Friday, July 11, 2008

Half Price Mountain Bike Lift Ticket Discounts at Plattekill Mountain

Plattekill Bike Park is the premiere lift accessed mountain biking near the metro New York region and has a hard core following of mountain bike enthusiasts. Plattekill located in the Catskill Mountains features over 60 miles of lift-served mountain bike trails and is host to a series of USA Cycling Sanctioned mountain bike races. Plattekill also features chairlift rides, hiking trails and camping and is also available for private parties, banquets and weddings.

Now Mountain Sports Club premium members receive half price discounts on full day Mountain Bike lift tickets. At a savings of $15 daily this proves to be a great summer value. More details on this and other discounts and savings at Mountain Sports Club Plattekill page. Purchase a one year premium membership now for only $6.95 during the summer membership special. Log on and use promotion code summer08 when registering your premium membership. Free basic memberships are also still available.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Cycling Deals and Sales

With summer in high gear so is the cycling season. The Tour de France is underway, mountain bike trails are now open even in the high country and road tours for various causes abound. I know for me it proves to be a time of year I realize I have certain gear, components or clothing than needs to be replaced or acquired. Off to the sales I go searching for the best deal and prices on my favorite cycling gear. Below are several of the vendors in the Mountain Sports Club Marketplace with sales and special offers for members. Be sure to shop here first and enjoy special member savings.

Jenson online has a variety of insanely great deals and savings now through August 5. If you are looking to buy cycling or bike gear, accessories or clothing these are big savings:

41% off 2007 Camelbak Chaos!! Was: $80 NOW: $46.99

77% off Shimano LX ST-M585 Levers!! Was: $216.99 NOW: $49

Complete Jamis bikes now available online, 30% off or more

50% Off Marzocchi Drop Off 1 Fork!! Was: $475 NOW: $239

Look at these red hot savings and discounts at Sun and Ski Sports. Use your Mountain Sports Club coupon and save even more. Save also on bike tunes and ski tunes in winter.

Save 20% off on Thule brand racks and parts - Jump on this Thule sale as you seldom see Thule products at this price.

Not a member yet? Register here and start saving on gear, travel lift tickets, activities and more.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Silver Mountain Opens New Waterpark at Ski and Snowboard Resort

Silver Mountain in Kellogg Idaho recently opened an indoor waterpark as a new featured amenity to drive guests to this growing mountain resort community. With skiing and snowboarding in the winter they now lay claim to a surf and ski experience like no other.

The Surf's Up in the mountains at the new Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark! At Silver Mountain Resort guests next winter will be able to surf the snow then surf the waves all in the same day. With the introduction of this major new amenity, Silver Mountain Resort brings the thrills of surfing, sliding, tubing, and other wet and wild fun to the high country. The recently opened Silver Rapids waterpark includes thrilling, body and tube slides, a lazy river, family raft slide, kid’s activity lagoon, and the ultimate in aquatic attractions – a FlowRider Surf Wave. This new ride offers thrills of surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding all in a wet, wild, and – best of all – safe environment. The FlowRider is one ride that will never be the same twice and is destined to become one of the favorite thrills at Silver Rapids. Open year-round, Silver Rapids will not only provide endless aquatic fun, it also makes Silver Mountain Resort an even more attractive multi-season destination resort.

As a special introduction Mountain Sports Club members now save 10% on bookings. Use the special discounted coupon. Make sure to check out events as this summer includes concerts, plenty of mountain biking, hiking and more.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ski and Snowboard Shows, Festivals and Swaps for 2008

With summer temperatures moving to the 100 mark in many areas it is never too soon to start thinking of planning your next ski, snowboard purchase, vacation and possibly season pass for next year. Most major markets have a consumer show, sales or other events to help stoke the enthusiasm. We will keep you updated as new events come online and are anounced. This announcement just came in and is the start of our ongoing list of events.

BEWI's 2008 Ski & Snowboard Expos

*Seattle SkiFever & Snowboard ShowSeattle, WA ~ October 24-26

*Colorado Ski & Snowboard ExpoDenver, CO ~ November 7-9 ALL NEW! - Look for the Mountain Sports Club booth and staff at this event.

*Minnesota Ski & Snowboard ExpoMinneapolis, MN ~ November 14-16

*Portland SkiFever & Snowboard ShowPortland, OR ~ November 14-16

*The Boston Globe Ski & Snowboard Expo Boston, MA ~ November 20-23 - Look for the Mountain Sports Club booth and staff at this event.

1000 Acres Ranch Resort Dude Ranch in the Adirondacks

Crossing the Hudson on Horseback – June 21, 2008

Skiing is over for the season in the East, so we made another choice. My family and I spent a glorious five days at a Dude Ranch in the Adirondacks, in Stony Creek, New York. . Guess they don’t use that term any more. Officially, it was the “1000 Acres Ranch Resort” which features great Western horseback riding, a beautiful golf course (which is under water for part of each spring, when the Hudson River floods), abundant food, and terrific people. Some of the guests return each year with their families – a few have been keeping the tradition for as long as 20 years.

Full disclosure – we made the trip for my son’s wedding, which took place at a resort about 20 minutes down the mountain. But, I suggested many of the guests chose the ranch, and I am glad we did so. We also had the pre-Wedding rehearsal dinner there, so it worked out well.

The Ranch is about 480 miles from the Washington area. We drove it at about 10 hours each way, because we had a lot of equipment to transport in a truck. But, it is far better to take a fairly cheap flight to Albany, and drive an hour north.

In the winter, the Ranch offers shuttle service to nearby Gore Mountain, where visitors can ski and snowboard and then return to 1000 acres to eat, sleep, snowmobile, cross country, or ride horses in the snow. They have about 70 sure-footed horses, who do well on the steep trails, through the forests, the Hudson River (at a shallow, rocky crossing), or the snow in the winter. We want to check out their winter program, including the slopes at Gore. But, on a beautiful summer week, we thoroughly enjoyed the Ranch!

The costs are not exorbitant, and there is value for money. Weekly rates are about $850 dollars, and daily about $150. That includes lodging, several hours of horseriding or golf, fishing, swimming, sumptuous breakfasts, and other meals (depending upon program). Always check out package rates on any trips.

The breakfast omelets were incredible, as was the rest of the food. There was so much, we took it back to our refrigerator, and had it for lunch.

The cabins are comfortable, and have a wonderful view of the Hudson River and the mountains. It is like a scene from Brigadoon, to see the mists roll across the heights. The Ranch has a small beach on the river, and there are often bonfires at night, and barbecues at lunch. Most of the cabins can sleep 2 or 4. They are rustic – this is a ranch. So, there are no microwaves, t.v’s, or radios in the cabins, and bring your own shampoos and hand lotions – no fancy samples here. We were delighted to have wi fi service in our cabin. But there is also strong wifi in the lounge area, and several t.v.s. It is more social that way in any case. The ranch also has 3 nice swimming pools and a hot tub – most welcome after several hours riding (or bouncing) in a hard Western saddle!

The horseback riding is the main attraction of the Ranch, as it should be. It is fantastic! Many of the guests ride for 2 hours in the morning, and 2 in the afternoon. We were fortunate to be able to walk after 2days of riding. If it were not for the hottub, I could not have staggered down the aisle for my son’s wedding!

The horse rides are led by two remarkable men – Billy Smith, the corral boss, and his part time “assistant” Judge Bruce Hayes. Bruce is really a sitting NY State Magistrate, but we think we probably prefers his day with the horses and “the dudes.” Cowboy Billy is a fascinating man. He calls himself a “natural horseman” and says the horses talk to him, since he knows how to listen and respect them. He lectures at Cornell University, and is active in campaigns to eliminate horse slaughter and protect race horses. We want to get him down to Washington to give some lectures.

Billy demonstrated some remarkable feats with the horses he is training. At one point, he put a special needs relative of ours on a horse. Last month, the pinto was due to be slaughtered for bucking problems. Now, this young boy was riding him without a bridle or a bit. The horse was walking after Billy like an overgrown dog! By the way, Billy’s dog also sits on and rides horses on his own.

The riding trails are both tranquil and exciting, through fields, forests, and mountains. Many of the wooded trails have trees down, where the creek bed was recently flooded. Fording a narrow part of the Hudson River was exciting – we were very pleased our horses did not slip on the rocks, or decide to take a swim. My thoughts went to our nations’ ancestors, who forded such rivers with their covered wagons and live stock – what a feat!

There is so much worth noting about our adventure. Special thanks to the new overseer, bar tender, chef, and dynamo, George “Buster” Boudreau, who continues to make improvements. Jill Zimmerman is efficient and friendly at the desk, and also worked with orthopedic surgeons in another life. She looks 18, but tells us she has 4 grandchildren. Clean living!

One of the best parts of the trip was meeting the owner, Jack Arehart. His family had the foresight to buy the 1000 acres of remarkable property over 50 years ago. It is exceptionally maintained, but it must be expensive to run and pay taxes. Jack, like all the people we met, is extremely worried about the rising cost of kerosene, diesel, and other essential fuel, which is higher in NY and New England than in many other areas. He will reduce the number of cabins opened for guests this winter, and farm out some of the horses. He promises to try to keep open all year, but it is a struggle. In the meantime, Gore Mountain continues to make more improvements and attract more visitors, so that should also help 1000 acres and other nearby resorts.

Tough times ahead but, fortunately, the horses don’t know it. Thanks for a glorious week – “we will return.”

Contact 1000 acres include or 1-800-458-7311.

Blog Report Submitted by Connie Lawn. See more of her writings and work at