Hopes and wishes for outstanding new year

Posted Dec. 31, 2008, at 9:53 p.m.

Another year with no deer has passed, and it’s time to start looking toward the future. I won’t bother making resolutions — we all know how those will turn out — but I do have a few goals.

I’ve got no big plans for the upcoming year. No major changes. Just a few hopes and wishes that, if I’m lucky, could make this year even better than the year that was.

First, I aspire to fish more. Ice fish. Fly fish. Troll. Any of those. All of those. Looking back, I’ve realized I didn’t spend much time in, on or around the water in 2008. Or, at least, I didn’t spend as much time as I have in some years. Hopefully, that’ll change … and hopefully, I’ll have plenty of company on those outings.

This year, I hope, will also be the year I learn how to tie a few useful knots. Until now, I’ve been a card-carrying member of the “If you can’t tie knots, tie lots” club. For the most part, that works out OK. But when it doesn’t … well, let’s just say it would be a big relief to me (and plenty of others) if I could just get the hang of a few Cub Scout basics.

Over the years, I’ve learned to build pretty nice campfires. And over the past couple years, I’ve listened carefully to experts who tell me I ought to leave my own firewood at home, and use the wood provided at campgrounds.

Bugs (they say) can be a problem. And (they say) Bangor bugs can pose a problem to backwoods forests.

Fine.

This year, I hope I’ll finally learn how to build one of my nice, tidy, dependable campfires with the soggy, green, undependable (but presumably bug-free) wood that the campgrounds sell me.

Before you offer suggestions, it’s important that you realize one thing: I won’t pour lighter fluid or gasoline on my fire. Tried it, back when I was young(er) and foolish(er). Nearly blew up. Learned my lesson. ’Nuff said.

I also aspire to figure out a way to drive tent stakes into gravelly ground and make them stick. In a related matter, I’d love to learn how to keep twin 5-year-olds and an 8-year-old away from my tenuously tied tent.

Finally, I hope to snowshoe a bit, hike a bit and even try cross country skiing again. Note, I didn’t say that I plan to do either. I didn’t say that I promise to do either.

Both are exercise. I’m out of shape. Therefore, it stands to reason, I must be avoiding exercise.

Still, a guy can hope.

Wescott to unveil new course

Seth Wescott, who won an Olympic snowboardcross gold medal in 2006, has taken yet another step in promoting his sport to the masses.

After his win, you may recall, Wescott lured some of the world’s best riders to his home mountain — Sugarloaf — for a spectacular event on a course he helped design.

On Saturday, Wescott will open up the sport to plenty of other aspiring riders as he unveils the new Sidewinder Snowboardcross Course at Sugarloaf.

“Snowboardcross is a rapidly growing sport and having a permanent course like this puts Sugarloaf in the forefront for snowboardcross training and competitions,” Wescott said in a news release. “It’s been great fun being able to design the course from scratch, and I hope people will enjoy it.”

Wescott will officially open the course at 10 a.m. on Saturday, lead the inaugural run and will sign autographs after the event in the Sugarloaf Board Room.

The course will be sure to draw plenty of attention, as it’s located underneath the SuperQuad chair lift, one of the resort’s busiest lifts.

According to Sugarloaf officials, Wescott has been involved in the development of the course from its inception, and returned to Maine after his first World Cup win to complete work on the project.

Wescott’s project is one of several undertaken by Sugarloaf this year in an effort to provide plenty of skiing and snowboarding terrain features for visitors.

The resort redesigned its Superpipe, added an advanced terrain park and a beginner park, and revamped the intermediate park. In addition, Sugarloaf launched a new Web site (www.sugarloaf.com/terrainparks) to explain the features of its new offerings.

Mainers make junior team

Athletes from the Maine Winter Sports Center continue to make their marks in the biathlon world, as three have been named to the United States teams for the International Biathlon Union Youth Biathlon World Championships.

After several days of competition in Anchorage, Alaska, Grace Boutot of Fort Kent, Hilary McNamee of Fort Fairfield and Nick Michaud of Fort Kent were named to the U.S. squads.

The Youth and Junior World Championships will be held Jan. 25 through Feb. 3 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.

Congratulations to the MWSC and all three athletes.

jholyoke@bangordailynews.net

990-8214

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