Tag Archives: Hanover

Pump Track

Rob and I had business trips back on the east coast, so we decided to spend a week working remote, visiting his parents and catching up on all things Hanover, New Hampshire. I heard that the mountain bike club built a pump track last fall, so I was pretty excited to get to see it and to help make it better. First, I went out with the Colliers to ride the flow track that I built at school and improve one of the hip jumps on the track. It was great to get out biking with the Colliers again and to extend the bike season a bit. There is nothing quite like New England biking – weaving your ways through the hardwoods, one minute pumping through loam, the next flossing your way through technical New Hampshire granite.

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Later in the week, I got a chance to get my hands dirty at the adjacent pump track with the help of about eight mountain bike club members. We seriously improved the track’s riding flow. Trail building is a great way to teach both biking skills and about the local trail networks. As we built and perfected rollers and berms, we tested each section until it rode well, and if it didn’t, we diagnosed what could improve the section. That critical thinking really improves beginner biker’s riding. As for learning about local trail networks, when the bike club members are back at school and the trails dry out in the spring, they will have true ownership in that section of trail. They designed, tested, built, and rode it. Come spring, some of them will be back, shovel in hand to improve the drainage, make sure the track is running smooth, and bringing friends to enjoy the great riding. That puts a huge smile on my face.

Selling the Sauna

I built a wood fired sauna at the beginning of my junior year of college. Having never built a standalone structure before, it was a huge learning process. I was pretty proud that it worked, and I didn’t lose any fingers in the preocess! My days of having a lot of available project space were quickly coming to a close, and I was eager to get back the money I invested in sauna building materials.

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I wanted the sauna to go to a similarly minded owner – the DIY type, so I listed it in all of its glory on the Hanover listserve and waited. It wasn’t too long before I found a buyer who was willing to pick up the sauna.

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By ‘picking’ up the sauna, I actually mean bringing a come along, a bunch of rollers and a good sense of humor. We spent three hours in the sprinkling rain muscling, pleading and wishing the sauna into the bed of a trailer.

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Once we finally loaded the sauna we drove it out from behind the house; the trailer missed hitting the eaves of the house by two pine needles. Mission accomplished – with only 4 hours of dragging, and kicking a giant chunk of wood! Now about that wood fired hot tub…   DSC_5033

Flying!

As soon as I found out that Dudley, one of our woodshop instructors and a good friend flies a small plane, I started asking him when I could come on an adventure. It finally worked out during senior week. Hannah took the copilot seat, and I had the whole back bench seat to stretch out.

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We flew over the green first, and you can see the graduation seats being set up.

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Then we went over Mousilake, the backside of which I want to ski some day.

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The Lodge looks so teeny from above!

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Then we went over Tuckermans on Mt Washington.

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Before flipping it, getting dropped off by Dudley and watching him fly home. Makes me want to get my pilots license.

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Woodsman’s Weekend

Every three years, Dartmouth hosts the spring woodsman’s meet, a huge spectacle of burliness originating in logging camps. Most years we travel to other colleges to compete, but this year was the home meet right in the center of Hanover on The Green.

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One imagines this would mean sleeping in, relaxing and casually cutting some wood. However, during the home meet we all woke up at 5AM to get setup for each day’s events. On Friday I competed in Double’s Canoe with Annie Laurie, where we race a course set around tight buoy’s. We won!

Annie Laurie Mauhs-Pugh and Laurin in doubles canoeing. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
The A Team, Double’s Canoe

The Pulp Toss: Think horseshoes but with heavy logs.

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Log rolling: Think lining up logs into neat rows for storage

Leslie and Laurel? in log roll. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

Packboard: You tie a 25lb bag with a cast iron cooking pan onto a wood frame and sprint with it. It is as miserable as it sounds!

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The other events included: Singles Canoe and Portage: think running with a canoe

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The temperature was barely above freezing (there was ice in the pond), and as usual Dartmouth’s uniform of flair (wacky clothing) made us easy to recognize.

On Saturday, we built a pool on The Green.

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The president of the college did a crosscut competition with our team captain!

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Bernie played the star spangled banner on the saw!

Bernie Waugh '72 plays the Star Spangled Banner at the opening ceremonies for Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Bernie Waugh ’72 plays the Star Spangled Banner at the opening ceremonies for Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

I competed in Vertical Chop with Annie Laurie: Think chopping down a tree

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Disk Stack: Kind of like Jenga with a chainsaw – the goal is to cut pieces and keep them ‘stacked’. If they fall off you need to start over, and there is a time limit. This was my first experience in this event, so I was pretty excited to get 8, especially when I ran out of gas halfway through and had to ask another team to borrow their saw before I ran out of time.

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Team sawing:

Lauren in Women's team bowsaw. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

Splitting: You need to quickly split wood small enough to go through a hole is a piece of plywood.

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Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

Other events include Birling: Think traditional log rolling in a pool

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Chain Throw: Think coiling a surveying tape really fast

Chainthrow. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Chainthrow. Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Annie-Laurie in Chainthrow. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Annie-Laurie in Chainthrow. Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Annie-Laurie in Chainthrow. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Annie-Laurie in Chainthrow. Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

Ax Throw and Log Decking: Think log roll described above, but onto a truck.

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H Chop: Think bucking up downed logs

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Firebuild: A few matches and a hatchet – ready, set go!

Firebuild. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Firebuild. Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Firebuild. Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Firebuild. Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

By 11:00 PM, after 18 hours awake and nearing delirium during the cleanup, I was still grinning. What can I say? Was it due to the fact that we drove across the green? Was it due to hearing stories of alums stealing signs from events in Canada including a larger than life sign of a logger named Pierre? Naw, I think it is just because woodsman’s competitions are fun!

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Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.
Woodsmen’s Weekend at Dartmouth, 2015.

Maple Sugaring

It is spring here in New England and that means maple sugaring!!!! I pitched in (no pun intended) at my professor’s farm to collect and boil sap. He still collects sap the old fashion way, by bucket and boils the sap with a wood fire. After three hikes wading through snow carrying gallon buckets of sap from the tree taps  to the tractor my arms and legs were feeling tired. I took what I thought was going to be a rest in the sugar house. My “break” turned into splitting and carrying wood. As the day wore on, the sugar house heated to sauna temperatures and steam room humidity but with a distinct maple smell. The best part was having hot syrup on donuts as a snack.

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I think if you imported sap to New York, you could sell expensive spa treatments of maple steam rooms. What do you think?