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  • 13 Jan 2019 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What do you get when you cross a steel locomotive and Bourbon Street? Thirteen CSC members who actually made the trek to Birmingham to board an Amtrak train headed to New Orleans (NOLA)! I was very nervous about this trip as it was my first time to captain a trip that involved another mode of transportation besides a truck or a car.  I was already extremely anxious due to the fact that on a group ticket everybody in the group was on one ticket voucher which I had in my possession with instructions from Amtrak that if I lost it . . . Well you get the picture.   

    At the Amtrak Station in Birmingham, we discovered that parking your vehicle was extremely difficult.  After numerous trips to the parking garage with no one on duty or anyone to ask (it seems that Wednesday December 26th was still a holiday at the parking garage) finally everyone was able to park (don’t ask, but some parked without a ticket to leave the parking deck). 


    The train ride (for several of us it was our first ever real train trip), was wonderful. The seats were wide with plenty of leg room, Amtrak did not check or weigh our bags, and we were able to carry on adult beverages.  Of course, we were all very moderate consumers!

    NOLA was great; here are just a few of the comments from CSC members that went on the trip: Dee Campbell wrote,” Wonderful adventure to New Orleans.  Even though we had to experience rain each day we all laughed our way back to the hotel each night. We were blessed with a great group and enjoyed all our train travel each way.  If there is ever another adventure to New Orleans, everyone needs to join together and make this trip.”

    New CSC member Paula Guffey wrote, “The NOLA trip was great!!! It could have been hard to say what the best part was, but being treated to a celebration of a life well lived -- a New Orleans jazz funeral -- made the pick easy. I also enjoyed that there was plenty to do solo, with a few friends, or with the whole group…whatever your mood was for the day.  The hotel was great, the train ride was great and the company was amazing.”

    Mandee Taylor wrote, “Honesty I have no complaints.  I would love a bit better weather and an extra day.  The train ride was great. Parking in Birmingham was a challenge.  Looking forward to our next adventure.”


    Remember: what happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans!

    Go with us next time,

    Barb


  • 28 Dec 2018 4:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all our members and guests who have visited this year.   As I write this, it's only seven days until Christmas -- wow, this year has flown by! Our club has enjoyed a lot of great adventures and activities  in 2018, and we still have one more trip to go.   

    The Christmas party was a great success with 125 people in attendance. Thanks to all who help get this together.  We try to make it the best for everyone, but every year we see that we need to tweak this or that,  and we do.  I feel we have found the best location in town for this event.

    New Orleans is getting ready to be invaded by our members Dec. 26-30.  Looking forward to hearing about that trip at our January meeting.  

    Our race team headed up to Appalachian Ski Resort Dec. 15-16 , and thanks to the winter storm that came through the week before, we had great conditions. I am sure we will get a good report on this one.  

    Tom DuBose sent out an email asking for volunteers for a booth at the 7th Annual Lookout Wild Film Festival Jan 24-27,  if you are interested in helping, please contact Tom at 423-605-3122.  Check out our website and this newsletter for a lot more events coming up soon!  Let's all hope the Polar Express spreads a lot snow on us in the months to come!

    Happy Winter to All,

    Mike


  • 28 Dec 2018 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Crescent Ski Council's 2018 week in Steamboat Springs had the best snow in years. After a lack of snow the year before, participants were rewarded with most of the trails open for the five days of ski lessons with the best instructors at the resort. While most of the Southeastern attendees were repeat customers, ski lessons were available for all levels of skiers and snowboarders including first time skiers. This trip is a terrific value that includes lessons, lodging, three slopeside lunches, two dinners, and a welcome party with wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres.

    The Chattanoga Ski Club had about a dozen members participating this year. Thanks to Jerry Hicks who made arrangements at a local restaurant on one of our free nights for the Chattanoga folks, which was great fun for all.

    We learned that only about 20% of the time is the snowfall light on the first week of December. Even when the snow is light, the instructors do their best to give us tips to improve our turns and techniques. This year, the great snow meant we had a wide variety of runs to practice on.

    If you haven't skied before or if it's been years since you were on skis, you should consider this trip next year.  That way, you can take advantage of the wonderful ski trips our club books every year. And for those of you still skiing, remember that skiing is a lesson sport -- everyone can use some instruction to help rid us of the bad skiing habits or sloppy technique we all are prone to.  That's why so many of those who come to Steamboat are repeat attendees.


  • 28 Nov 2018 6:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome to all our new members and hello to all our members!  For those of you who have brought guests to recent meetings, keep up the good work!

    As I write this, the western resorts are getting snow.  Good news for all of us downhillers!  Telluride has had 56 inches so far this year, with 7 out of 147 runs open plus 6 of 17 lifts open.  Park City has 12 out of 41 lifts open, and 15 of 341 trails.  Long term forecast for both resorts is for more snow!

    In a few days, many of our group will be in Steamboat for the annual Crescent Ski Camp.  There's a big improvement in the snow this year as compared with last year.  If you need haven't skied in a long time or just want to improve your skiing, the Crescent Ski Camp is a great deal for a week at Steamboat, including five days of lessons. Think about it for next year.

    As far as our local eastern resorts go, Appalachian near Boone is open, Sugar is open, and Cataloochee is open. Looks as if our racing team will be on track for a good one coming up Dec 15 and 16 in Appalachian.  If anyone is interested in a weekend going thru the gates,  get with Marla Hood.  If I can qualify, any average skier can, and if you are a downhill whiz, we need you on our team as well.  

    The annual Christmas party is this month;  I can't wait. It will be a good time.

    As far as ski news, the thing that has caught my eye was the new Phantom Wax. One application is all you ever need, interesting concept there.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season,

    Mike Hood


  • 26 Oct 2018 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome to all our new members, and hello to all members. What a great fall we have gotten a start on!  As I write this, we have a bunch up in Virginia riding the Creeper Trail.  I hope they packed some warm clothes!  I and several others are getting our land legs back under us after our adventures on the Carnival Miracle.  What a great cruise! My first and also my first hurricane.  I give a big thanks to Jim Bates for getting this together for us. I am sure the club and I will have more cruises in the future. OK, let's talk about snow!  At least four resorts are schedule to open this weekend: Colorado's Wolf Creek, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, and, in the Tahoe region, Mt. Rose.  Always nice to see early snow. The Farmer's Alamnac is predicting a good year for snow.  Everybody needs to keep their fingers crossed that we enjoy some great conditions on our trips this year!  Also, everyone be sure to RSVP for the upcoming Christmas party so we can get an accurate head count for food. Looking forward to seeing you at the November meeting! 

    Thank you,
    Mike Hood


  • 26 Oct 2018 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Forty-eight Chattanooga Ski Club members flew or drove to Tampa, Florida a day or two before our adventure cruise began so they could enjoy the beauty of Florida as well as this wonderful city.

    On Sunday, October 7, we boarded the beautiful Carnival Miracle and left the port of Tampa. Members used this time to explore our ship and discover the many amenities it had to offer as well as enjoy their favorite beverages.


    On this same day, Hurricane Michael decided to form near Cozumel and headed north to meet us on our way there.  Our Captain must have thought we didn’t have room for Michael on the ship, so we headed due south from Tampa instead of the usual southwest route across the Gulf.  On Monday, our sea day, we took a left just north of Cuba and slowly cruised as we gave Michael time to move out of our way (having fun all the time).  By Monday afternoon, Michael had moved north enough to not be a factor in our fun. However, the rerouting around Hurricane Michael caused us to have to forego our visit to Cozumel. 

    Tuesday was another fun sea day and by Wednesday we were back on schedule with beautiful weather and smooth sailing.  On these sea days, popular activities were eating, sunning, exercising, reading, listening to one of the many music performances, or participating in the many family games and activities offered on board the ship (not to mention gambling in the casino).  We regretted missing our visit to the beautiful port of Cozumel, but we appreciate Carnival Cruise Lines for making our safety their paramount concern. Throughout the cruise, we were never in rough seas or bad weather.


    Wednesday was a day for excursions at Belize.  Cruisers were tendered (taken by boat) to the mainland.  Large ships cannot dock at Belize because Belize has the second longest coral reef, second only to the Great Barrier Reef near Australia.  Members enjoyed many activities, like scuba diving, jungle river boat rides, visiting Mayan ruins, eating local foods, and swimming in beautiful clear water at exclusive resorts.

    On Thursday, we enjoyed the tropical Isle of Roatan, Honduras. Carnival’s own private beach and beautiful shopping area was just a short walk from the dock.  We were particularly lucky on this day because we were the ONLY ship docked at the port and had these areas to ourselves. Many enjoyed this great beach area while others were busy exploring with excursions like scuba diving, sightseeing the coral reef in a semi-submersible boat, or flying on the zip lines through the forest. 

    On Friday, we woke up anchored near the port at Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands. Cruisers were tendered to the mainland where they explored the Georgetown port area or met up with the leader of their chosen excursion.  Popular excursions on the cruise seemed to be the ones that involved swimming with the dolphins or stingrays.

    On most nights, live singing and dancing productions or other shows were enjoyed in the Phantom Theater.  In the Mad Hatter’s Lounge, the comedy shows were very popular.  The Red Frog Pub, with its Caribbean, laid-back atmosphere and enjoyable music, was a popular “watering hole” for our members.  Karaoke in the Red Frog and in the comedy club was also a well-attended event many times during the cruise, especially since our own Bill Hooton performed several times and was a big hit.  Soon, everywhere Bill went, strangers would point and say, “Hey Bill!”

    Our group consisted of first time cruisers to experienced cruisers and contained a mixture of members from various parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.  They all liked the fact that, although this was a group trip, each person or couple individualized the experience and activities on the cruise to their own desires.  On Saturday, many members migrated to the Sports Bar to watch the Tennessee-Auburn game with delight.  Unfortunately, the channels that carried the Alabama and the Georgia games on that day weren’t available at sea.

    Every night of the cruise we were seated together for dinner (six tables of various sizes).  This was a special time for sharing of the day’s activities, laughing, and eating too much.  Night after night, we were impressed with the great service, wonderful food selections, and appealing presentations, especially the baked Alaska on the last night. Many members knew each other before the cruise, but we all regarded everyone in the group as friends at the end of the cruise.  Before the end of the cruise, we had started a random rotation of our seating at dinner so more members would get to know and enjoy each other better. 

    Everyone had a great time at the private cocktail party that Carnival sponsored for the Chattanooga Ski Club on Saturday afternoon and couldn’t believe the week went by so fast.  This was a fun time to share the week’s experiences and laugh.

    We woke up Sunday at the Tampa dock, disembarked the ship, and flew (or drove) home with many lifetime memories of our fun together on this adventurous cruise.







  • 26 Oct 2018 9:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It appears that we have CSC members that are interested in “dirty” biking along with bike racers, adventurers, advocates, dirt bags, and wild women and men. 

    Eighteen of us made our way to Abingdon, VA for the fall Creeper bicycle ride. Yes, we knew "they” were calling for rain.  However, “they" have been wrong before. 

    Friday afternoon was perfect, the play “Singing In the Rain” was perfect. In fact all was perfect until about 3:00 a.m. when I looked out my bedroom window and saw a monsoon falling from the sky.

    Saturday, ten very devout cyclists made the trek to the Abingdon Bike Shop where owner Jerry informs us that the rain is “supposed” to stop at 10:00 a.m.  Trail Captain Bob Tramel gave us our pre-ride instructions, which featured where the bathrooms were located, where the food was located, and above all where the beer was located. 

    It had been my goal this year to ride the entire 37 miles. Alas, I aborted that goal again after the 17 miles to Damascus and the fact that I came face to face with a car on the trail?? When the very kind gentlemen politely told me it was I that was on the wrong trail not he. The rain never stopped.

    Only two die hard bikers, John Hilbrandt and Bob Tramel made the 37 mile ride.  The rest of us “dirty” bikers took the “Dirty Shuttle” (after we got on it) back to Abingdon.   

    John and Bob told this story during the Tennessee/Alabama party at “Command Central."  Bob had gone on ahead of John from Damascus, and when John caught up with Bob, he noticed that Bob was riding a new bicycle.  "WOW! Bob, where did you get such a nice bike?" Bob replied, “Well I was riding along the Creeper Trail minding my own business when this beautiful woman rode up to me on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want!”  John nodded approvingly, “Good choice. The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit."

    During dinner we learned that a very devout cyclist dies and goes to heaven.  Saint Peter meets him at the gate.  The first thing the cyclist asks if there are bicycles in heaven.  “Sure,” says St Peter, “let me show you,” and he leads the guy into the finest velodrome you can imagine.  “This is great,” the cyclist says. “It certainly is,” says St Peter. “You will have a custom bike and the best cycling clothes you’ve ever seen, and your personal masseuse will always be available.”  As they speak, a blur streak zooms by them riding a gold-plated bike.  “WOW!” the cyclist exclaims.  “That guy was so fast that can only be Mark Cavendish!” “No,” says St. Peter, “that was God on his bike; He only thinks He’s Mark Cavendish”.

    Enjoy the “dirty” pictures as promised.

          

    “Learn to ride a bicycle.  You will not regret it if you live.”- Mark Twain

    Go with us next time,

    Barb

  • 24 Sep 2018 4:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    HELLO EVERYONE,

    Welcome to all our new members, and hello to all our members.  Our activities are still in full-blast mode for the club.  Hiking, cruising, and skiing are keeping us all busy.  Heard good things about the bourbon trail trip, and looking forward to seeing a report on this. I hope the weatherman is correct on the cooler temps moving in nationwide, to spark some more interest on our ski trips. Be sure to reserve Dec. 11 for our Christmas party; more details to follow.  Our regular meeting is Oct. 2,  looking forward to seeing everyone, and please make your dinner reservations so we can get an accurate food count.  Every month we seem to get new members,  which is GREAT! Bring a friend to our meeting, let them see that our club is about active lifestyles for all ages. As you know, we all are a pretty decent bunch! 

    Thank you,

     Mike


  • 24 Sep 2018 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Louisville walking bourbon tour involved a lot more than walking!  There was a lot of flying from one distillery to another, increasing our knowledge on how to use corn, rye, and wheat to make Kentucky bourbon. 

    Friday night, we started at Bulleit Distillery where owner Tom Bulleit, Vietnam veteran and Marine said, “No veteran will pay to tour my distillery.” We drove back to the hotel to change for the group dinner at a local restaurant, Doc Crow’s. Dinner was wonderful and the fellowship was, as always, the very best with CSC members.

    Saturday morning, we had to divide into two groups of twelve to tour a new bourbon distillery, Angel’s Envy.  Some of us walked the sixteen blocks from Angel’s Envy to Kentucky Peerless for the next tour, some of us drove our own vehicles, and SOME of us chose to ride the NOT SO RELIABLE FREE BUS!  We finally all ended up on time for the Kentucky Peerless tour, still a locally owned distillery that currently only sells rye whiskey. All the tours had anecdotes of the ups and downs of whiskey making. Distilleries often changed names, changed owners, went out of business, and, more recently, enjoyed success with the resurgence of bourbon in America. Some buildings were old, some new, many now are computerized; but all still use the old technology of aging spirits in charred oak barrels. At Peerless, we learned that one of the current founders got kicked out of a military boarding school for antics with his roommates, Duane and Gregg Allman.

    After the tour, again the ones in the group that were taking the bus that was supposed to run every fifteen minutes were still waiting after thirty minutes.  After calling the bus headquarters, a bus finally arrived and took us… wait for it… to the very next stop for another twenty minute wait while the electric bus charged.  When we finally were moving, we were told the bus we were on would not take us to 5th Street, where we needed to be to make our 3:30 p.m. time at Jim Beam for our lesson in how to make our own cocktail.  The bus made us disembark on 4th street; so we had a wonderful, delightful, joyous time walking in the pouring rain for .25 mile to hurry to Jim Beam.  We made it with one minute to spare.

    Much to the delight of everyone, the bourbon sour we learned to make was delicious! Who knew that you could put jam and egg whites in a bourbon sour?

    All in all the entire trip was great; the CSC members were all a joy to spend the weekend with. 

    Nobody complained; at least not to me!

    Go with us next time,

    Barb



  • 21 Aug 2018 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome new members and hello to all of our members.   It's always a good sign to see those fall goods in retail and online stores, which means fall is on the way.  But our club enjoys all seasons of the year.  We all also enjoy the active lifestyle, where we are the participants and not the observers. I see on our web page Barb was so kind to share the good times and pictures of the SUP party we had a few days ago.  Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this happen. Looking forward to it again next year.  We have the Hiawassee river kayak/raft trip coming up on August 26, so I will be looking to hear about it and seeing some good photos on that one as well.  All of our ski trips are full throttle ahead and all is well!  We still have openings on all of them, so I encourage you to join one of them before we have the drop dates on them come up. 

    Again, thanks to all who volunteer to make our club so diversified in all the activities we share. 

    Thanks,

    Mike Hood


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