Category Archives: Blog posts–Easy Walks

Overcoming fears…

Friends and family make the impossible, possible

An imagination is a terrible thing to waste; I practice using mine every day. At times well-intentioned people have advised me to “just relax.” If it were so easy, I would have become calm and serene long ago, unruffled as I anticipate life’s challenges.

For the most part, I’ve been surrounded by caring people who have been patient with my timidity, encouraging me, while staying nearby throughout the process of coping with change. Always alert to instances of “creative hand-holding,” I store these memories away, never knowing when they might be of use. Perhaps because of this, I’ve been drawn to beginners, fascinated by the transition from “I can’t” to “Hey, look at me!”

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What a difference a day makes–Getting out early

Ahhh, the cool of morning calls me back to Silver Lake (with no cooling vest or scarf)

One of the tips in my new book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are for avoiding crowds on trails is to head out early. When we got up this morning the temperature was in the 50s. Yeah! After a quick breakfast, we headed down to the lake for a quick walk before starting work, and it felt wonderful.

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Staying close to home–visiting Silver Lake with grands

Hanging out at the lake with my girl and grands

Since the beginning of the pandemic this spring, I have seen little of my sweet grands, even though they live in town. We are staying more remote than they have been able to, which has made visits difficult. But outdoor walks alongside Silver Lake work, with all of us wearing masks and walking apart from each other.

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Have a Plan B, exploring in Central MA

Congregational Church, Dudley MA

We headed out to Dudley, MA, planning to park at Nichols College to bike a rural route from there on road. The sun shone bright, we found a spot next to the entrance to the college, and saw next to no one around. Everything was a go, bike all set, extra ice packed, bike tools packed, snacks. And then, the cooling vest didn’t quite work right.

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Blueberry Heaven

Ripening blueberries, joys of summer

I head outside to pick berries in the early morning light, or after dinner when the sun goes down and the air begins to cool. It has been hard for me to keep active with the summer heat, but as I stretch and twist around the knarled branches that have shared this yard with me for so many years, I laugh. Yes, Blueberry yoga, that’s what I’ve been doing. Bending, stretching, reaching, stepping, pulling the flexible limbs down to where I can pluck ripened fruit from the branches and drop them into the bowl waiting to be filled. Mindfully studying the fruit, searching for the deeply purple berries and allowing the nearly ripe to remain in the sunshine to sweeten some more.

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Charlestown, RI quiet roads

Historical cemetery alongside the road near the Burlingame Wildlife Management Area

We are continuing our quest to #avoidcrowds, and after looking at maps, focused on the area around the Burlingame Wildlife Management Area in Charlestown, RI as a place to explore, and perhaps return to visit trails when it is cooler. For now, we are getting me out on our adaptive tandem bike, with cooling gear making it possible for me to enjoy the outdoors, even on these days it has been 90+ degrees out. You who are able to sweat have no idea how much this body function helps in keeping your body temperature regulated. Those of us who cannot sweat either suffer, become terribly ill, or sometimes find ways to manage.

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Back to quiet country roads, Foster-Glocester, RI

Views of Ponaganset Reservoir

It was back to road-tripping for us, on an overcast, somewhat cooler week day, to enjoy time on our adaptive tandem bike. We have been putting into practice some of the tips to avoid crowds that we share in our upcoming book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. 1. Get out on weekdays when you can, rather than weekends; 2. Leave early in the morning; 3. Head out on overcast, rather than bright sunny days.

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Early morning ride on the Burrillville Bike Path

Pascoag Reservoir, near the Burrillville bike path

We continue to practice what we tell others they can do to #Avoidcrowds. We packed our bike the night before, including everything we’d need for the morning and got up early to head out first thing. It promised to be a hot, muggy day, and we wanted to avoid the worst of the heat. Our destination was Pascoag, RI, (a village in Burrillville) to a very short paved bike path. Our plan was to start at the Burrillville Bike path, and do some road biking from there.

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Blackstone Gorge on Chronicle WCVB TV

Such fun to share with viewers of the TV magazine show Chronicle (Channel 5 Boston) the wonders of the Blackstone Gorge. I have been visiting the Gorge for over 30 years, in all seasons, and each visit offers a different view of the Blackstone river and the gorge itself.

The head of the Blackstone Gorge, Blackstone, MA

Thanks to the Blackstone Heritage Corridor for their support during this visit. A great time all around. Here’s the 3 minute video clip if you missed it. Happy trails!

Marjorie

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.

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Exploring in Groton, MA

Mountain views from the General Field in Groton

We are continuing our quest to #avoidcrowds in our outings, with mixed results. We found a trail access to the Nashua River Rail trail as it travels through Groton, MA but the grade crossing had no parking. So we set off to find a safe place to park and set up our adaptive tandem.

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