We have visted Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge a number of times, but typically in the winter, and often because we have been nearly certain we will spot snowy owls at some point during our visit. Because of impending rain, we hoped this popular spot would be less crowded, even though it was a holiday weekend in mid-summer. We were surprised, however, at the number of others who had the same idea we did, even as storm clouds threatened.Continue reading
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We visited the Franklin Falls Dam recreation area and found a great six mile long trail (basically a fire road) alongside the Pemigewasset River. The trail is in good condition, offering views of the river along almost the entire length of the path. Besides a great spot to enjoy the natural history of the area, we realized we had stumbled into some fascinating cultural history as well.Continue reading
Publicizing my latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, has been taking up a lot of my energy, so it was wonderful to get out on the trail with local grands over the weekend to help them enjoy the temporary Storywalk® posted along the trail at the SNETT in Bellingham near the Center Street entrance to the trail. New storywalks® will be posted each month
This handicapped accessible portion of the rail trail is busy these days, and got busier shortly after we’d finished reading the story when a group of folks hit the trail with the Franklin & Bellingham rail trail committee. Fortunately the trail is quite flat, wide, with extra space on each side of the stone dust trail where we could step off safely as groups of folks passed by. Most walkers wore masks, which we really appreciated.
The grands are both able to read these days, so it was fun to see them taking in the story page by page then rushing on to the next page of the story. They also took in the new signs posted by the rail trail committee, in cooperation with DCR, to identify various tree species along the trail. We got a little practice with our Latin as we walked.
Trolley Crossing Farm, which abuts the trail, has a produce stand next to the trail and local pumpkins were available.
The snag–you have to carry them back to the car with you.
My grands used some ingenuity to figure out a handy way to carry their small pumpkins, or as one said, her “pumpkinette.”
I had been on this same trail just the other day to tape another episode of our new Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.” We wanted to highlight the storywalk® and learned about more railroad history from the rail trail committee member who walked with us that day.
It’s fun to travel, but it’s also wonderful to slip in short walks right around the corner from where we live. We are so lucky to have this great trail, still under development, available to visit whenever we want. Happy trails!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More 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.
The oaks are particularly stunning this fall as the foliage season stretches past what we normally expect. But there are also maple trees that did not seem to get the message that they were supposed to change color in October. Continue reading
Summers in New England are relatively hot, except when they’re not. Continue reading
It’s been over 20 years since I was able to hop on a bike and pedal myself down a path. That saying, “just like riding a bike” always catches me—people think riding a bike is something you can’t forget how to do. Yet for some of us, because of balance issues caused by many things, riding a bike is exactly what we can no longer do. Maybe it’s not that big a deal for some folks. But before my life changed because of surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumor, I was physically very active. I loved to get outside, loved to walk, loved to swim, loved to dance, and biking was something that was easy for me. Continue reading
Last month I had an unfortunate encounter with an overenthusiastic farm dog, all while standing too close to the edge of the farm porch. The resulting fall has kept me homebound the past month, icing my hip, lower back, ribs, and shoulders as I waited for my body to heal. Gratefully, I have no broken bones, but walking has been quite painful.
Strangely, walking on level floors has been more painful than climbing stairs. Yesterday, as the sun rose and the sky filled with blue, I thought, why not climb straight up Joe’s Rock? Continue reading
When I was growing up in S. Florida, we read Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” which left a lasting impression on me. I can still picture a lone man in the wilderness, struggling against the elements, fingers so cold he failed to hold onto precious matches, which were dropped, useless, into the wet snow. It’s been bitterly cold in New England, in the minus digits, something I associate with Alaskan, or Yukon Territories sort of locale, not New England. Whenever it gets this cold my thought go back to the reading of this classic story, and I want only to stay inside, sheltered and warm.
And yet, after a day or two, the cold relents, and the urge to get outside takes over. This afternoon it was a balmy 23 degrees F, so we ventured to a nearby trail I hadn’t visited in a long while, Continue reading
I have heard it said that understanding and sharing your past can change your future, but it was only recently that I began to fully grasp this truth.
In my work as a freelance writer and personal historian, I often ask people, “How did you get to where you are today?” The question might be in reference to a person’s vocation, but it may also simply be about how a person came to live in a certain place. The answers I’ve received have been endlessly fascinating. Continue reading