My Fun-time Activities

Dance couple

Cross country skiing has been my favorite sport since my college days. And this from someone who was living in New York City and NJ for the next 20 years where snow is a nuisance rather than something you can enjoy! I started cross country skiing in 1972 after reading a short article about a sport I never knew existed. Wood skis, waxes and pine tar were de rigueur at that time. I still have those original skis and use them occasionally for old time sake. My first skiing was in the Catskill Mountains, skiing on the farm land once owned by Max Yasgur and made famous by the many thousands of crazies attending the original Woodstock Festival.

I enjoy skiing from fast track workouts and skating to easy off trail touring. Back country skiing has never held much for me. I have taught beginner cross country lessons for the Monmouth County, NJ park system from 1978 until 1992. Even in New Jersey with no snow I was able to teach classes because the park system had some mats on which you could just about teach the fundamentals of diagonal stride. I got my certification as a Nordic Instructor with the Amateur Ski Instructors Association (ASIA) in 1992. This organization closed down a number of years ago. Each of the ASIA workshops I attended has helped not only my teaching technique but also my own skiing. I am always able to pick up one or two helpful tips for my own use.

Now living in Western New York State (Rochester, NY) there is more opportunity to ski locally, but even this has been diminishing in the 25+ years we have been here. There is reliable snow that can be skied over fewer and fewer weeks each year. Over the years, I have enjoyed week long trips that included skiing in the following places:

to Tucker Hill (Sugarbush, VT), Far Hills (Laurentian Mtns., Quebec), Royal Gorge (Sierra Mtns.), Lillehammer in Norway, Engadin Valley in Switzerland, Yellowstone, Sun Mountain Lodge in the Methow Valley of Washington, Stowe VT, and Craftsbury VT. The best local places are Mendon Ponds Park and Harriet Hollister Spenser State Forest.  Our two favorite local places to ski for weekends are Garnet Hill and Lapland Lakes both in the Adirondaks.

Links to some skiing related sites

When the weather and roads are good, biking is my standard exercise and leisure enjoyment. I am a road biker. The wildest off road biking I am interested in doing would be on smooth fire roads or carriage paths. Something like the carriage roads on Mt. Desert Island in Arcadia National Park satisfy my off road desires. 30 - 40 mile (50 - 65 km) road rides are what I do mostly. When I go to ride events I will usually ride the metric centuries. It was not until the summer of 1996 that I rode my first centuries. I am interested in doing loaded touring for multiple days. My big bike dream wass to ride across the US on a 2 - 3 month tour. This dream finally came true in the summer of 1996. I traveled with 3 other bicyclists and did a 68 day bicycle tour from the Oregon coast to the New Jersey coast. It was on this ride that I had a couple of 100+ mile days. I commute to campus whenever I can averaging 3 to 4 days a week when the weather is not bitterly cold and the roads are not snow packed or iced.

Links to some biking related sites

I have been playing league volleyball since 1978 except for one break of several years. My level of play is in the top part of intermediate leagues where I had been playing. In these leagues passes still get shanked and there are only a few real strong hitters. The better teams are playing a simple 6-2 where there are no 1 balls or fancy plays. The quality of the passes often makes it difficult for the setter to deliver the set requested. I do best when I am setting because I have big hands that can easily control the ball and I never have worked enough to develop better timing for my hitting. Here in Rochester, I usually play in the Perinton Rec center Thursday night pickup games.

Backpacking is an activity that I do less than a handful of times per year, though, I often take short hikes (walks) as a leisure passtime. Every two or three years, I will try to schedule a longer backpacking trip of up to a week's length. The last one was a week long trip on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This was the second time that I had backpacked the canyon. I really enjoy canyon hiking. There have been several week long backpacks on the Appalachian Trail through New Hamphsire and Maine. I also spent two weeks hiking the entire AT in Vermont just after senior undergraduate year. The local (2 and 3 day) trips usually go to the Catskill or Adirondak Mountains. Before moving to Western NY these shorter trips had also been in Harriman State Park and the Delaware Water Gap region.

Links to some outdoor related sites

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Last changed: 04 June 2003