2010

Part 8 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. Darn Tough Socks have been making socks in Northfield, Vt., for 30 years. Family owned and operated, the company produces a full line of heavy-duty, and yes, darn tough socks for the full range of outdoor activities. The company touts its credibility by proclaiming Vermont…

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What image does Barbie bring to your mind? How about a young woman outfitted in a climbing helmet and harness and wearing rugged boots instead of high heels? I heard about just such a Barbie on The Promised Land, a new program on my public radio station. In an hour-long interview with Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D.,…

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According to the new 2011 Appalachian Trail Data Book, the AT is now 1.9 miles longer than it used to be. The new official trail length: 2,181.0 miles. Produced by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the Data Book is updated annually to reflect current trail distances as measured by its legions of volunteers. The Data…

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Part 2 of 2 on the best and latest online state park features. Today we look at the six New England state park systems. (You can read Part 1: New York and the Mid-Atlantic here.) Rhode Island State Parks The only state park system that offers its own iPhone app: The Official Rhode Island State…

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As I write this, vacation has officially started downstairs. Ursula and Virgil had only a half-day at school and got back home in daylight. Snow fell right on cue, big fluffy flakes that may finally cover the ground for good. I can hear the fire crackling in the fireplace, and Virgil whistling Christmas carols. This…

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I spent some time this morning browsing the various state park websites for the Northeast. Here are my picks for the best, most useful, and most interesting features, starting with New York and the Mid-Atlantic states. Look for the New England states in my next post! New York State ParksVirtual Tours are now available online…

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I bike year-round, including the sub-freezing days of winter. Before I head out for a ride, I always check the outdoor thermometer—and then dress accordingly for conditions. Here is my clothing system for several common winter temperature ranges. First of all, I always wear certain items once temperatures drop below 40º Fahrenheit—my base system, if…

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We cut down our Christmas tree earlier this week. It’s an annual tradition, begun when Ursula was only six months old and I carried her in a front pack, her small fingers wrapped around one of mine while we breathed in the scent of balsam, and Jim crawled under our chosen tree with a bow…

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If you’ve wondered when is the right time to introduce children to backcountry skiing, best-selling guidebook author David Goodman recommends waiting until they’re in the “middle schoolish” years. His daughter, Ariel, skied the backcountry for the first time at age 13; Goodman is taking his son, Jasper, already an experienced downhill skier at age 10,…

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When David Goodman updated his classic guidebook to backcountry skiing in the Northeast in 1999, he dedicated it to his daughter, Ariel, then age 7. He wrote, “Whether she chooses to travel on foot, skis, snowboard, or a plastic sled, I hope that she finds the same joy in these mountains over the years that…

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