On this day in 1946, an airplane flew over Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts and seeded the clouds with super-cooled ice crystals. The first-ever artificially-produced snow melted before it hit the slopes below, but the event created a national sensation. It marked the first field test of scientist Vincent Schaefer's laboratory experiments in which he produced precipitation by adding dry ice to lower the temperature of a chilled chamber. Although some people protested that tampering with nature might not be safe or proper, within three years ski resorts in the U.S. were experimenting with snowmaking. By 1952 the first snowmaking machinery was in regular use at a Catskill ski resort. Today, virtually every American ski area produces artificial snow, and snowmaking is a multi-million dollar global business.
Courtesy of Joan Stafford
It was sunny! the only criteria that mattered in order to start our ride. 10 well bundled-up riders enjoyed a great 20 mile pre-veterans day ride with Carleen. The route was tactfully chosen by our leader to avoid cold winds and clearly marked the previous night.
After the ride we enjoyed a wonderful potluck back at the house, tasty hot soup and roast plus salads, appetizers, snacks and desserts, accompanied by wine and limoncello.
Thank you Carleen
“Tempus fugit” or ‘time flew by’ is what happened to the 9 members of the Southwest Mystery group when we took a fascinating tour of the Willard House and Clock Museum in Grafton, MA. The homestead became the workshop of the four Willard brothers: Benjamin, Simon, Ephraim, and Aron, all of whom made extraordinary ‘tall case’ or grandfather clocks and decorative shelf clocks starting in 1766. The most famous timepiece, the “banjo” clock, was invented by Simon Willard who received a patent signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1802. Another of his patents, the Alarm Timepiece or ‘Lighthouse’ clock is considered the first alarm clock produced in America (we can thank Simon for making the time we get up in the am much too accurate!!). A delicious lunch followed at the Grafton Grill. Despite the chill in the air, the sunshine warmed us making for a wonderful day.
Wild weather struck Rhode Island on the scheduled day of the East Bay Bike Path ride, but seven members of the Gang gathered on the next day for the ride and picnic. It was windy and chilly so we did not tarry much on the way to Colt State Park. Upon arrival at the Park, we agreed that returning to Warren for warm food and drink in a local restaurants was a good idea. After lunch strong winds and a few showers met us toward the end of the ride. When we reached the end we all agreed that the challenge of inclement weather made the ride even more fun.
On Wednesday October 17th six members of the Southwest Mystery Group met for a private tour of the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum. A very knowledgeable museum guide walked us through the exhibit sections of the building from the beginning of Attleboro's textile production in the late 18th century through it's heyday in the 20th century as a hub of jewelry making. After the tour we made our way to the Canova Italian Bar and Grill for lunch. The food and service was quite good and the company was excellent as usual!
Photo: Chuck H., Linda McN., Diane B., Susan H., Leonora L. and Catherine P.
It was off to Salem NH on Wednesday October 10 to visit "America's Stonehenge”, an archaeological site with nature trails representative of those found in England. A half-mile walk provided interesting views of rock formations including wells, chambers, a Sacrificial Table which has a carved channel on its top and an astronomical viewing platform from which one can view the summer and winter solstice sunrise and sunset. So many rocks!! A perfect October 85 degree day. Then to lunch at Jasmines which was quite a delight.
Anne H., Judy T., Dawn M., Ann K., Carole B., Linda MacH., Joy T., Bobbie MacC., Nancy C., Polly M.
25 of us toured this Grand Dame of ball parks yesterday and heard the stories of its start, fame, misfortune (ugh, 86 years) and why everyone loves the oldest park in baseball history. We sat in the only wooden seats left in US ballparks (bring on the butt butter) and the new ones on the green monsta (the New Yorkers in the crowd were corrected . . . monster?), and gently brushed those in the upper luxury boxes. We saw what else happens at Fenway . . . who knew Irish Hurling is played there, or speed skating, or ski jumping or hockey? The sun was shining, the rooftop garden was in bloom, off to lunch at Boston Beerworks, and all was right with the Bosox world!
14 members of the gang got together to ride the trail. Although the forecast was for showers we started out in sunshine and it stayed sunny for most of the time. As we completed the 24 mile + ride the sky started to turn gray but luckily the showers held off and we enjoyed a great fall day. After the ride we all headed to the Tavern on the Square for brunch and lively conversation.
10 members gathered for a fascinating tour of Gore Place in Waltham, a 50-acre estate with a grand 1806 federal-style mansion, 1793 carriage house, working farm and extensive grounds and gardens.
Our docent was very knowledgeable and informative about the mansion and history, social context and stories of Christopher and Rebecca Gore. Christopher was a sought-after lawyer, wise investor and a Governor and Senator for Massachusetts, and Rebecca was passionate about horticulture and architecture and designed and drew up plans with a Parisian architect for the mansion which was in the style of the grand country houses of Europe.
After the tour, the group had a tasty lunch and lively conversation at John Brewer's Tavern just around the corner in Waltham.
Those in attendance from left to right, front to back in the photo were: Theresa L., Nancy B., Mary K., Barbara H., Merle W., Ruth G., Peg T., Lorraine T., Cathleen R. and Pat M-B.
Eleven TOHG members stayed for two nights at the Lawrencian Ski House as guests of Joan H-B and we were able to hike both days, with Joan H-B and Jane P. co-leading. Hiking on both days was unexpected because rain had been predicted, but it only rained Wednesday night when we went for dinner at The Wildcat Tavern in Jackson (a lucky 2-for-1 special).
On Wed., we hiked about four miles in mild weather around Echo Lake in Bartlett, NH. Then we hiked on part of the White Horse Ledge Trail where we stood right at the impressive base wall of the White Horse Ledge, and finally we went over to Diana’s Baths. The waterfalls were more beautiful than ever with the sun gleaming down on the rock ledges.
Thursday, we hiked up Mt. Willard and it was a crisp, crystal-clear day so the views at the top were wonderful. We made two challenging stream crossings (as it had rained cats & dogs the night before). It definitely called for hiking poles for almost all of us! The foliage change appeared to be late in Crawford Notch this year, probably because they haven’t yet had enough cold nights. We shed off our jackets on the way up the mountain as it got warmer. By the way, there were LOTS of rocks! (Did they multiply over the last two years?!)
The members in the photo are (left to right): Joan W., Ellen W., Marie H., Ann T., Jane B., Chris B., Maureen S., Joan H-B, Jane P., Janet H. & Pat D.
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