When Keeping Your Ride Fresh and Clean Is An Obsession
Imagine the dirt and grime that collects on your bike following an afternoon of forging new trails. This year will go down in the record books as the rainiest year in the Northeast, and after only two days of mountain biking through the woods, my mountain bike was covered with mud and debris. One summer afternoon, my son and his friend, J.J. took off on an adventure with our family’s mountain bikes.Yoshi wanted to treat J.J. to a mid-afternoon swim in a nearby stream. To get there, they accessed the swimming hole through a cornfield. It’s a country summer scene that’s right out of a watercolor painting — rows of stalks with corn ready to be picked surrounded by mature trees, a deep pool of refreshingly cool water, and a century-old train Tressel. Once the weather allows, Yoshi will have an opportunity to test Muc-OFF on his mountain bike. The Muc-Off 8 in 1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit is the perfect treatment for bike aficionados to show their two-wheeled treasures some love. Thanks to the Muc-OFF developers, cyclists can access the most FANTASTIC cleaning kit (I’ve seen anywhere) in the drop of a hat. The packaging alone is a statement about the product’s brand authenticity. What’s inside the toolkit? You’ll find a Nano Tech Bike Cleaner, Expanding Microcell Sponge, Soft Washing Brush, Detailing Brush, Claw Brush, Two Prong Brush, Bike Spray, and Storage Tub. Yes, that’s correct. You can rest assured this kit has pretty much everything you’ll need to keep your bike in tip-top shape.
Tackle the trickiest bike cleaning issues from stains to caked-on dirt and grime lodged into difficult to reach nooks and crannies. Tires and spokes will look new, too. Teach your young adult kids to care for their bicycles.
Muc-OFF is the answer to your dilemma – what to buy the bike enthusiast for special occasions. Who wouldn’t want to have a portable, attractive, and functional all-in-one kit? You can also purchase refills and restock your toolkit as needed.
Nano Tech Bike Cleaner for quick and easy cleaning.
Four Muc-Off brushes and a microcell sponge for deep cleaning all the nooks and crannies
Bike Spray for post-wash protection against rust and corrosion.
Discover Outdoor Connecticut got its start in 2010 as “Hunting and Fishing Appreciation Day,” as a way to thank hunters and anglers for their roles as the key players in the conservation movement for more than 100 years.
Andrew Labonte, Discover Outdoor Connecticut chairman and wildlife biologist, said “The hunters and anglers showed their support by requesting taxes and special fees on hunting and fishing equipment to help pay for wildlife and fish management, habitat restoration, and other conservation programs through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program.”
The event was renamed “Discover Outdoor Connecticut: Join the Force for the Resource” to reflect the DEEP’s goal to expand the program’s offerings to include a wider variety of outdoor enthusiasts. Join the Connecticut Bureau of Natural Resources, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Wildlife Division and their guests on Sat., Sept. 22, 2018, at the Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT for a fun-filled exploration of Connecticut’s fish and wildlife resources and the state’s legacy of outdoor traditions.
Andrew provides more details about the event in an exclusive joanmatsuitravelwriter.com interview.
What role do you have in Discover Outdoor Connecticut?
I am the chairman of the event, responsible for contacting potential vendors and attendees, organizing and running monthly meetings, activities, and events, creating maps and brochures, and making sure things run smoothly on the day of the event.
What brought about this event and how many years has your organization offered this free program?
It was our goal this year to expand the event to include a wider variety of outdoor enthusiasts, and therefore we renamed the event “Discover Outdoor Connecticut: Join the Force for the Resource.” Joining in the celebration of this year’s event are DEEP’s Air Management, Parks and Public Outreach, Wildlife, Fisheries, Habitat, Forestry, and the Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police Divisions, as well as many others, such as private hunting and fishing clubs, environmental education centers, foundations, and conservancies.
What is the ultimate goal i.e. resource conservation and preservation?
The ultimate goal is to expose as many youths and adults as possible to some type of outdoor related activity and raise awareness about resource conservation and preservation. Hunters and anglers have been the primary source of funding for state fish and wildlife agencies to manage and conserve fish and wildlife populations and also purchase wildlife habitat for protection. The management efforts that benefit Connecticut’s natural resources not only include fish and wildlife, but the air, land, water, and woods in which those animals live. Funding to support our natural resources shouldn’t just come from hunters and anglers, but from all residents, particularly those who enjoy the outdoors. By introducing Connecticut residents to our state’s diverse natural areas and the fish and wildlife that live there, it is hoped they develop an appreciation and a sense of stewardship. Additionally, time spent outdoors benefits both our physical and mental health. Reconnecting people with nature is tremendously important.
What can attendees expect to find at the Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area?
The Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area consists of a 300-acre property open to all types of hunting including small game, waterfowl, pheasants and deer and includes a facility housing biologists with the Deer, Turkey, Migratory Bird, and Mosquito and Wetland Restoration Programs as well as a training area for conservation education programs. On September 22, the facility will hold the Discover Outdoor Connecticut event which will include activities such as dog and raptor demonstrations of various sorts, milling and trapping demonstrations, opportunities to try turkey and moose calling, locally made venison products, kayaking, fly tying and casting, archery and firearms shooting, bb and dart gun shooting, and opportunities to gain knowledge in hiking, backpacking, knot tying, water filtration, wild edibles, bees and insects, and much, much more.
What are a few of Connecticut’s most endangered species and/or resources and how do you address those issues at the program and throughout the year?
Connecticut’s most endangered species include meadowlarks, timber rattlesnake, cave-roosting bats like the little brown bat, and many other birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates like monarch butterflies, and fish like the Atlantic sturgeon. We provide a variety of information about both rare and common wildlife at the event. We will also have live raptor demonstrations, which will touch upon the threats these birds have faced as well as some conservation successes. Throughout the year, the Wildlife Division’s Wildlife Diversity Program biologists focus on the management and research of a large number of species of greatest conservation need which range from charismatic species such as bald eagles and box turtles to secretive species such as red bats and bog lemmings to critically endangered species such as barn owls and bog turtles, and more. The Division’s Outreach Program works to inform Connecticut residents about the plight of these species and what people can do to help.
Describe past programs and how they’ve helped to bring awareness to Connecticut’s natural resources.
Past events held by the Wildlife Division, whether they were public programs at our Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center or larger events like Hunting and Fishing Appreciation Day or the recent Bat Appreciation Day at Old New-Gate Prison, have engaged the public and offered information and hands-on experiences related to fish, wildlife, and our state’s natural resources. These programs have not only increased awareness of our agency’s role in caring for and managing wildlife and habitats, but they have helped build an understanding of the value and importance of wildlife, fish, and natural resources. They also highlight how effective we can be at conservation when we work together.
Who should attend the Discover Outdoor Connecticut event? What is the age range of attendees you’d like to see?
Anyone who has at least a passing interest in the environment around them should come to enjoy what the day has to offer. It’s not something you can experience virtually through your smartphone or tablet. Nothing can replace the first-hand experience in the outdoors—from newcomer to novice, young or old—Discover Outdoor Connecticut day has something for everyone. The sooner a person is exposed to the outdoors and all the amazing things it has to offer, the sooner they learn to appreciate where they live and how it should be respected. There simply are no apps for that.
How have your sponsors embraced the DEEP program? What will they bring to the Discover Outdoor Connecticut?
Since its inception, the event has had the tremendous support that has continued through the years. Local sportsman’s clubs and conservation groups have been long-time participants at the events bringing their support, local knowledge, and expertise. Local chapters of the Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited also support the event along with national retailers such as Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, L.L. Bean, Mossberg, and Home Depot, who not only bring volunteers with additional skills and knowledge, but also provide generous donations for door prizes that contribute greatly to the enjoyment of those who attend.
Typically, how many photo entries do you receive for the photo contest? What are some of THE MOST intriguing, creative, and captivating? How is the winner(s) recognized for his/her efforts?
This is our first year holding a photo contest and we have received over 300 entries. Ribbons and prizes (gift cards) were donated by the Friends of Sessions Woods, which has been instrumental in supporting many of our educational programs and exhibits. Anyone who wants to see the most intriguing, creative, and captivating photos should attend Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day, where they can sample some tasty venison samples prepared by Adolf’s Meats of East Hartford all while viewing the photos in person. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite photo, which will be awarded as the “People’s Choice” during the event. The contest winners will be recognized in future outreach efforts such as Connecticut Wildlife magazine.
Do you require preregistration or are drop-ins welcome?
Preregistration is not required and we very much welcome folks to simply drop in and spend as much time outdoors with us as they can.
Do you have in-house instructors teaching the various activities?
All of the shooting activities would not be possible if it wasn’t for a large group of volunteer instructors with our Conservation Education and Firearms Safety program who teach both firearms and archery skills. In addition, staff and volunteers with expertise in fisheries, wildlife, trapping, forestry, boating safety, outdoor education, and with working dogs of various types, all play a critical role in sharing their knowledge about our environment.
Please name a few of the year-round outdoor activities available to Connecticut residents and visitors.
Visitors to the Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area and Conservation Education Center in Burlington can attend monthly educational programs and also tour the exhibit area and interpretive trails. The Division’s Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program offers courses in firearms, archery, and trapping, as well as advanced hunter education seminars and events for junior hunters. The Fisheries Division’s CARE (Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education) Program offers free fishing classes, including ice fishing classes, as well as learn to fish events throughout the year. A number of our wildlife management areas also offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature photography. We also partner with other DEEP Divisions offering programs such as “No Child Left Inside® Great Park Pursuit”, nature centers such as Kellogg and Meigs Point, and many other conservation partners to provide natural resource programs and activities statewide. The best way to learn about some of these activities and events is to check the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep), as well as the Wildlife (www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife) and Fisheries (www.ct.gov/deep/Fishing) sections of the website. Sign up to receive free monthly electronic newsletters: Wildlife Highlights (www.ct.gov/deep/WildlifeHighlights) and CT Fishin’ Tips (https://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2696&q=547000&deepNav_GID=1630) and follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CTFishAndWildlife). You may even want to get a subscription to the official bi-monthly publication of the DEEP, Bureau of Natural Resources, “Connecticut Wildlife.”
If you go, you’ll find directions to the Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area, 391 Route 32, North Franklin(here) Parking will be on-site.
Are you wondering what you missed during Style Fashion Week New York?
I’m sorry I wasn’t able to attend this year’s fall show Sept. 6 to 8 (due to unforeseen circumstances) but I don’t want my readers to miss a beat from the runway. The event featured the New York fashion scene at its finest with a full-scale style marketplace that submerges guests in the three areas they expect to see in New York: fashion, design, and art. Consumers also had a chance to mingle with brands and learn more about their designs.
What to wear for your next travel adventure is one of the dilemmas resolved, in my opinion, after I saw the photos of the styles presented on the runway. The options are limitless. Find your inspiration in the recap photos from Style Fashion Week New York organizers.
Style Fashion Week represents and integrates the diverse cultures of the world’s top fashion hubs: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Springs, and Dubai with the finest in international designers, media, and celebrities. Season after season, fashion week producers reinvent their shows so there’s never a dull moment on and off the runway.
Designers, Romeo + Juliet Couture, David Tupaz, Richard Hallmarq, Bahmardi, Shay Kawaii and Adrian Alicia showcased SS’19 designs at the Manhattan Center on Day One, Sept. 6. Heather LaRose, Natalya and Naima performed courtesy of Vezt Music App and the models were beautified by Davines.
Day two featured New York, designers, Matte Brand, Sweet Talk Swim, Adriana Sahar, Raul Penarada, Hirun Bangkok, Elie Madi and Rocky Gathercole. They showcased SS’19 designs at the Manhattan Center on Sept. 7.
Attendees and the media enjoyed performances by Chloe Maggs and Leah Kate presented by Vezt Music App. No one worried about dehydration under the lights. Essentia Water kept attendees, models, and designers hydrated throughout the night. Tipsy Girl Wines made viewing the season’s hottest fashions even more relaxing.
Can you imagine the excitement of seeing the designers’ latest collections as the models took to the stage? What’s a fashion show without an extraordinary backdrop? The decor was provided by Jimmy DeLaurentis. Sitting front row was Ming Lee Simmons, Diggy Simmons, Julz Goddard (YesJulz), WolfTyla, Sihoban Bell, Deborah Cox, and others.
On day three of Style Fashion Week New York, designers, Marco Marco, FUNARI New York, Ydamys Simo, Emma Altman, BBTC / Love Baby J, Chick, Father Akki and Smock Me showcased SS’19 designs at the Manhattan Center. Vezt Music App presented performances by Chloe Maggs.
For three nights in a row, Essentia Water and Tipsy Girl Wines kept attendees, models, and designers hydrated throughout the night. The models received first-class beauty treatments by Davines. Jimmy DeLaurentis provided the decor.
If you missed Style Fashion Week New York, plan on attending one of the upcoming events in the following cities:
February | New York Fashion Week | Style Fashion Week
March | Los Angeles Fashion Week | Style Fashion Week
April | Palm Springs Fashion Week | Style Fashion Week
April | Coachella Festival | Dusk Till Dawn
August | Hamptons Summer Series | Style Artist Lounge
September | New York Fashion Week | Style Fashion Week
October | Los Angeles Fashion Week | Style Fashion Week
December | Art Basel Miami | Style Artist Lounge
More From The Style Fashion Week Producers
Style Fashion Week helps to share the cost of these major productions—providing designers the platform to display their work on the same level as their luxury competitors. Style Fashion Week recognizes that these designers are a vital piece of the fashion community and will continue to work to support them.
If you’d like additional information about the designers, performers, or beauty products featured at Style Fashion Week New York, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fernwood Resort: Creating Year-Round Family Experiences
Family Engagement the Focus at Fernwood
Family fun…Have you taken the time to create lasting memories with your family? You likely won’t hear any complaints of boredom from your kids or partner while you’re vacationing at Fernwood. The resort is surrounded by woods in a peaceful setting that’s ideal for hiking, foraging among the trees, or participation in a variety of activities.
Creating an experience that’s all-encompassing for families and guests of all ages is one of the challenges Gina Bertucci, Fernwood Resort co-owner, embraces.
With more than 18,000 member families, Fernwood Resort and the Villas at Tree Tops & Fairway®, 2157 River Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA, is part of RCI and is one of the largest vacation ownership properties in the Mid-Atlantic region with 650 beautifully-appointed villas.
“We have both timeshares and rentals so we’re a mixed-use property,” Bertucci explained. Lodging options range from one-to-four bedrooms with accommodations for every taste, with a home-like feeling and amenities from simple and economical to deluxe and spacious.
When you’re ready to venture out onto the property, you’ll also see why Fernwood has received “green” awards.
According to Bertucci, “As a business, when we were looking at how to develop these pieces of property, what did we do?”
The Pocono TreeVentures and zip line courses are examples of the extraordinary measures Bertucci and her partners have taken to preserve the beauty and nature on the property.
“We looked at ways to preserve this property. There’s a stream that goes through it, but really when you’re up in the trees, you really do appreciate the nature and the beauty of this region.”
Everywhere you turn at Fernwood, there’s an activity that encourages family engagement. A few of the free on-site activities are swimming and weekly pool parties, summer family movie nights, picnics and BBQ nights. At an additional cost, try horseback riding at Bushkill Stables, Pocono TreeVentures Ropes and Zipline courses, Blue and White Lightning Tubing and Paintball. Visit Fernwood Resort’s website for prices and hours of operation.
Approximately 17 years ago, Bertucci and other businesses affiliated with the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau got together to answer the question, how can we continue to showcase the Poconos as a region to explore and enjoy, and at the same time, preserve its natural beauty?
The Fernwood partners, for example, utilized approximately 10 acres of gorgeous farmland for the TreeVentures and Zip Line courses.
“It’s beautiful and challenging and when you’re finished, you think I just did something and it’s great exercise. It’s about authenticity,” commented Bertucci. “And not everyone has had a chance to try horseback riding? For other people, it’s shopping at the Crossings (Premium Outlets), canoeing on the Delaware River, bike riding, seeing nearby Bushkill Falls or following a lovely natural walking path at the 77,000-acre at the Delaware Water Gap National Historic site.”
What’s our recommendation for off-site family engagement?
Don’t leave the Poconos without a stop at Bushkill Falls, known as “The Niagara of Pennsylvania.” With each season the landscape changes, providing a unique experience each time you visit. We suggest you reserve a half-day for your adventure.
Bushkill Falls is the “Niagara of Pennsylvania”
Why should you plan a trip to the Pocono Mountains’ region?
As the nights turn chillier and the leaves that adorn the trees of the Pocono Mountains fall to the ground and create a gentle blanket of vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange, celebrate fall by tuning into the sounds of freshly fallen leaves underfoot. Celebrate the four seasons in the Pocono Mountains.
“There’s something for everyone in the Pocono Mountains. It’s all here and that’s fortunate for us. Family time is part of the fabric of our lives. You remember those moments together.” Gina Bertucci, Fernwood Resort.
My stay at Fernwood Resort was comped but my opinions are my own.
What have you heard about Georgia, a country at the intersection of Asia and Europe? We went there, and have some advice for you – the culture, landscapes, food, wine, the people – it all might be a little too overwhelming. So you should think carefully before going. To help you, we have 7 reasons why you should never visit Georgia.
Anyone who wants too much of a good thing Read on…
Its cuisine will make you feel bad…
… about overeating so much. Traditional dishes such as khinkali, khachapuri or pschali are made from locally sourced ingredients and usually cooked in wood-fired ovens. You will soon notice that Georgians enjoy long feast-like dinners and are happy to share them with visitors of their country.
The landscapes are a bit too much
Georgian landscapes may cause you problems when you will be telling your friends back home of what you’ve seen during the trip. In an area smaller than 70 thousand square km, you will see terrains of all kinds: snowy mountains, sandy beaches, desert-like flatlands, rocky hills and lush forests.
Georgians won’t let you relax…
..or get lost. Due to the long history of wars, the Georgian nation is known for its hot temper, yet this goes together with extreme hospitality. Once you enter Georgia, you will feel as if you’re visiting your old friends – Georgians will greet you, make you feel at home and will bathe you in recommendations. You do not need to worry about getting lost in the country either- and even if you do end up lost on your road trip, you will eventually find yourself having dinner with Georgian families in the countryside. Of course, if you prefer to get stressed during your vacation and don’t want to make new friends, you should not go to Georgia.
If you’re planning to make a trip around Georgia, you will have to prepare for surprises. In one trip you can visit the Red Sea coast and spend the whole day sunbathing, and on the next day climb the snowy peak of Kazbek, later returning to sunny Tbilisi or heading for a refreshing stay in Borjomi. On the other hand, if you are a fan of dull, rainy afternoons, Georgia might not be the place for you.
Sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find French wine in Georgia. That’s because Georgians take pride in their vineries that are some of the oldest in the world. Georgian winemaking traditions that date back to Neolithic period are internationally recognized and appreciated: Georgian winemaking method using clay pots is even included in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
You are probably visiting Georgia for its amazing nature, right? If you are not into the art scene and are not a fan of discovering peculiar cultural things, don’t go to Tbilisi. Yet, we believe it’s almost impossible to skip the country’s capital with a population over 1 million of people and a forward-looking scene of arts and culture. Visit Bassiani club, Fabrika or Tbilisi flea market, and you will soon notice that the city is much more than the beautiful architecture and fancy restaurants.
Georgia is unpredictable
Things you don’t expect to see while visiting Georgia: waterfall in the middle of Tbilisi old town, the remains of Soviet military bases, a funicular in the inner yard of a building on one of the main streets of the capital, a monastery on a tall rock (The Katskhi Pillar monastery in Chiatura), moving statues (on the boulevard in Batumi)… yet, you’re most likely to see most of these and even more.
For more advice about Georgia, please visit Smart Lemur site.