to aches the next day. Proper body mechanics are important for avoiding backaches or neck strain. Water intake and conditioning also play a role.

How to keep your muscles in shape for hiking? Cross training can be useful: biking (indoors when the weather is crummy), swimming and dancing. Brisk daily thirty minute walks, including some inclines and uneven terrain (avoid pavement, in other words), keep up my lung capacity and muscle tone. Two or three times a week, schedule permitting, Include resistance training and weight lifting and listening to music or news programs keeps it from getting dull.

I try to park far away from store entrances, use the stairs, never use the elevator and walk up escalators. The hidden motive here is injury prevention. Injuries rob you of trail time and enjoyment of your favorite activities. Invest some time now in pre-hiking conditioning and strength building, so you can enjoy trail time into your golden years.


ATA’s Dvd Recommendation: DIVE!

Digging into the hidden recesses of the American food industry, this eye-opening documentary reveals the appalling amount of edible, nutritious goods that are thrown away and wasted every day in a nation where millions of citizens still go hungry.

Inspired by a curiosity about our country’s careless habit of sending food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! Follow filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles’ supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars’ worth of good, edible food resulting in an inspiring documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.


Healthful Living Tips: Health Reasons to Drink Coffee

Find out the health benefits beyond why you should be drinking coffee. Over 18,000 studies have looked at coffee use in the past few decades. Lately more and more are reporting real health benefits for coffee drinkers but they must be balanced against the brew’s possible bitter effects, especially in higher, caffeinated doses. An ideal “dose” of java is hard to determine, since people’s perceptions of “a cup of coffee” vary as widely as coffee-mug sizes do. But the good news is that many of the benefits are associated with around two to four (8-ounce) cups a day and that’s what most Americans drink anyway,” notes Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a coffee expert at the University Of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Some intriguing findings:

Health Benefit 1. Brain Gains: Moderate coffee drinking between 1 and 5 cups daily may help reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease, studies suggest. Coffee’s antioxidants may prevent some damage to brain cells and boost the effects of neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function, say experts. Preliminary studies have noted that as coffee (or tea) intake rises, ­incidence of glioma, a form of brain cancer, tends to drop. Some researchers speculate that compounds in the brews could activate a DNA repairing protein in cells possibly preventing the DNA damage that can lead to cells becoming cancerous.

Defeating Diabetes: Studies link frequent coffee consumption 4 cups per day or more with a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Scientists suspect that antioxidant compounds in coffee cholorogenic acid and quinides may boost cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. While most of the research didn’t assess whether the brews were caffeinated, decaf may be even better, since other studies have found that caffeine tends to blunt the insulin-sensitivity boost.

Some studies show that moderate coffee drinkers (1 to 3 cups per day have lower rates of stroke than non-coffee-drinkers; coffee’s antioxidants may help quell inflammation’s damaging effects on arteries. Some researchers speculate that the compounds might boost activation of nitric oxide, a substance that widens blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. More java isn’t better: a 5 cup or more daily habit is associated with higher heart disease risks. Researchers ­believe excessive caffeine may sabotage the antioxidants’ effects

Health Benefit 4. Liver Lover: Though the research is limited at best, it appears that the more coffee people drink, the lower their incidence of cirrhosis and other liver diseases. One analysis of nine studies found that every 2 cup increase in daily coffee intake was associated with a 43 percent lower risk of liver cancer. Possible explanation: caffeine and antioxidant chlorogenic and caffeic acids in coffee might prevent liver inflammation and inhibit cancer cells.


Healthful Living Recipe: Low-Calorie Muffin Recipes: Lemon-Cranberry Muffins

This healthy muffin recipe is a satisfying breakfast for 350 calories or less. Whether you’re baking fresh muffins on the weekend or are looking for a quick and easy breakfast to grab and go, this low calorie muffin recipe are the perfect healthy breakfast. These lemony cranberry-studded muffins crunch lightly with cornmeal and are topped with a kiss of sugared lemon zest. They’re great warm from the oven, but also keep well for a few days and freeze beautifully.

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1/3cup canola oil

1 large egg

3 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)

1/2 cup cornmeal, preferably medium or fine stone-ground

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), coarsely chopped (see Tip)

Preheat oven to 400ªF. Coat 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, yogurt, oil, egg, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the yogurt mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in cranberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining l teaspoon lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the tops of the muffins.

Bake the muffins until golden brown and they spring back lightly to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap in plastic and freeze in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. To reheat frozen muffins, remove plastic, wrap muffin in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds. | Equipment: Muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) cups

Note: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores and online at or Store it in the freezer.

Tip: To make quick work of chopping cranberries, place whole berries in a food processor and pulse a few times until the berries are coarsely chopped

Nutrition Per muffin: 187 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 4 g mono ); 18 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 10 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 255 mg sodium; 96 mg potassium, Carbohydrate Servings: 2.