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A Halloween Story

No one really dressed up for Halloween this year at VBT Headquarters, but our Regional Technical Coordinator, Chris, showed up as a superhero anyway… At least in spirit, he left the cape at home. Just back from Costa Rica, fending off jetlag, Chris managed to squeeze-in saving a baby hawk on top of his other duties in the VBT shop. All in a day’s work. Here’s his story:

As I was sitting in my office catching up on emails and staring down my computer screen a loud crash hit the shop window as if someone had thrown a log into it. Upon inspection I discovered that a hawk had flown into my window and was lying lifeless (though breathing) on the ground.

I contacted the Vermont State Police and they put me in touch with VINS (The Vermont Institute of Natural Science). VINS puts me in touch with one of the area volunteers, John Aders, who is state and federally certified to deal with situations such as these. John wasn’t sure if the bird was a night hawk or a red tailed hawk as the bird was a youth and did not have distinctive markings yet.

One thing I love about working at VBT is that in a case like this my supervisor had no hesitation in approving my next move: driving to Waitsfield, VT, to deliver the bird to the experts for potential life-saving treatment. The other thing I love is how my coworkers jumped up to assist me in getting the bird into a box. Our own Product Operations Manager, Amy, ended up grabbing the bird with her bare hands, all the while speaking to it softly as to calm it. I’m not sure if the bird could understand English as he was quite nervous to be so close to a homosapien.

As the bird and I arrived to meet John, he was beginning to become much more alive and wanted out of the very comfortable box we created for him. John inspected the bird for any broken bones and vital signs and nothing was broken. The result of our quick action made it possible for it to fly another day after some treatment and rest due to a potential head injury.

On my way back over the mountain to Bristol the sun had come out of the clouds and created rainbows all around. I counted 9 in total. I took this as a sign that we had done good for the earth and mother nature was giving us a gentle, but beautiful pat on the back.

VBT Regional Technical Coordinator 

Happy Halloween Everyone, from all of us at VBT!

5 VBT Must-See Winter Destinations

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also one of the reasons that International Travel is so exciting. In addition to enjoying a variety experiences when you explore, it’s also important to have a variety of destinations to choose from before you begin. Whether Biking, Walking or Cross-Country Skiing is your preferred means of active travel, we’ve got you covered this winter.

Journey through Vietnam

Bike Vietnam, Halong Bay

If you’re looking to really get away this winter, then make your way well east to travel alongside the locals as you Bike Vietnam. Bustling city streets give way to serene landscapes of open rice paddies, rolling, verdant hills and the magical volcanic-rock formations of Halong Bay. What better way to explore than by biking through the dramatic landscapes of Vietnam?

New Zealand: The South Island

New Zealand Tours, South Island, Bike Tour New Zealand

You might also consider a winter vacation down south, or more accurately, Down Under. The best part about taking a winter vacation in the Southern hemisphere is that it isn’t a winter vacation at all. As you cross the equator, seasons are reversed. So you can enjoy summer Holiday in February. On our Tour of New Zealand, we focus on the nation’s breathtaking South Island where the residents’ infectious sense of adventure and the land’s astounding beauty are sure to captivate you. This year, hop on a bike and take a summer vacation right in the middle of winter.

Argentina: Walking in Patagonia

Patagonia Tour

Speaking of adventuresome Warm Winter vacations, Walking in Patagonia just might take the cake. It really depends on how you like to explore – on two wheels or on two feet. If walking your way past snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes and pristine wilderness is up your alley, then VBT’s Tour of Patagonia is your best bet. Plus, you can get the best of both worlds – rugged wilderness and a lively city – if you begin your vacation with our exciting pre-trip extension in Buenos Aires.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Tour

If you’re into the language, but not quite up for the South American location, then set your sights north of Argentina, and Explore Costa Rica this winter. This peaceful Central American republic is a just a quick flight away and it’s packed with variety. We’ve got two vacations to choose from – one biking and the other walking. And each will give travelers an up-close and personal window into the abundant wildlife as well as the affable nature of Costa Rica’s people. Head to Costa Rica and learn the true meaning of “Pura Vida!”

Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Dolomites​

Ski Vacations, Winter Vacation

So far we’ve stuck to the Warmer Side of our Winter Vacations, but for many travelers, winter simply spells snow. We’re slipping on our skis and exploring the great outdoors in some of Europe’s most fantastic snowy destinations. Namely, the valleys of the Dolomite Mountain range in Italy and Austria. With snowy spires looming overhead, we’ll cruise along groomed trails from refreshment hut to refreshment hut, basking in the snow and even soaking up some sun.

Whichever type of Winter Vacation appeals to you, we’ve got it. So join us and Bike, Walk or Ski with VBT this winter!