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
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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
I’ve been steadily working away at updating my first trails book, Easy Walks in Massachusetts. My first attempt at this sort of publication, Easy Walks, the first edition, lacked maps to trail heads, left out a number of area towns in the Blackstone River Valley, and omitted several really nice trails in the area the book covered. I’ve learned of some new trail systems, some quite nice, that I wanted my readers to know about. Continue reading
Most of my outings are done with one, at most two other people. On these walks we check out a new area, and having few people along makes it easier to work with any surprises we might find along the trail.
This past week I participated in a couple “group hikes,” led by other groups. Last weekend, the Providence County hiking Club took 15 folks out on the trails at Diamond Hill State Park. An outing of this sort requires having folks who lead (and know where they’re going!) as well as “sweep” roles–a person or people who make sure those at the back don’t get left behind.
The other group hike I participated in is part of an ongoing through December, every Thursday afternoon, 1PM at F. Gilbert Hills (Foxboro State) Forest, 45 Mill Street, Foxboro. Continue reading
The first time I visited Ashland State Park, I approached it from the far side of the reservoir. My friend Sandra lives across the street from the reservoir and that day we slid down a steep slope to the dam, and stumbled through poorly kept poorly-marked trails that were steep and rooty and rocky. As we finished our walk, Sandra asked if it felt like we’d taken an Easy Walk.
“NO!” I answered. Although the reservoir is quite lovely, Continue reading
Douglas State Park in Douglas, MA is probably best known for its swimming and boating. Lots of folks enjoy fishing there, and with hundreds of picnic tables set up near the water, it’s clearly a favorite spot for families to gather in the summer.
I’m not really a summer person. I tend to visit “seasonal” places like Wallum Lake at the state park in Douglas in the “off” season, when the crowds have gone home. Continue reading