Monday, April 10, 2017

April's Newsletter


ATA's 2017 season runs May 26th through October 15th

We are currently taking reservations for the 2017 season, please call 1-888-855-8655 or email John for more information

This season is ATA’s 10-year anniversary providing personalized hiking vacation and excellence

Appalachian Trail Adventures (ATA) offers a distinctive adventure vacation with guided daily hiking, kayaking, and caving in the Green Mountains of Vermont that targets families and individuals who are adventurers, families, and those seeking an active vacation, including hikers who do not feel comfortable hitting the trails alone.  ATA provides an affordable all-inclusive hiking or fitness vacation giving a real Vermont outdoor adventure.  That's why it has the best hiking vacation at the lowest possible prices, starting at $242.00 per night, per person, including taxes and gratuities.

Unlike most spas, ATA's owner John Keough is engaged daily with the guests, encouraging them on the trail and kayaking. ATA offers a variety of options to help customize one's vacation. The most common is the Hiking Vacation that consists of an air-conditioned room with three daily spa meals, snacks, a guided novice, intermediate or advanced hike and an afternoon of kayaking, an excursion or caving. Massages, yoga classes and tennis lessons are available a la carte.

2017 Hiking Vacation Rates

Nightly rates are per person, including taxes and gratuity. The Hiking Vacation consists of an air conditioned room at the Summit Lodge with three daily meals; snacks; guided novice, intermediate or advanced hike; and an afternoon of kayaking, caving or an excursion. Massages ($75.00+), yoga classes ($30.00), tennis lessons ($70.00) are available a la carte.


Aeolus Update

Vermont ended up having the 2nd-warmest Meteorological Winter (December, January, and February) on record.  The warmest one was just last year. So, with the warm temperatures Aeolus has been getting very excited perhaps thinking hiking season is around the corner.

Last month, we celebrated ATA’s mascot Aeolus’ adoption birthday; it’s our sixth year with each other. His real birthday is approximately in August or September of 2010.  There was no big party, just another stuffed animal to destroy and as a special gift, a deer antler.  They are great chew toys for dogs and last forever.  

Aeolus is named after a cave where myself and a friend dug open a blocked passage discovering the largest cave in New England back in 2000. The cave is located just north of Manchester, VT and named after the mountain, Mount Aeolus.

Aeolus or Eolus (Greek: Aiolos [jjolos]), was the Custodian of the winds in Greek mythology. A minor deity, he is the son of a king called Hippotes, and lived on one of the rocky Lipara islands, close to Sicily. In the caves on this island were imprisoned the winds, and Aeolus, directed by the higher gods, let out these winds as soft breezes, gales, or whatever the higher gods wished. Being visited by the Greek hero Odysseus, Aeolus received him favorably, and on the hero's departure presented Odysseus with a bag containing all the adverse winds, so that his friend might reach Ithaca with a fair wind. Odysseus did as Aeolus bid, but in sight of his homeland, having been untroubled by foul weather, he fell asleep and his men, curious, opened the bag, thus releasing all the fierce winds, which blew their ship far off course (Odyssey X, 2; Vigil I, 52).  ate IT DepartmentCorporate IT Depa


The Summit Lodge

Long considered Killington's classic four-season resort hotel, the Summit Lodge is an ideal destination for your Vermont vacation that is why ATA has chosen it for their home base. Located in the heart of Killington, the lodge is situated high on a private knoll with magnificent views of Vermont's second highest mountain and the surrounding Green Mountains. With eleven acres and forty-five comfortable rooms, the facilities and grounds are extensive including an outdoor heated pool, Jacuzzi whirlpool, saunas, two tennis courts, massage therapy, two restaurants and bars, duck pond, game room, a bocci court, horseshoes and shuffleboard. A sit-down breakfast and a bag lunch are supplied by the Summit's chef, while dinner is hikers choice to dine at either the Foundry Restaurant or the Summit Lodge.  

The new owner of the Summit Lodge, Emmett O’Dwyer is making significant improvements after his recent purchase during the spring of 2017. He has spent a lot of time and money improving the business, changing the way the staff view management and the way the guests feel in the lodge. The staff feel secure in their jobs and a sense of pride with changes and updates. 

It's really refreshing to have someone show energy in their business venture and is willing to commit to improvements and enhancements to the Lodge. It is nice to see an owner who is present and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. It's really enjoyable for the staff to feel respected and have an employer and manager who listen and care. The Summit’s executive Chef is just loving all his “new toys” with the entire kitchen being upgraded from the walk-in refrigerator all the way down to the toaster. 

O’Dwyer has already invested a lot of time into the lodge itself. With the bones of the building up-to-date they have moved onto making improvements to the cosmetics inside and out by painting, adding new carpet, new furniture and updating guest’s rooms. Emmett has also implemented new procedures and has added new administrative software. Employees say working at the Summit Lodge is a home-like atmosphere. Having worked at other businesses in the industry before, they say there is no place like the Summit Lodge. We treat our guests like family.

Modifications from 2016 to 2017


  • A lot of the improvements are behind the scenes, such as the kitchen remodeling and upgraded wireless internet system
  • Some of the more major projects for 2017 will be converting the pools and whirlpool to saltwater.
  • O’Dwyer’s Poolside bar will be open 7 days a week and serving the full restaurant menu
  • O’Dwyer’s Public House Pub had a total make over with additions of a dart board and pool table
  • updating the restrooms and common areas
  • 24-7 Front Desk coverage
  • Live entertainment and food/drink specials will be available throughout the summer
  • More outdoor events such as the Pig roast will be planned
  • The beds and mattresses have all been changed
  • Bathrobes are now supplied to all rooms
  • Photo booth installed
  • Improving the driveway and entranceway
  • New POS ordering system in place to make breakfast quicker and more precise
  • New credit card system taking pin cards to ensure security
  • By the summer, we will have new duvet’s in the rooms
  • High speed internet due to the installation of fiber optic link and the installation of a new data suite
  • New Flooring, furniture and a general tidy up in the large family room
  • New Poolside furniture
  • Remolding the massage room area
  • Repairs are being made to all of the slate around the pool and steps in order to make it safer 

Some of the other projects which are on the card for 2017 but will be subject to time and budget at this time. More and more upgrades as the year goes on making sure the Summit Lodge will become one of the best places to stay in Vermont.      

Emmett O’Dwyer, Summit Lodge Owner


The Foundry Restaurant

The Foundry Restaurant's Executive Chef Sean Miller has created a delicious menu for ATA hikers who are seeking healthier meals. Located on the banks of the Summit Pond, The Foundry offers a distinct year-round dining experience. In addition to the ATA hikers' menu, The Foundry offers two menu options: an American Bistro-Style menu in its formal dining room, as well as a more casual Tavern menu in the bar. Their impeccable chef-driven cuisine provides guests the finest cuts of prime meats, fresh seafood, homemade pastas and much more. They use the freshest ingredients to create mouthwatering appetizers, flavorful side dishes and irresistible desserts, designed to engage all of your senses. The Foundry experience focuses on providing un-paralleled hospitality in a warm and relaxing setting. In addition to its dining options, The Foundry offers live entertainment regularly and is host to many of the area's events.

Hiking Tip:  Three useful hiking & backpacking tips


1. Choose the adequate travel partners or group

Have you heard the quote, “If you really want to get to know a person, you must travel together…?” Well, this couldn’t be truer. If you are traveling for an extended period of time, or in close proximity with someone, you get to know the good, bad, and the ugly of someone’s personality. While you don’t always have the luxury of choosing your travel partners, if you can, try to invite good friends you are comfortable with, or at least companions you know.


2. Select the right clothing and essentials

If you are a novice hiker, you may not be aware of what the essentials are, so it’s always best consult with someone who does or who can point you in the right direction. There are plenty of guides online that will give you the foundations and more.


When it comes to clothing, wear things that are predominantly made of synthetic materials that keep you dry as you start to work harder and sweat more. If you prefer to use pants (which is the most recommendable option), it should be made of durable, quick-drying fabrics such as spandex or nylon; that way, your legs will be protected from some of the hazards, and will keep you warmer when the temperature drops at night or in more extreme conditions.


Making sure that you have boots that are durable, comfortable, and appropriate for those kind of conditions (like waterproof materials for example) is an absolute MUST! Remember that wearing the wrong boots or shoes could leave your feet aching and give you serious injuries. It can be surprising just how many ligaments and muscles there are in our feet that are susceptible to injury in the wrong shoes.


Something that can definitely help when leaning more towards hardcore trekking is a hiking stick or pole. When you use them, your upper body shares part of the workload of hiking, which also provides exercise to your forearms, arms, shoulders, and chest for a true whole-body workout.


To complement the clothing, there are some backpacking essentials that will keep you on the right path whatever the conditions:

Navigation (map and compass).

Sunglasses and sunscreen.

A headlamp or a flashlight.

First-aid kit or supplies (pills, bands, rubbing alcohol).

Hydration and nutrition.


There are statistics surrounding people getting lost without being fully prepared, so it’s always better to prepare for the worst than just hoping for the best.


3. Know your destination

Essential to your plans is researching and understanding location, the weather, and terrain before you leave; if you want to add that extra layer of security, you should also invest in intermediate gear. Hiking and backpacking should be enjoyable, but you should also be prepared and aware of everything.


As with many other sports and activities, hiking has different difficulty levels: The low difficulty can be a one-day hike on level ground. A medium difficulty hike that might include spending a night camping, having some steep slopes, and carrying a more loaded backpack. A high difficulty hike may require prior experience, as well as carrying a tent, sleeping bag, heater, high calorie foods, and even being accompanied by an experienced guide.

You also need to remember that when you are out embracing nature, you should always ensure that you do as little as possible to disturb the environment or ecosystem that you are sharing on your trip, and leave the location as you found it, something championed by the Leave No Trace initiative 

ATA's DVD Recommendation:  Trail Magic


Emma "Grandma" Gatewood's story speaks to the courageous, undaunted spirit of Appalachian people everywhere. She became known as "Grandma" Gatewood. Sports Illustrated featured her story and she was interviewed on "NBC Today" and Groucho Marx' Show. Her story raised the veil on cultural barriers including age and sex discrimination.


Emma Gatewood grew up in Gallia County, not far from Gallipolis Ohio. One of 16 children she grew up in a rural farming community on the fringe of Appalachia. At age 19 she married Perry Gatewood. Together they raised 11 children. Over the course of their 33-year marriage Perry was known to be physically and verbally abusive. Finally, Emma kicked him out and got a divorce. With her kids, all grown up and out of the house one day she happened to read an issue of National Geographic about the "new" Appalachian Trail. She realized that no woman had ever through hiked the trail alone and she thought, " I could be that woman" . She told friends that it would be "a lark". On September 25, 1955 , 2050 Miles later Emma had become the first woman to solo through hike the Appalachian Trail. Emma overcame tremendous obstacles and became a celebrated pop icon for successful aging appearing on National radio and TV. She solo hiked the AT 3 times, the Oregon Trail and helped to raise money and awareness for the Buckeye Trail. She logged over 10,000 miles before her death in 1979 at the age of 85. (2015 TV Movie)


Healthful Living Tips: 10 Healthy Living Tips for 2017


Stop smoking: Even if you’re a social smoker you are still causing irreversible damage to your body. So whether you smoke a pack a day or even just one, make 2017 the year you finally stop the habit. Smoking is linked with a slew of health conditions, so really, just by cutting out this habit, you are already taking one of the biggest steps to healthier living.


Stop fake tanning: Indoor tanning beds have been in the spotlight in the last several years as they can increase a person’s risk of skin cancer. Furthermore, tanning beds are associated with premature wrinkles and are known to speed up the aging of your skin.


Eat chocolate: Don’t deprive yourself when dieting; you’re only setting yourself up for disaster. Having a small treat like dark chocolate can keep you on the right track to sticking to your diet and achieving your weight loss goals.


Know your numbers: No matter what your age is, knowing your numbers – cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. – is a good place to begin to take control over your health. Simple blood testing can provide you valuable insight into your health so that you can make decisions based on what you really need, not what you think you need.


Exercise regularly: Another obvious one which you may have tried in the past to do, but did not really commit to. In 2017, make commitment to an exercise program a top priority. All you need is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. Trying to get in as much movement as possible can go a long way in improving your overall health. But that doesn’t mean you have to purchase a gym membership. Physical activity can occur anywhere, whether you are completing chores, or choosing to stand at your desk for greater periods of time. Remember, any little bit helps.


Look into your family history: Did you know many health conditions may actually run in families? If you aren’t familiar with your family medical history, start asking some questions in 2017. Did your grandmother have breast cancer? Did your grandfather have heart disease? Getting as far back as possible can help you assess your own health risks in order to make the necessary changes in order to that can help lower the risk.


Drink more tea: If you’re a coffee or latte drinking type, try swapping a few of those cups out for tea. Tea is well known for its health benefits as it’s packed with antioxidants which are known to fight off free radical damage. But remember, for the most benefits opt for black tea – loading your cup of tea with sugar and milk can negate some of those benefits.


Cut out soda: Soda contains high amounts of unwanted sugar. so Not only will this ruin your diet, but excess sugar can have negative affects on your health, too. Try swapping out your soda habit for water. If that’s too boring, try infusing the water with lemon and other fruits.


Get an annual physical: Going to see your doctor annually for a physical is a great way to keep tabs on your health, especially if you haven’t seen your doctor in a while. Even if you feel fine, there are many health conditions which don’t cause symptoms, so something could be going on inside your body without you even knowing. Just seeing your doctor once a year is enough to provide you with some valuable insights. Regular doctor visits can also help you catch any unwanted developments in their early stages.


Make better carb decisions: Start eliminating white carbs as much as possible and instead opt for whole grains. Common white carb culprits include white rice, white bread, and white pasta. Furthermore, for an overall healthy diet, opt for more colorful foods and if your plate is looking a bit too beige, you know you need to make some changes.


These are just some health tips you can consider when approaching 2017. With a New Year, people also feel renewed, so there is no better time then than now for setting some goals for yourself to keep you motivated. And one more thing, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not completely dedicated to your new changes. Making changes can be hard and you will need time. Beating yourself up will only set you up for failure. Understand that you are human and you might make mistakes, and be guilty of a few lapses, but the goal is to stay on track as much as possible. So whether that takes one month, or the entire 2017, you have time on your side, and as long as you follow your plan reasonably well, you can begin to start improving your health.

Healthful Living Recipe: Avocado toast with egg, spinach, & salsa


In this satisfying avocado-egg toast recipe, try full-flavored, high-fiber bread, like a hearty slice of German-style rye or seeded multigrain from your favorite bakery. To turn this into a portable breakfast, swap the toast for a whole-wheat English muffin or wrap. 


½ small avocado, mashed

1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted

Pinch of ground pepper

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups baby spinach

1 large egg

1 tablespoon salsa

O Organics Mild Salsa Organic


Ready In: 20 minutes: Spread avocado on toast; season with pepper. Heat ½ teaspoon oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and spinach and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, 30 to 60 seconds. Top the avocado toast with the spinach. Heat the remaining ½ teaspoon oil in the pan. Crack egg into the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5 to 7 minutes for a soft-set yolk. Top the toast with the egg and salsa.


Nutrition information: Serving size: 1 open-face sandwich: Per serving: 364 calories; 26 g fat(5 g sat); 10 g fiber; 24 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 221 mcg folate; 186 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 5,147 IU vitamin A; 25 mg vitamin C; 127 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 330 mg sodium; 953 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus:  Vitamin A (103% daily value), Folate (55% dv), Vitamin C (42% dv), Iron (22% dv). Carbohydrate Servings: 1½ Exchanges: 1 starch, ½ vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat, 4 fat.

Social Media Links

Please check out Appalachian Trail Adventure’s social media links we have them all, whether you prefer to Follow, Post, Pin, Poke, Like, Snap, Share, Tweet, Double Tap or Comment.

Appalachian Trail Adventures, 200 Summit Road or Po Box 394 Killington, VT 05751

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