Microspikes to Silver Lake

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Once again, it is a beautiful Saturday, so I thought it would be a great day for a ski or trail run.  A few days ago, I was talking to my colleague Joe the Geographer, and he mentioned how nice the running up to Silver Lake had been recently, and I realized then that despite the fact that I run there during most of the year (and blog about routes near the lake regularly), I had never been there before in the winter!  I also knew that my spiked shoes probably wouldn’t provide quite enough traction, so I went to the Middlebury Mountaineer and picked up a set of “Microspikes” which are basically slip on mini-crampons designed to be worn over running shoes or lighter hiking boots.

I started this run, in the usual place, the Falls of Lana trailhead, and started up the steeper early sections of trail, which had been well groomed by and for snowmobiles, making for easy running with my spikes on.  While the beaten down section of trail proved to be easy running, if I stepped off the trail, I quickly sank in, close to up to my knees, so there would be no trailbreaking for me today!  Chugging up towards Silver Lake, I noticed that some snowshoers had beaten a trail to Lenny’s Lookout, the high point of the powerline clearing overlooking Lake Dunmore, so I headed up that way to enjoy the view after a short climb.  I could see lots of ice fisherman down below, and it was curious that they were mostly clustered in one small part of the lake.  Was the fishing better there?  Or did someone bring the beer?

Lake Dunmore Ice

Lake Dunmore Ice

Returning to the main snowmobile trail, I continued up to the lake shore. I must confess, I was kind of hoping that some ambitious snowshoer had traipsed around the lake, making for easy passage in running shoes, but I could find no such tracks, so I had to content myself with a short slog through the snow, out on the ice, to get the sort of perspective that requires swimming in the summer. In addition to shoreline views, I also saw a few snowmobilers, off of their sleds and walking along the shore. With those big helmets on their heads, I kind of thought they looked like popular music artists “Daft Punk“, a duo reknowned for wearing face-obscuring helmets as they play.

Silver Lake Dam with Rattlesnake Cliffs in the background

Silver Lake Dam with Rattlesnake Cliffs in the background

Continuing on, I thought it might be nice to head down the Leicester Hollow trail, but was disappointed to see that trail had barely been broken on this, so I continued up the main route above Silver Lake. When I reached the trail split, half going right towards Goshen, the other half going straight towards Moosalamoo, I though I would head straight for a little while to check out the rarely-visited Sucker Brook Reservoir. Somewhat surprisingly, when I split off of the snowmobile trail to go to this small body of water, there was one set 4WD tire tracks heading down the steep road for me to run in. Somebody whose job it is to inspect the dam in the winter has one heck of a big set of snow tires, and a vehicle which does really well in deep snow! When I got to the reservoir, it was……empty. Apparently they drain it in the fall, probably to leave room for spring snowmelt?

Heading back up the hill to the trail junction, and not quite ready to return down to my car, I headed up the road further to the Goshen/Silver Lake trailhead parking lot, which was empty due to the fact that the road it lied at the end of was not plowed in the winter. I did notice that the snowmobile continued on however, and was surprised to learn that it followed the course of the Ridge Trail, up on the hillside above Leicester Hollow. I previously described the Ridge Trail in a summer running post, and found that there was nothing particularly remarkable about it, and had never run it again since. It took on a whole different look in the winter, so I am now eager to-re-explore it in the upcoming weeks while everything is still under deep snow. This time, however, I was not prepared for a longer run (no food or water), so after going a short distance on the well-packed Ridge Trail, I returned to the Goshen parking lot. From this point on, it was about 2.5 miles all downhill, and my Microspikes made it so that I could run fast, and confident in my footing for the duration of the descent.

Returning to my car, this made for a slightly longer than 7 mile run, with about 900 feet of climbing and descent. The day was so nice, that after I got home and had a light lunch, I managed to get out for an hour of cross-country skiing as well!



The run, in Google Earth

The run, in Google Earth

The Week’s Headlines

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

The Life and Death of Joseph Battell

Students Bring Literary Journal to Life Onstage

Ricardo Nuila Wins NER Award for Emerging Writers

Middlebury Voices in the News: Youth Protests, Dance Review, Study Abroad

Student-Organized Conference Explores ‘Apathy and Action’

View past stories by visiting the News Room Page.


Don’t Miss the Bus – Still a few seats left- Order Today!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Beat the winter blues with a BUS TRIP to Boston, MA
Open to Staff, Faculty and Students too.
Get out of town! Enjoy a day of no driving and take in the sites of Boston, MA

Drop-offs Boston, MA
o Seaport World Trade Center (Flower Show) 10ish

flower show

Within walking distance:
• New England Aquarium
• Quincy Market

Saturday, March 14th
Bus leaves the Service Building at 6:30AM, Brandon Green 7:00AM
and Rutland Home Depot 7:30 AM.
(please be on time the bus won’t wait!)

• Pick-ups Boston, MA
o Seaport World Trade Center (Flower Show) 5:30PM
$43 per person (bus only-all other tickets on your own)
Reservations are first come first serve, open to all Middlebury College Community and their guests.
Deadline for reservations is Tuesday, March 3rd through the Middlebury Box Office: go online, by phone 443-3168, or stop in McCullough or Mahaney Center for the Arts. Reservations are  non-refundable. Spend a day in the city and let someone else do the driving!                  Sponsored by Middlebury College Staff Council
Questions?mathomps@middelbury.edu or x-5258

Embedding a Kanopy Streaming Video in a Course Site

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Good news! Thanks to our partners in ITS, faculty can now embed a video from Middlebury’s repository of Kanopy streaming videos in their WordPress sites. We’ve documented the process here. Below is a sample of what this would look like once it is embedded in the site.

You can do this in Moodle as well. The process is a little different, and is documented here. (Look in the section “Additional Options” below the YouTube instructions.)


Friday Links – February 27, 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Adobe Photoshop is a pretty amazing application, but in the hands of artists, it’s breathtaking. Check out the work of Erik Johansson via this post in Mashable. I’ve included a Behind the Scenes video below that shows you how he works his magic. (Hint: LOTS of layers.)


“Why digital natives prefer reading in print”


New Employee

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Chelsea GriggsIn this post we’ll introduce you to a new member of the Middlebury College staff. Please join us as we welcome Chelsea to campus!

Chelsea Griggs is the new academic coordinator for the environmental studies program. Prior to joining Middlebury College, Chelsea worked for 7 years at Helen Porter Healthcare Center (Porter Medical Center). Chelsea resides in Bristol with her husband, an almost two year old daughter, and three energetic dogs. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, snowshoeing, jogging and spending time with friends.

Learn CPR and First Aid Skills FOR FREE on Wednesday March 4th

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Do you know how to save a life?  Want to brush up on your first aid skills?

All students, faculty and staff are invited to take an American Heart Association certified First Aid and CPR class (including use of automated external defibrillator), offered free of charge, on Wednesday, March 4th.  The class runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held in Mitchell Green Lounge.

Email jkazmierczak@middlebury.edu to sign up.