Nordic Ski Season so far

Roy Varney Hornet Classic race, at Maine Outdoor Wellness Center in Turner, Jan 31, 2023

GIRLS Winning – Ruth White. 1 – Ruth White (19:13); 4 – Clara White (19:48); 35 – Lida Kanoti (26:54); 36 – Sophie Reuter (27:10); 43 – Kelsey McCrum (28:22); 50 – Abby Bergmark (31:24); 53 – Rheannon Mabee (32:32).

BOYS Winning – Logan Ouellette from Leavitt HS with a time of 15:37. 22 – Liam Waring (19:42); 33 – Ben Arsenault (21:16); 54 – Henry Buetens (26:15); 55 – Will Stoner (26:55); 58 – James Wheeler (28:00); 61 – Gabe McIntosh (29:32)

Picture of Liam:

The SASSI, Jan 28, 2023. “Hosted by Chisholm Ski Club, [the SASSI] is the premiere classic race of the season. 360 men and women from across the state participated at Black Mt., Rumford. Warm temps were predicted but changing conditions made waxing difficult. Although we didn’t hit the kick wax the way we wanted to, glide was terrific and our team did a fantastic job against stiff competition. Downhill tucks were fierce! The women’s race in particular was extremely tight for the top 15 racers as each finisher was within 1-2 seconds of each other. Also check out some of the close finishes within our team!! Pretty impressive.” – Coach Ann

BOYS: Winning: Zach Ross from Quarry Rd with a phenomenal time of 13:58. 95 – Liam Waring (20:21); 98 – Ben Arsenault (20:37; 136 – Chris Bisson (24:46); 137 – Will Stoner (24:48); 152 – Gabe McIntosh (30:57)

GIRLS: Winning: Nyla Scott from Gould with a time of 16:15. 4 – Ruth White (17:14); 12 – Clara White (18:32); 46- Megan Gerbi (20:18); 105 – Lida Kanoti (27:22); 106 – Kelsey McCrum (27:27); 108 – Maureen Tyne (27:31); 119 – Abby Bergmark (31:24); 125 – Rheannon Mabee (33:39

Sugarloaf Classic, Jan 18, 2023

WOMEN: 1 – Ruth White (20:52); 3 – Clara White (24:07); 7 – Megan Gerbi (26:22); 15 – Carly Hayward (30:36); 19 – Maureen Tyne (31:21); 24 – Kelsley McCrum (33:41); 25 – Sophie Reuter (35:02); 28 Lida Kanoti (37:07); 29 – Abby Bergmark (37:37).  Rheannon Mabee – DNS

MEN:   Winning: Jeffrey Warnock, Mt. Abram – (18:31) 14 – Liam Waring (25:17); 15 –  Ben Arsenault (25:31); 28 –  Chris Bisson (34:21)

Quarry Road Scrambler Race, Jan 7, 2023

BOYS:  Winning- Ben Condit from Quarry Rd – 13:54, 61- Liam Waring (20:04); 71- Ben Arsenault (21:54); 74 – Will Stoner (22:20); 86- Henry Buetens (25:28); 90- James Wheeler (27:15); 92- Gabe McIntosh (27:41); 99- Chris Bisson (42:11)

GIRLS: 1- Ruth White (17:28); 8- Clara White (19:11); 27 Megan Gerbi (23:11); 37- Maureen Tyne (25:42); 44- Kelsey McCrum (27:25); 50- Lida Kanoti (28:31) 71- Rheannon Mabee (39:23)


KVAC/MVC Regional Championship, 5K Freestyle at Black Mountain, Rumford Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

KVAC/MVC Regional Championship, 5K Classic Pursuit at Titcomb Mountain, Farmington Saturday, February 11th, 2023

New Years Eve, December 31, 2022

We were in Vermont over the holidays and Reid and Liam wanted to stay up late and celebrate. Liam especially was looking for intensity and ritual. It was earnest and sweet. They had never stayed up to celebrate the new year before. We’ve always gone to bed. But they stay up past midnight with friends multiple times a year. So I happily obliged.

The family went to sleep at 10. So we started with a free-for-all, everyone for themselves game of laser tag in the mists of the stream, which roamed through the glade, across the bridge, up the hill and back down. It was tense and excellent. We then decided to cross the stream on a fallen log. In the dark. With no flashlights. Liam suggested it was a rite of passage. I agree. It was.

We returned inside and played a good game of Cosmic Frog, and then got in the hot tub to spent the final few minutes of the year, and the start of the next. I brought some snacks and we counted down the last 20 seconds together. We then reflected on the year past, it’s ups and downs, and chose something to pursue ourselves this next year.

It was the most fund I’ve had with ritual in quite some time. Indeed the most ritual I have had in a while too. So it is a pure delight to be doing such things with my kids, because they asked!

May this next orbit around the sun be a good one, for you, for us, for our little planet and all the life that depends on it!

Reid takes fourth in State science fair, second in life sciences!

Reid worked very hard last year to develop and carry out a really interesting science fair experiment. He conducted an artificial evolution experiment using yogurt and yeast microbes. He exposed them to increasingly high concentrations of vinegar. By doing this he was able to gradually increase their tolerance to vinegar which he demonstrated scientifically.

Here Reid is setting up the experimental vinegar concentrations.
Reid records the progress of the experiment in the lab notebook

Here is his final poster:

Well, Reid also did very well in the state science fair competition last year. He took fourth overall in the entire state of Maine, and was given the second place prize for the life-sciences category. This is amazing!

Official results here:

Solar power, online!

By the luck of good timing, we were just barely able to join community solar farm in the end of 2021. The farm, built and operated by ReVision Energy, is on Mount Desert Island, near Long Pond. We’ve been offsetting our monthly electricity usage since February, and here’s what it’s looked like. It’s a beautiful sight to see.

Our net usage, in blue, is not total usage, but the amount we are billed for. As you can see we have hit the minimum 100 kWh charge every month since April. This costs us about $6 to $7 a month. Not a bad fee. On those months, we produce more than we consume. This is amazing, and was our goal! So Yay!

What you don’t see is the amount of energy we are actually using, the excess production. That excess production is carried over for one year. So, for example, excess production from the summer can count against our winter “Usage.” We do not have that data pulled together just yet, but, based on 2021’s total consumption, here’s what we expect to have already saved, above. Many imperfections here, but this is a nice first glimpse.

Thanksgiving in Montreal

We spent American Thanksgiving in Canada, and it was a wonderful change of pace! Of course this means it was not Thanksgiving at all. Instead we got to visit Montreal and all of its wonderful metropolitan delights.

The metro. Any real city has a metro. Montréal’s metro is awesome.

We absolutely splurged in terms of food. We had crêpes for breakfast in the Jean Talon market. We ate at the blind and dark restaurant called O.Noir, we are our experience of food and our relationship to our senses were fundamentally changed. We had pastries whenever possible. And we discovered a gluten-free patisserie that creates chocolatine aux amande nearly indistinguishable from the regular thing.

We enjoyed the places and spaces of Montreal too. Our Airbnb was in Little Italy near the Jean Talon market. we walked downtown to the Basilica. We took the bus around town. We hiked up Mount Royal, as far as the ice would let us. We visited the impressive art museum, and made sketches. We enjoyed countless pieces of street art and holiday decorations. We got to “Faire du patinage” in a central Mall.

Being in Montreal was special, too, because of the diversity, the language, and the history. So, we settled into the Cafe Italia to watch a World Cup football game, and enjoyed not just the coffee and lunch but also the conversation of the locals which switched between Italian, French, and English on a slow rotation.

And, of course family history was with us the whole time, as Katie was thinking of grandpa Jim in his time in Montreal and McGill University. Seeing the spaces that he once knew makes it special in an entirely different way.

Truly tuckered, (TUCARD 2021)

Maine’s Totally Unnecessarily Complicated Adventure Race And Duathlon (TUCARD, pronounced “tuckered,” because it tires you out) is a wonderful and insane event. No race route, complex terrain, boats, kayaks, bicycles… And an unbelievably complex rule set. The rules are a hoot to read:

Marsh Island Trail Runners: TUCARD 2021

This thing is crazy. And crazy fun. And this year, much to my surprise, I happened to win the race. I did so by running on trails, bushwhacking through dense and soaking forest, striding bravely into streams, frenetically bicycling down a dirt road, kayaking across Pushaw lake, kayaking across Caribou Bog, dragging the kayak across the bog, and finally running on more trails and through more water to arrive 8 miles and an hour and a half later.

Bafore the final race rules and way points are released you start planning and thinking and wondering where you might have to go. Here are some of my efforts. In particular I was searching for the golden ticket, a hidden waypoint that would allow you to skip all the other way points if you found it. Brian did give us a clue in the form of a riddle in a poem:

On a trail, clearly seen, / Far from tar, in between / A wet moose and a not / That dry caribou / Lies your path, in two sheds, / One on earth, and it’s said / You can see where it flows / Right in front of you

There’s an island in Pushaw lake called Moose Island. So I reasoned that the golden ticket was between the island and the bog. So, before the race began I went exploring virtually and physically.

Solving the puzzle in the poem… Searching for the golden ticket.
Sleuthing for the golden ticket
Biking in the woods looking for some thing that I don’t know how to identify.
One location I considered. I considered it enough that I even took a photo of it. Turns out, this is exactly where the golden ticket was.
Another location I visited. As it turns out, I laid around through this exact spot after the transition from the swamp.
I biked through water as part of my sleuthing. The sleuthing was very satisfying!
Katie and Jacob assist with set up the day of the race. Katie knows the craziness which is coming, and is enjoying it. Jacob, however is leery of his first tucard race.
Racers inside the starting circle
This is what a waypoint looks like. One stick with each racer’s name. Waypoint Pink
Katie watches at Waypoint pink, which was on the Forbes camp on Pushaw lake. That might be me and the distance.
The golden ticket! Just where I had once guessed. But not where I had suspected…
Mom and dad painfully wait at the finish circle.
Jacob arrives after a grueling slog, but in good spirits!
I complete my timing work sheet
Truly tuckered: Jacob and Nils and I have to then complete the race in reverse to collect our stranded kayaks and bicycles again… This was an unforeseen extra ordeal.
Now paddling back across Pushaw lake… so tuckered!
The wounds of an adventurer.