Author Archives: Marjorie

Katy Trail, Missouri- 200 mile linear state park

Boat henge, along the Katy Trail, Columbia, Missouri

We planned to stop at other rail trails along the way from our start in New England, but our goal was Colorado. We had enjoyed several days in Pine Creek Gorge, PA where we pedaled perhaps half of the sixty-two mile trail. Travel always offers surprises, and our first “surprise” rail trail we had never heard of was the Katy Trail, a 240 mile linear state park that essentially travels across the width of Missouri.

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Finding Easy Walks (and bike rides) along the way– Pine Creek Gorge, PA

NuCamper and adaptive tandem bike, packed up and ready for adventure

Our family set out in September with out new camper and our adaptive bicycle, (and a whole lot more!), determined to enjoy places along the way where we could explore trails with out adaptive bike. It was a journey in and of itself to simply get the tools in place and find a camper that was not only available, but which our truck was able to transport. (Weight becomes an important concern when towing anything). It was a learning curve, and for sure, these first days, we were at the bottom of it!

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Access to the ocean, Plymouth, Scussett Beach

Shifting Lots Preserve, Plymouth

We headed out toward Plymouth on a late summer day to see if we could find a place to walk along the shore. We had heard of Ellisville Harbor State Park, but learned once we arrived that the shoreline is actually about a one mile walk to reach the water. I will be fine walking this far in cooler weather, but despite being on the coast, which is always cooler than inland, the day was too warm for me to make this trek the day we visited. We wandered some more and stumbled across Shifting Lots Preserve, not far from Ellisville Harbor, held in trust by the Wildlands Trust, which also has a number of other conservation properties along the south shore.

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Shining Sea Bikeway, Falmouth, MA

Great Sippewissett marsh

We tend to avoid the Cape during the summer months. Parking is difficult, beach access is restricted in places to residents or those with visitor passes, but after Labor Day everything opens up and is simply easier to visit. With this in mind we headed to Falmouth, just over the Bourne Bridge, and found the northernmost parking area for the Shining Sea bikeway, where we set up our tandem bike and headed out.

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What a difference some rains makes–Salmon River, Comstock Bridge and Airline Trail CT

One of the multiple cascades we enjoyed on our visit to the Salmon River and Airline Trail after a recent hurricane

We took our adaptive tandem bicycle to the Salmon River State Forest in Colchester and East Hampton, Connecticut and found such a different place from our visit a few years back. Typically the Salmon River is wadeable in late summer, a small almost stream that cuts its way through steep banks of rock.

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Beavertail State Park, Jamestown, RI

Fisherfolk (and others) seek out this rocky outcrop jutting into the ocean

I have visited Beavertail State Park since before it was a state park. Years ago, it was a cool rocky shoreline with a lighthouse. The access road was dirt, with lots of potholes. Visiting here was an adventure, for sure! The area was not accessible except by those who enjoy rock hopping. When I was younger, that worked fine. Not so much these days.

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Peter Oliver’s Mill Park, Middleboro

The fish ladder at Oliver’s Mills Park, Middleboro

On our way elsewhere, we passed by an intriguing spot just off Route 44, 8 Nemasket Street, in Middleboro, and discovered a very cool historic site along the Nemasket River. As soon as we pulled into the good-sized parking area I knew I had heard of this before–Peter Oliver’s Mill Park has a fish ladder that is essential for migrating herring in the spring. My friend Brenda (Natures Fairy on Youtube) has shared videos of the migrating herring, but I had no idea it had all the historic features we found.

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Diamond Hill Reservoir, Cumberland, RI

A hot day offered spectacular views of the Diamond HIll Reservoir in Cumberland, RI, and the fluffy clouds above

Summer heat is not my favorite, and it’s been a hot, wet summer for lots of us. Rather than drive a long ways to get out on our bike, we left straight from our yard and chose to return to road biking, which we did a lot of last year in the height of the pandemic. Our goal? The Diamond HIll Reservoir in Cumberland, RI, just a few miles from home, despite our living over the state line in another town. We are back to #avoidingcrowds and learned that road biking, rather than navigating our beloved rail trails, offers some unexpected delights, and provides for much less interaction with others right now.

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Women’s work-sign your work Anonymous needlepoint

I had meant to clean my dusty needlepoint doorstop and finally got around to pulling out the lint remover, which allowed the intricate needlework to be on display once more on our small doorstop. (I have a very uneven house–doorstops are essential or the door won’t stay open!) Once I started handling the doorstop to clean it, I wondered if there might be any initials on it. I knew the doorstop had come from my grandmother Marjorie’s (my namesake) house, and was brought to my parent’s house after my grandmother’s death, then moved to my house after my grandmother’s death. Once all dusted off, I looked closely, but found no initials.

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Old roads–along the Quinapoxit River, West Boylston, MA

Along the west bank of the Quinapoxit River, West Boylston

While visiting the area, we stopped along the Quinapoxit River to walk along an abandoned road that offers great views of the river. The pavement is still mostly intact, although several areas have lost some pavement from washouts in seasonal storms. The road is open to walkers and bicyclists.

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