…:: Alex Smirnov ::…

Blog, Photography, Books, Movies, Cooking, Geocaching, Travel and Various Things I Care About (And You Probably Don't)

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Winter Storm Nemo (February 8-9, 2013)

February 11th, 2013 · Long Island

The massive nor’easter that hit the Northeast delivered about 20-25 inches of snow into the area where we live. Not as bad as other places (40 inches in Hamden, CT), but it has convincingly crippled Long Island and Suffolk County. We were lucky enough to not lose power at all, and were overall well prepared even if we did. It seemed like everyone (the town, the village, our apartment complex) waited until the storm was over to start plowing the roads. By now, the apartment complex has cleared most of the roads although parking will be a problem for a while.

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Canoeing on the Peconic River (Long Island, New York)

August 8th, 2011 · Adventure, Fun, Geocaching, Kayaking and Canoeing, Long Island, Personal, Photography

One advantage of living on Long Island (and for me personally, advantages of living here are very hard to come by) is the presence of large bodies of water open to kayaking and canoeing. Besides the obvious Long Island Sound and the Great Sound Bay, there are several rivers that can be explored by personal watercraft. One such river, is the Peconic on Eastern Long island. It originates near Brookhaven National Lab and lazily flows east, towards Riverhead and the crotch of Long Island and eventually empties into the Flanders Bay, which is apart of the Peconic Bay. This river has been on my list ever since I moved to Long Island but for variety of reasons (most of them bullshit excuses) never got around to it.

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Bicycling on Wallkill Valley, Shawangunk and Walden Rail Trails

June 14th, 2011 · Adventure, Bicycling, Personal, Photography, Travel

The Wallkill Valley, Shawangunk and Walden rail trail (or rather rail trails) span from Walden, NY to Rosendale, NY, roughly in the North-South direction. I am not exactly sure on the whole nomenclature issue but it is very easy to ride all three trails together, in one day and at a very leisurely place. The surface of the trails varies as does the marking. The Walden rail trail is pretty much as good as it gets – of course – depending on your standards. What I mean that it is paved in its entirety, very well marked with stop signs and proper road crossings. And if you start in Walden like we did, slightly downhill. The second part of the ride is for all intents and purposes unmaintained singletrack, followed by riding on roads to the trailhead of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail on Denniston Road. Wallkill Rail Trail is unpaved, mostly packed dirt and crushed stone, with some patches (mostly around New Paltz, NY) of variously degraded asphalt.

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Bicycling from Maine Coast to North Central Massachusetts

June 14th, 2011 · Adventure, Bicycling, Photography, Travel

This was another one of those plans that hatched this past winter, while the snow lingered outside and I was laying on the floor in front of the TV planning future bike trips on mapmyride.com. For this particular plan, however, lot of things had to come together – and perfectly at that. First, the weather had to be decent – at least – as I was planning to ride lite (no panniers). Second, the ride had to coincide with out visit to Andi’s parents in Lunenburg, MA. And third, because the train was leaving from Boston North Station, there would have to be a good reason for someone to drop me off in Boston with my bike. In this case, Andi’s college reunion planned for the weekend worked just fine.

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TD Bank 5Boro Bike Tour 2011

May 18th, 2011 · Bicycling, Personal, Photography

I am not really sure how the envelope with the flyer for this event got mailed to me in the first place. But man, am I glad it did. I shared it with the usual suspects and the decision was made to partake. Even though there were 32000 spots available, I assumed they would go rather quickly. After all, who in their right mind, would want to pass up an opportunity to ride the completely car free streets of New York City, visiting Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and eventually Staten Island?

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Tough Mudder Bear Creek, PA (Race Report)

April 20th, 2011 · Adventure, Personal, Photography, Travel

After finishing a Rugged Maniac 5K race in Southwick, MA in the Fall of 2010 (which was neither Rugged nor Maniac-al according to my humble opinion) we started looking for a new challenge. Eventually, my attention was caught by an facebook ad for an event called “Tough Mudder”. Dissatisfied with the Rugged Maniac and similar-length/difficulaty races such as the Warrior Dash and Spartan Race (partially, because they do offer 8+ mile and 48 hour races), the Tough Mudder looked like a formidable challenge. First, there was the distance of 11 miles, then the elevation changes since the race was held in a ski center with some snow still around, and finally the nature of obstacles.

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Tough Mudder Weekend in Pennsylvania

April 20th, 2011 · Personal, Photography, Travel

As the title suggests, the central event of this weekend was the Tough Mudder race at Bear Creek Ski Center, just south of Allentown/Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. We wanted to take advantage of our presence in this neck of the woods and explore a bit. On our list were Lost River Cave in Hellertown, Slovak Cemetery in Bethlehem, Tough Mudder Race at Bear Creek and Biking on the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.

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Slovenský cintorín v meste Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

April 11th, 2011 · Photography, Slovensky, Travel

Adrenalínové preteky Tough Mudder nás priviedli začiatkom apríla do Pennsylvánie, konkrétne do okolia miest Bethlehem a Allentown. Z Long Islandu sme vyrazili okolo obeda a tak sme mali do večera trochu času. Zabehli sme do Lost River Caverns v Hellertown a potom sme navštívili miesto, ktoré som v neočakával v tejto lokalite – Slovak Cemetery (Slovenský Cintorín).

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Bicycling On Long Island: The Great Peconic Loop

April 6th, 2011 · Bicycling, Long Island, Personal, Photography, Travel

Another beautiful Sunday was ahead of us and the weather was just begging for a long ride. It seemed like it was a good time push the boundaries a bit so we opted for a ~110 mile ride, which will henceforth be known as the “The Great Peconic Loop”.

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The Road to Green Card

March 31st, 2011 · Personal

So I finally got my sh*t together and applied for the Green Card. Well, I applied for an adjustment of status as it is officially called. I have been in the country since 2000, first as an F-1 student, then as a J-1 exchange scholar, fortunately exempted from the 2-year home stay rule. I met Andi in 2006 and we finally got married last summer. So I figured it was time.

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