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6 Mar 2009
Latest Unbiased Reports on Alpine Zone

Image (c) Alpine Zone

Most of the Vermont ski areas I follow give fairly honest reports on their conditions but they are sent out at the beginning of each day. Much can happen after that and I have found myself more and more taking a look at what is said on Alpine Zone.

These Trip Reports are usually at the end of the day but sometimes you will see mid-day reports. They often contain useful details on which trails the person skied and what they found there. Many of the reports are from people who are frequent skiers or riders (many are local Vermonters) who know which trails to choose and what to expect.

For example, here is what one skier reported just a few hours ago on his experience today at Stowe which started off looking bad but ended up being great.

I especially like the Twitter Reports so I can stay up to date and tell callers who ask about current conditions. It's great to be able to give them a report that is very current.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  16:23 | permalink

5 Mar 2009
Burton Super Demo at Stowe

Photo courtesy of Stowe Resort

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Burton Snowboard Super Demo Tour arrives at Stowe.

They will be presenting next season's boards, along with Anon, RED, and V-Rocker products. Snowboarder Magazine will be there along Nature Valley in sampling tents and domes.

There will be demos, amateur series contests, and product give-aways all three days, plus a party at Spruce Camp from 3:00 to 6:00 Saturday, highlighted by the “Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick” contest.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  19:34 | permalink

21 Feb 2009
Vermont Summer Camps for Young People

Tennis Magazine chose Windridge as one of the top ten tennis camps in the US.

Vermont has a very long tradition of summer camps for children and young adults. Some camps, such as Sangamon, have been in operation since the early part of the last century.

There are traditional camps, farm camps, sports camps, all boys and all girls camps, adventure camps, arts camps, wilderness camps, education camps, fitness camps . . . something for everyone.

A good place to start looking is the Vermont Camping Association website. It lists private, agency-based and religious-affiliated camps. Many are resident camps but there are also day camps which appeal to families who are on vacation in Vermont. The adults can go play while the kids enjoy camp during the day.

Many of the camps listed on the VCA website are also members of the American Camp Association and are accredited by that association.

Another camp directory is the American Summer Camps directory which also has a good overview of camp selections.

Now is the time to start making camp choices. Many of these camps are very popular and will fill up soon.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  20:33 | permalink

17 Feb 2009
Using Google Maps to Find GPS Coordinates

This evening I stumbled across how to use Google Maps to determine GPS coordinates.

I did it by doing something I had never done in years of clicking the Link button on a Google Map - I actually read the link. Usually I'm busy getting the link to put into an entry in the blog. I never read the jumble of letters for heaven's sake! I'm right in the middle of trying to get something done dammit.

But this time I stopped long enough to look at it - which comes dangerously close to proof reading.

As I did, it dawned on me that some numbers in the middle of the link looked similar to GPS coordinates. Could it be? After a minute or two of copy and paste activity, I had my Duh-Oh! moment. They ARE coordinates! Who knew?

Well actually, I bet a lot people know. It's probably another example of the rest of world way out in front of me and I'm back here in the mountains of Vermont sucking wind.

So, for my fellow in-the-weeds, off-the-grid woodchucks, I proudly present how to find GPS coordinates from Google Maps . . .

Go to maps.google.com, enter an address in the search bar and click Enter

On the next page, right click the red balloon on the map. In the popup, click the last item, Center Map Here. (Or right click elsewhere on the map if the red balloon is not where you want the coordinates.)

In the upper right part of the blue bar, click Link.

In the window under "Paste link in email or IM" you will see what looks like a tragic explosion in a type setting shop:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en& geocode=&q=94+pine+street+duxbury+vt&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=30.130288,56.601563&ie=UTF8&ll=44.295457,-72.771957&spn =0.006635,0.013819& z=16&iwloc=addr

'Bout two thirds of the way through all that are the letters UTF8&ll and then the = sign. The numbers immediately following the = sign . . . 44.295457, -72.771957 . . . are the coordinates for my inn at 94 Pine Street, Duxbury, Vermont, the street address I entered in the Google Maps search window back in step 1.

You will probably notice that some other numbers in the Link code are coordinates. You are correct. It's weird but the first is for Coffeeville Kansas and second is, I kid you not, Baghin Iran. What's going on with that, I have no idea. And I really don't have time to mess around with it now but I'd love to some other time.

At any rate, if you ever need coordinates for your travels, that's how you can use Google Maps to help. Give it a try and email me to let me know how it works out for y'all.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  23:19 | permalink

16 Feb 2009
Writers Workshop in Middlebury VT

Writers and would-be writers: would you like a good excuse for a trip to Vermont? Sign up for the League of Vermont Writers Workshopcoming March 14 in Middlebury VT.

The workshop is entitled "Promoting Your Talent" and it will cover how to sell your story ideas to book and magazine publishers, and how to promote a published book.

See the website for biographies of the speakers, more information about the workshop, and information about registering.

Also note on that website page, there will a March 19 - 22 Writers' Retreat in Craftsbury, and a May 30 Memoir writing workshop in Middlebury.

If you are a professional writer, part time or full time, check with your accountant to see if you can deduct the expense!

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  15:13 | permalink

11 Feb 2009
Historic Vermont Ski Jump Reopens

Photo from Harris Hill Ski Jump

Almost every year for the past 85 years, ski jumpers from around the world have converged on the village of Brattleboro Vermont to take part in the "original extreme sport."

They will do so again this year on February 14 and 15 but the difference will be that the Harris Hill jump has been completely rebuilt. It's literally brand new and with luck it will last another 85 years.

After the town got together and raised about half a million dollars, demolition and rebuilding continued through the last year. It was either that or lose what those in the ski jumping world consider an iconic structure in the sport. There are no others in New England and only six others in the USA of its size.

Harris Hill was built by a visionary named Fred Harris who devoted a large portion of his life to building and maintaining the jump.

The jump is just one mile from Exit 2 on I-91. Driving directions are on the website.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  19:30 | permalink

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