Friday, January 18, 2008

冬天越野滑雪和露營 ∕ Cross-Country Skiing and Winter Camping

I will be doing some cross-country skiing and winter camping in the James Bay area (northern Ontario) for a week. It will be my first overnight winter trip since I went skiing up Mount Marcy in New York State many years ago. At the time, I only had a 3-season sleeping bag and spent all night shivering. For this trip, I will bring a hybrid bag filled with goose-down (feather) and synthetic materials that is good to minus 20 degrees C. The forecast says the weather in northern Ontario will be bitterly cold, in the minus 30 to 40 degrees range. I will most likely use a bivy sac (outer shell) and wear my downfilled jacket to bed to make up for the 10 to 20 degrees gap.

On a different subject, I have been so busy lately that I have not answered comments left in my blog articles. I did read them and will get around to responding. I still think the earth is spinning faster in 2008 than in 2007. Cheers !!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

黃潤娥的故事: 留言 / The Story of Anita Wong: A Note from the Past

(筆者註: 黃潤娥 Anita Wong 是我多年前的友人。)


每一個人都有一個故事,但人去了世之後,又沒有別人加以口傳記錄,故事還会存在嗎?那個人還是真的嗎?又是否我自己讀書太多 - 如薛寶釵對林黛玉說『雜書可以移情亂性』- 將事情和幻想在這漫長的歲月中混淆了? 我今早打開妳多年回港前留給我的一本書,紙張已隨時日轉黃了,但第一頁仍是清清楚楚的印著:

【國文 - 第九册 ∕ 五年制中文中學適用】


Thursday, January 10, 2008

美國佛蒙特州: 狂河峽谷和楓糖樹林雪景 ∕ USA Vermont: Snow Scene around Mad River Glen and Sugar Bush

在2007∕2008埾誕及新年,我在美國佛蒙特州的綠山區(Green Mountain)渡假,在狂河峽谷(Mad River Glen),和楓糖樹林(Sugar Bush)処玩阿爾卑斯式滑雪(alpine skiing),越野滑雪(cross-country skiing),雪板(snowboarding),和雪鞋(snowshoeing)。在這一星期內,我享盡了綠山區的冬天景色, 在那白茫茫的森林和原野,雪花在舖滿厚雪的常青樹上飛舞,我的心也隨著那風雪,越過山嶺,投返回大自然的懷抱!! 附上這裡数張攝影相片,和您分享那美麗的冬天雪景。

The photos below were taken around the West Hill House Bed and Breakfast place, the Sugar Bush Ski Resort, and also on top of the ski lifts at Mad River Glen.

#1: The famous "single" chair lift that goes to the top of Stark's Nest at Mad River Glen (MRG).

#2: Going, going.....

#3: .... Gone !!!

#4: The picture below shows the black-diamond (difficult) run next to the chair lift. Tree-huggers can ski in the glades on the right of the lone dead tree.

#5: One of my favourite black-diamond run - "Catamount Bowl". Love the powder moguls !!

#6: On top of the "Warming Hut" at Mad River Glen, looking toward Lake Champlain and further north, Canada. The evergreen trees were completely covered with powder snow !!

#7: Snowshoeing in the golf course, near the West Hill House Bed and Breakfast place.

#8: On my cross-country skis, looking at the Sugar Bush Ski Resort where I tried snowboarding, for very the first time.

#9: At the top of the hill, looking at my "herring bone" marks in the deep snow.

#10: The shadows of tall trees cast by the winter sun.

早餐民宿: 美國佛蒙特州綠山區 / Bed and Breakfast: Green Mountain, Vermont, USA

在十二月卅日至一月六日之間,我在美國佛蒙特州的綠山區Green Mountain, Vermont, USA, 享受了一星期幽靜的田園農莊生活。我住的地方是叫「西坡屋早餐民宿」West Hill House Bed and Breakfast B&B,店主彼德丶蘇姗丶和他們的兩隻貓兒 Snowball 和 Smokey 就是住在這几近六千方呎的大屋裏。如攝映图片所示,屋子以前是農莊,大約二十年前改裝了做旅店,但仍保留了很多田園民屋的風味,整間屋是有三層,共有八個客用套房,楼下是寛大的会客室丶飯廳丶廚房丶图書館等。每天八時左右,客人都在 dinning room 一齊吃早歺,互相介紹交談,之後是自由活動,可坐在屋內火爐旁讀書丶看報丶聽音樂,或穿衣出外行山丶滑雪丶溜冰等,渡假生活真是非常悠閒啊!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back from Vacation !!

I am back and will start responding to your comments posted on my blog since December 25th. I will also sort out the photos I took in Vermont and post them on the blog.

Stay tuned !!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year 2008

It's late at night and I am taking a quiet moment in the inn keeper's library reflecting on what happened between New Year's Eve and today.

The end of the year 2007 was celebrated with a nice supper cooked by the inn keepers. The home-cooked meal consisted of: oven-baked ham, curried chicken, scalloped potato, and other nice foods that were served with red wine. After supper, the guests played some non-competitive snookers, followed by a few games of scrabbles. At around quarter to midnight, the big TV screen was turned on and we watched the crowd scene at Times Square in downtown Manhattan. As the inn's grand-father clock struck twelve, we broke out into the traditional song Auld Lang Syne written by Robert Burns in 1788.

On New Year's day, the weather outside looked nice and I went snowshoeing in the field behind the barn. Snow flakes were falling from the sky all day long and the ski trail I had made previously was almost completely covered with new snow. Unlike yesterday, the wind was not blowing hard which made the trip pleasant and relaxing. The rest of the day was spent lounging around in the 6,000 square feet farm-house that had been turned into a bed-and-breakfast inn.

I woke up at 4:30 am before sunrise the next morning, contemplating a hike up one of the two 4,000-ft peaks. However, given that everyone had stayed up late last night, I decided it would not be a good idea to wake people up. By the time I got out of bed at 8 am, the temperature outside had already dropped to about 10 degrees F with a 10 mph wind  (taking into account the wind-chilling factor, it felt like 1 deg F). If I had gone out, I would have been caught in the blowing snow on the mountain slope.

However, being the restless type, I was not content to sit around reading books while the powder snow on the ski hill was calling. So, at 11 am, I drove to Mad River Glen and spent the next five hours skiing up and down the mountain. Despite the chilly weather, I must say I enjoyed skiing on many of the blue (intermediate) and black diamond (difficult) runs. The powder snow and the beautiful winter scenery more than made up for the cold temperature. Upon my return to the inn, I was treated to a cup of hot cocoa and some short-bread cookies made by our hostess.

I have taken quite a few photos on top of the mountain but since I am currently using the inn keeper's Apple computer, I have not been able to post them on my blog right-a-way. As mentioned perviously, I will respond to your comments (which I read) upon my return to Canada.


(near Mad River Glen, Vermont)
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