Hi to all our friends at Mountain Valley Trails,
We hope you are enjoying spring and were able to get outside during the beautiful and extended warm and dry period. That same weather brought a rapid close to our season. We decided to cancel our last scheduled meeting, which would have been April 4. Instead, we are presenting the following summary of this year’s season.
Club Management: With Bonnie’s move out of state, we made some changes. Martha Dale and Jeff Lennox took over as co-chairs (since no one person could fill Bonnie’s shoes!). Ruth Ann continued as treasurer and interim secretary for the monthly meetings. Jeff also continued with website maintenance and setting up the trips and notifications via the website. New this year was a more formal trip organizing committee consisting of Marge Fish (snowshoe focus), Larry Gubb (moonlight focus), Paul Grady (everything focus), and Andrew Harper (everything focus). Paul also put together a great comprehensive guide to many of the trails we run our trips on. Thanks team!
Note the “interim secretary” title for Ruth Ann. Our prior appeals for someone to take over that duty have not produced any volunteers yet. It’s not an onerous responsibility, but also not fair to Ruth Ann, as treasurer has many responsibilities. It takes attending the monthly meeting and preparing a page to page and a half meeting summary. PLEASE offer a hand.
Treasurer’s Report: For our fiscal year starting in September 1, 2020, and through April 2021:
Income from Dues: $1,755.00
Ski for Heat $250.00
West River Sports $500.00
Club Express administration Fees $227.00
Club Express Credit Card Fees $49.81
Total Expenses to Date $1,026.81
The current checking account balance is $1,366.54. Our monthly website fees are based on the number of active members. The most recent administration fee was $36.40. For the remainder of the year these fees should amount to approximately $182, so we are in good shape heading to the next season.
Membership: We ended the year with 44 couple memberships and 28 single memberships, thus representing a total of 116 people. Since last April, we had 10 new couples join and 9 new single memberships, representing 29 new people! Welcome! Based responses at the time of sign-up, almost all new memberships were due to referrals from friends or acquaintances. Entering this past season, we only had four memberships that were not renewed, which is a very low rate. Hopefully that shows we are providing the benefits our members are looking for.
This Season’s Trips and Meetings: We started the year (November 21) announcing we would not be able to hold face to face meetings per VT guidance, but would be able run socially distanced trips. Just a day later, due to a policy ‘clarification” by the State on outdoor activities, we then suspended all trips as non-household members couldn’t mix on walks or hikes. On December 23, we announced we were able to restart our trips, as the state was once again encouraging socially-distanced outdoor recreation. We also fully understand why some members chose to not participate this year.
We ended up with a total of 20 outings for members, 11 were weekday adventures and 9 were on the weekend. Only one had to be cancelled due to weather. In addition, Larry and Cindy Gubb led 4 successful moon light trips (1 was cancelled due to weather) and we had 3 early-season work trips. There were a total of 5 monthly meetings, all conducted via Zoom. We started out the calendar with boots/spike trips when the snow wasn’t sufficient for skiing, then really cranked up our ski or snowshoe trips starting in mid-January.
We added a couple of new leaders for outings this year, helping to ensure a full calendar of events. In particular, our Wednesday trips starting in mid-January went well. More recently, Andrew led a group of 7 on a snowshoe trip to Peabody Pond. There was a nice ski on the Lennox’s groomed trails after they returned to VT. We went to Moses Pond using just spikes and were able to cross the pond for a new route back. By the 24th, snow was getting a bit scarce, but Andrew found open fields and trails up off of Dale Road for last ski of the season.
The Viking evening ski was very well attended. Unfortunately, we were not able to share soup at the cabin after skiing for obvious reasons, but the bonfire helped on a chilly evening. We managed to snowshoe the whole Rootbeer Ridge loop, except for leader Paul Grady, who carried skis and skied the last mile or so.
As a new feature for our membership, Malcom McNair of Viking Ski Touring Center gave a Zoom presentation during our March membership meeting. Malcom spoke about equipment for all aspects of Nordic skiing. He discussed different ski and binding types as well as boot options. Members learned about Nordic classic and skate skiing, back country and alpine touring skiing. We would like to have speakers in future meetings.
The final trip of the season was the full moon hike with spikes on March 27 at Jamaica State Park. The river was roaring with the melt of our great snow, so an appropriate goodbye.
We had several photographers document the trips this year. Here is the link to see the 22 albums: Photo Albums
Next Season’s Schedule:
We will be evaluating options for our in-person monthly meetings for next season. This will include looking at the possibility of in-home meetings, as well as potential offsite locations.
- October 3 (Focus on fall trail-maintenance needs)
- November 7
- December 5 (Holiday Yankee Swap meeting)
- January 9
- February 6 (Traditional DeMovick event)
- March 6
- April 3
If you have any interest in becoming a trip leader, please contact Ruth Ann or Andrew. We would encourage you to shadow an existing leader and learn trip leadership skills.
Have a good summer and stay healthy. See you in the fall at the October meeting. Renewal notices will go out in September.
Martha, Jeff and Ruth Ann