The day started out cool/cold, windy, and cloudy but we still managed to have 13 enthusiastic and adventurous gang members paddling the Mystic River. We reached the lower Mystic Lake but the winds pushed us back so we were not able to explore the beautiful coast line around the lake. The return trip to the launch was very enjoyable as the wind was on our backs all the way.
The usual families of birds were not to be seen this year. I think the wind blew them away. Still the river is quite beautiful with all the water lilies in bloom.
Everyone brought a picnic lunch and lots of “sweet” goodies to share, thanks to Toby B and Ilene and Daniel P.
Cathie P, Eileen H, Nonie L, Sue H and Chuck H
Five members of the South Mystery Group enjoyed a narrated train excursion on the Cape Cod Railway. We traveled from Buzzards Bay, across the canal on the Cape Cod railroad bridge, then along the canal to Sandwich. Along the way our narrator told us interesting facts about the famous Cape Cod Canal. We passed beautiful salt marshes and cranberry bogs along the way.
It was a beautiful sunny but windy day as 10 of us toured Gloucester’s Hammond Castle. Built from 1926 through 1929, Hammond Castle is the creation of John Hays Hammond Jr, a contemporary of Thomas Edison and known as “The Father of Radio Control”. Hammond was a prolific inventor, holding more than 400 patents spanning from the 1920s to the very early 1960s.
In attendance were Carole B, Anne H, Judy T, Nancy C, Dawn M, Joe M, Pam K, Lisa S, Camilla U
On a cloudy 65 degree day thirty members of the walking/ hiking group split into two groups and walked around Walden Pond.
One group walked 1.7 miles around the pond while the other walked a mile further to visit the Hayward Meadows section.
Both groups visited the Thoreau house site part way around; but then the Meadows group went to the marsh area where we saw beaver lodges and turtles. There were a number of trees that had been worked on by the beavers recently. This group also climbed up to the top of Emersons Cliff where we took a picture.
After returning to the visitors building we watched a very informative documentary produced by Ken Burns on Henry Thoreau. Lunch was on the deck outside.
Nine members of the South Mystery Group visited the Old Colony History Museum in Taunton, MA. Thanks to Saria Sweeney for arranging the "Museum without Walls" presentation that displayed the tour of the second floor exhibits led by Bronson Michaud. Some of the group followed along with Bronson upstairs while others sat in comfort and watched on a drop-down screen.
We saw artifacts from King Philip's War and the Revolutionary-era cannon given to Toby Gilmore, a local slave. On display were some of the first stoves ever made, manufactured by Glenwood and the Taunton Stove Company. A fashion display of period bridal gowns and a new display of recipes and cookbooks from that era were interesting.
There is so much to learn about the history of the original Old Colony that reached from Rehoboth to Provincetown and from Scituate to Dartmouth. The land today encompasses Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable counties. Our interest lasted much longer than the time I allowed for the event. Perhaps we can do it again and include a 1-mile walking tour of historic downtown Taunton.
Please visit their website: oldcolonyhistorymuseum.org for more detailed information.
Lunch at the nearby Liberty and Union Alehouse was equally enjoyable.
Twenty-two walking group members braved the wind and cool temperatures to walk around a portion of the Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge / Watertown. We met around 11 am at the Storey Chapel by the main entrance and walked about 3 miles and viewed some amazing statuary. Early spring flowers were blooming; including crocus, scilla, a patch of winter aconite, witch hazel, and a hellebore. The cemetery has an amazing collection of unusual trees including two types of cypress by one of the ponds.
After visiting the Washington Tower with amazing views of Boston and the Bigelow Chapel and the Sphinx Civil War Memorial, we went to visit the Mary Baker Eddy Monument.
After returning to the entrance some decided to head home rather than eat the bagged lunch outside. As we got ready to head to the park for lunch Hal Shear kindly invited ten of us back to his nearby condo where we were treated to fantastic views of the Boston skyline and Charles River and a warm place to eat our lunches.
We were delighted to be back at the Peruvian with its cozy atmosphere, inviting fireplace gathering areas, and relaxing outdoor hot tub and heated pool to soothe our muscles after a hard day on the slopes at Alta or adjacent Snowbird. We are so grateful to have had such an awesome week of skiing, excellent snow conditions, a fun, congenial group and no members injured. We're looking forward to an equally snowy and successful trip next year.
Good fortunes and good skiing, both downhill and cross-country, happily were reported at our Sunday River trip this year. As imparted by one of our members in this newsletter, there were ample opportunities for venturing out for cross-country skiing, and for that matter snowshoeing and hiking, right in the vicinity of the Sunday River Resort. For the most part, we had favorable weather, most typically in the mornings, and skiing conditions improved throughout the week. As in many circumstances in downhill skiing, variable conditions can exist throughout the days, and different skiers have different notions about the ski conditions, and the varied slopes. Several skiers ventured down the renown “White Heat” double diamond trail (STEEP!)
Our group of 29 members were fortunate in room accommodations because most of us were lodged in the same area and floor of the Grand Summit Hotel. Of course, we had four exceptions to this, but these four members would always be able to find us for après skiing and the like. Arrival night on Sunday was a rel welcome wih a pizza party right at the hotel, and we all met again on Tuesday evening for the traditional buffet. On other evenings we were able to find accommodations for après ski, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday evenings in gathering around a fireplace.
Sunday River Ski Trip from a non-skier I have found going on one or two of these ski trips a year is very enjoyable; I get to meet and socialize with a different group of Gang members than those I run into during the summer activities. Because I don’t ski downhill doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to do.
On this trip I packed my snowshoes, a pair of micro spikes and hiking boots. Bethel has a wonderful pathway that runs along the Androscoggin River in the valley; and I just needed my hiking boots to follow it for about 3 miles on two different days. The skiers were being troubled by some wind, but in the valley there was none. I went further afield to Greenwood (8 miles) on a different day and hiked without spikes (although I probably should have had them on) on the trails in "Maggie’s Nature Park” which I found online by looking for hiking trails in the area. Maggie’s was just a wonderful walk in the woods, a little steep in some areas but trails were marked extremely well so were easy to follow even with a snow covering of 2”.
There were some cross-country skiers in the group and they found both Carter’s Ski area and the trails at the Bethel Inn, which by the way has some great snowshoe trails also. Needless to say I ended each day in the pool and hot tub. It was a great trip and with a little investigation there is always somewhere to hike or snowshoe; it's just great to get out and move.
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