Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dirty Dawg Results

Congrats to all of the mountain bikers that rode in the Dirty Dawg Race this past Saturday! The mountain provided nice, breezy temperatures, a couple of downpours, and a superbly muddy ride! Big ups to East Coasters for putting another awesome race on this season at Mountain Lake, and many thanks to all the volunteers who prepped the course, marshaled the road intersections, and served up refreshments and food!

Kirby briefing riders before the race

And they're off! Only 6 hours to go!!

Duos ready for the switch off

Cheering on the racers!

6 hours later... grill and chill time

Sweet jersey!

Brought to you by:



1 Brice/Kyle
2 John Mckenna/Eric Carlson
3 Mark Zhu/Spencer Riddle
4 Scotty/Doug
5 Nathan/Donald
6 John/Caleb
7 Wake/Beth 1st Coed
8 Geffrey/Emily
9 Dave/Eric
10 Thomas/Nathan
11 Patrick/Susane
12 Alex/Lindsey
13 Gregory/Michelle
14 Brian/Jonathan
15 Brandy/Melissa 1st Womens
16 Kevin/Daniel

Solo Men

1 Dave Reid
2 Ben Brown
3 Andy Reagan
4 Andrew
5 Steve Howard
6 Dave Williams
7 Damon
8 Bob Wright
9 Steve Bulter
10 Ryan
11 Craig
12 Jeremy
13 Cecil
14 Jay
15 Jarrod
16 James
17 Greg
18 Jerry
19 Walter
20 Chris

Solo Women

1 Laura
2 Emma
3 Kyrstin
4 Amy
5 Gabrielle

Single Speed 

1 Brian Marshall
2 Steve Hertherington
3 Cliff Hatchett
4 Christian Probst
5 Thomas Hash
6 Seth

Friday, July 22, 2011

Survivor Mountain Lake Weekend

This weekend is themed "Survivor: Mountain Lake", and the Recreation Department and Conservancy will be hosting a variety of activities to engage the mind and body. 

In addition to normal Recreation activities, Survivor: Mountain Lake activities include:
8:00 pm: How to build a fire
8:30 pm: Campfire and S’mores. Time to share your wilderness stories!

10:30 am: Hike on White Dot to Old Golf Course overlook
11:00 am:
Introduction to Knot Tying
1:00 pm: Scavenger Hunt
8:30 pm: Night Hike- meet at Conservancy

9:00 am: Introduction to Orienteering- meet at Conservancy
11:00 am: Introduction to Shelter Construction and the Leave-No-Trace ethic
2:00 pm: Intro to Geocaching
3:30 pm:
Hike on Indian Trail and talk on “What to do if you’re lost: Wilderness Priorities”

 We hope to see you up here learning something new or polishing you skills this weekend!

A bunch of pictures from the 2011 season have been added to the Facebook site, check us out!!/TheMLC

Among those pictures include a local artist from Roanoke, VA - Eric Fitzpatrick. Eric was at Mountain Lake last Thursday creating some beautiful landscape paintings. A lovely scene for a summer afternoon on the mountain indeed!

The lake bed and wetland

Bald Knob

The folks from East Coasters have been busy up on the mountain getting geared up for the Dirty Dawg mountain bike race tomorrow. Come show your support for these tough riders! The mountain top breeze accompanies this perfect escape from the summer heat down in town.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dirty Dawg Mountain Bike Race - this weekend July 23rd!

It's that time of the season, the Dirty Dawg 6-Hour Enduro Mountain Bike Race will be held this weekend, July 23rd! Sure to be an event of epic fun for all, whether you're biking in the race or cheering bikers on. More race information can be found at It's not too late to register! - solo, duo, and single speed categories. This is a family-friendly event, play a round of disc golf on our course that surrounds the Start/Finish meadow, or take a hike before the race gets started. Camping is available for registered racers and family on the evening of July 23rd, concessions will be available after the race, please remember that Mountain Lake property has a NO PET policy!

Special discount rate in the hotel for registered racers and family - $99.00 per night, double occupancy, includes dinner and breakfast! Special valid Friday, 7/22 and Saturday, 7/23.

Some photos from previous Dirty Dawg races:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lake Level Update & A Snapshot of Life on the Mountain

The hot summer temperatures have led to a decrease in water levels in the lake. We're seeing a pattern similar to last season, when water levels peaked during the third week of July. 

The peninsula on the left slowly surfacing

A water level marker pictured in the previous post

On the bright side, the lake bed boasts a bounty of beautiful blooms. The water may come and go, but the forest and trails remain steady.

Gems of the lake bed

Rhododendron in bloom, all around the lake and along the Indian Trail

 A lovely night on the Mountain...wish you were here!

Hanging out around the fire

Everyone loves roasting marshmallows!

Friday, July 1, 2011

MLBS Rocket Net Demo

This morning David Kramer from Virginia Tech gave a rocket net demonstration to Tami Ransom's Wildlife Techniques class from the U.V.A. Biological Station. The net was set-up at the Old Horse Barn on Mountain Lake Conservancy & Hotel property. David uses this type of rocket net for capturing large birds of prey, particularly golden and bald eagles and vultures. The net is set up next to a lure, an animal carcass, so the net quickly covers and traps the bird while it is on the ground.

The rocket launch set up

Kramer showing the class how to set up the wire fuse

Testing the voltage
A video of the net being launched. The loud noise startled me so the shot is a bit shaky! 

 A portion of Kramer's research is studying the Golden Eagle, which now winters in the Appalachians of Southwest Virginia, but then migrates north to Canada to breed. Kramer and his associates band the eagles in addition to attaching a radio transmitter that tracks the eagles.

Post-launch, this net is 40' x 60'

The walk back along the Lower Jungle Trail on this fabulous Friday on the mountain offered stunning fungal views and melodic bird songs.

Hemlock varnish shelf fungus

Reference shot for the size of the Hemlock tree with fungus

The song of the Wood Thrush and call of the Pileated woodpecker.