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Saturday, June 25, 2011

State College, PA - Swilly's Revenge

State College, PA is home to Penn State University, some pretty good mountain biking and my friend and colleague Bill Burgos. Bill and I collaborate on an Acid Mine Drainage treatment project in Summerlee, WV, but every year Bill creates a great excuse to get a bunch of us together for a summer solstice bike weekend. Usual suspects include Kenny Parker, which at 47, epitomizes the definition of sandbagging. Bill and Kenny go way back to the college days at Virginia Tech, and have remained good friends every since. This year we tried to get some multi-sport days in which included sampling some of the nearby bouldering and mountain biking in the afternoon. The "cherry on top" by far was riding the bike trails at Allegrippis, Raystown Lake, PA. 30+ miles of premiere single track built by IMBA. If you are ever in PA, then you need to check this place out!

Oh yeah, PA has some boulders

Still sand bagging after all these years, Kenny Parker

Bill Burgos is still pulling down

Mountain Laurels were in full bloom!

Allegrippis Trail Map

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Last Mountain - Premiere Charleston, WV

It was the evening of June 10th and I was scrambling frantically to find a parking space in downtown Charleston, WV. That evening the premiere screening of the documentary Last Mountain was playing at the Capitol Center. I entered the theater and could feel the electric energy of a movement. I witnessed the core of this movement. Some people were gearing up for the March on Blair Mountain the next day, including advocates like Josh Fox (director of the documentary Gasland). Others were long time MTR activists, but we all shared a common vision.....we all want Mountaintop Removal to end.