Left to right: Matt G, Elizabeth B, Hyman S, Laurie W, Richard W, Daniel Y, Barbara B, Sandy S, Jill F, Meredith P, Larry M. Not in photo: Ann Marie D, Miriam J, Linda V, Hal S. Photographer: Pat G.
It started out looking like a cloudy/rainy day but Mother Nature came through again for our first kayak trip of the season. Sixteen enthusiastic club members showed up for a relaxing yet long paddle on the Mystic River.
Three miles of beautiful scenery, with lily pads in bloom, brought us to the lower Mystic Lake where we enjoyed a cool breeze while we explored the locks, beautiful lake front homes, and beaches. On the river we saw blue herons, ducks, geese, a family of swans and one very aggressive “male” swan, protecting his cygnets.
Most of us stayed around for a picnic lunch and everyone expressed how enjoyable the paddle was.
Looks like a keeper.
Twenty-six riders lucked out with the weather on the day of our ride! After the week of 90-degree weather and then pouring rain, Sunday was a beautiful, sunny ,70+ degree day. The rides were very much enjoyed after being cooped up for so long with COVID, but the camaraderie afterward in my back yard made us feel really ecstatic. Free at last, free at last! During the 10-mile ride, one female member who will not be named (you know who you are), took a detour and was picked up by a strange man who threw her bike into his trunk, then drove her to Kimball’s ice cream, reuniting her with the group. What some girls won’t do!
The 20-milers had such a grand time dawdling around at Great Brook Farm Ice Cream, they came back to the house quite late.Even so, as usual, there was plenty of food left for them. Everyone brought a LOT of wonderful food. Thanks to all for taking part!
The steamy hot weather finally broke to a comfortable 70 degrees just in time for the South Mystery Group to meet at Roger Williams Park in Providence, RI for our June outing. We gathered in the parking lot of the Botanical Garden Center and walked around and through the four beautiful greenhouses housing the largest collection of tropical trees and flowers in New England. We viewed many different species of palm trees, including banana trees, as well as different species of orchids in bloom, a coy fish pond, and a small waterfall. We learned that students from the University of Rhode Island are the caretakers of this beautiful botanical collection. Then we moved outside to view the fully blooming rose garden built around a gazebo-like structure. We quizzed each other about our choice of favorite rose color. Red and peach seem to win out.
We then walked to a picnic area and lunched on our delicious, brought-from- home foods. After lunch—on to our favorite walk, which we chose from five different selections of various lengths offered in the park (from 1/2 mile to 6 miles). Adding to the charm and beauty of the walking experience are the many small lakes with walking trails around them.
We ended the day with a fond farewell and agreed that we eagerly look forward to seeing each other in person again for next month’s Mystery Event!
Elaine M and Joe McG
From left: Dan Y, Meredith P, David R, Nancy B, Jane P, Dori C, Nonie L, Ruth G, Cathie Pi (Behind the camera: Maryann D)
On a clear, warm spring day with a bit of a cool breeze, ten members hiked up Sudbury’s historic Nobscot Hill for a 2.5 mile trek up rugged trails to its “Tippling Rock” peak, for a lookout view of the Boston skyline 20+ miles to the east, as well as the Channel 5 TV towers” in Needham, and the Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett. Along the trails we found wildflowers, a garter snake, a small waterfall, many cabins, and some 4-foot bridges. The many latrines on the trails came in handy during the 1 and 1/2 hour hike. Also, short uphills, plenty of rocks and tree roots to skirt, a lookout tower, a vernal pool, and a 1796 Small-Pox burial cemetery.
Afterwards, a lunch of the best sandwiches around was eaten outside under an umbrella at the nearby Coffee Works Sandwich and Coffee Shop. Conversations about TOHG’s historic and sometimes comical stories provided entertainment.
Elsie L., Sue R., Nonie L., Stephanie O., Ines A., Barbara H., Cathy P., and Jane Ph. taking the photo
The sun came out, the wind remained a breeze, and the temperature was perfect for a hiking. This state run park offers many hiking trails, biking, kayaking and recently opened camping. Eight energetic and enthusiastic women attended this exploration of Massasoit on trails with views of Lake Rico and a picnic lunch on the shore of Big Bear Hole Pond. We walked about 4 miles, saw a muskrat lodge, two baby turtles, lots of skunk cabbage, swans with their cygnets and a bunch of yellow flowers that we could not identify but Jane promised to research. Thanks to all who attended.
On April 26 five walkers started off at Gate 40 at the Quabbin Reservoir near Petersham, MA. The temperature was around 48 degrees and cloudy; we all bundled up wearing everything we brought for clothing. Walking was on an old paved roadway. Numerous very old trees lined the sides of the road in various degrees of decay and several types of wildflowers were blooming. We passed several old foundations where the homes had been razed to make way for the flooding of the area for the reservoir. The town of Dana had been completely removed in the 1930s, but the common is above the water level and had many foundations with informational plaques indicating which building had been on that spot. We enjoyed our bagged lunches there. The group continued on for another half mile when two of the walkers turned around to make their way back to the parking area a distance of approximately 3 miles total. Three of us continued on down the road to the end where it disappeared into the reservoir. The sun eventually came out as we walked further and we started shedding all those extra layers.
Along the way we encountered a porcupine, what looked like a tuft of fur from a fox, two loons in the reservoir, marsh marigolds blooming, and a lot of coyote scat. The total round trip to the water's edge was around 8.5 miles and we were all tired when we returned to the cars.
All in all a really great walk, and one to be repeated in the fall.
From left: Katherine (Jeanne) M., Karen L., Joan A., David R., Dori C., Betsy B., Kathy W., Meredith P., Mary McG., Nancy M. and Robert R.. (Jane took the photo.)
Twelve TOHG members hiked on Friday, April 23rd at the Smith Conservation Land, a property owned by the Sudbury Valley Trustees, on a sunny, windy day. Fortunately, the woods provided protection from the wind gusts and we were all very comfortable for the 3.6 mile walk. We started out on a ridge, high above beautiful Black Pond, ending up in the Harvard Conservation Land adjacent to Littleton Common Road. Along the way there were a lot of small ups and downs, with roots and rocks. On the return trip, we headed down to Black Pond, crossing a small stream and then back over it again to the main trail. The final portion of the hike took us along an old carriage path that was once used by a farmstead, with rock walls along both sides.
Afterwards, some of us went to Kimball’s in Westford for ice cream or lunch and another group went to IL FORNO’S restaurant in Littleton for an Italian luncheon.
From left: Dori C., Nancy M., Jeanne M., Meredith P., Joan A., Dawn M., Ellen W., Jan G., Chris B. and Joel S. (Missing from photo: Charlotte D., Steve P. and Jane P.)
On a bluebird-type day, 13 members hiked 4.4 miles in the Delaney Pond area through Stow, Bolton, and Harvard. We walked in a meadow and through woods next to the Elizabeth Brook to a dam where Great Brook comes in, the water from both leading south to the Assabet River in Stow. The Delaney Complex was built in 1971 to provide flood control and Delaney Pond was formed as a result. It’s a favorite area for nature lovers; we could hear woodpeckers and flickers and we saw lots of swallows, turtles and a pair of swans. Joel Snider pointed out a beautiful Mourning Cloak butterfly, the first type of butterfly in our area to come out in the spring—hooray!! We all sat on a huge log near the pond to have our lunch on the loop trail back. We also welcomed a brand new member on the hike, Jeanne (Katherine) M. It was a great day to be alive!
Jane P. and Meredith P.
Left to right: Jane P., Robert R., Liz C., Carol B., Jan G., Jill F., Dawn M., Ruth G., and Jackie A.. (Ross T. took the photo.)
What could be better than a scenic rail trail, a sunny pleasant Spring day, and 10 very enthusiastic very pleasant TOHG members? It would be hard to top the weather, the trail, and the group that walked the Cochituate Rail Trail on Tuesday. The 5 mile round trip began on the older section in the Saxonville area of Framingham and continued onto the new section in Natick, all the way to Rte 9, our turn around point. Our picture was taken at Camp Arrowhead on the shore of Lake Cochituate.
From left: Carleen, Ellen, Pete, Nancy, Helgard, Elizabeth, Nora, Bruce, Jane, and Susan. Missing from this photo are Charlie (left early) and Anne Marie (sprained her knee).
The ski gods smiled on us, this last trip of the season —three days of quintessential spring skiing! Twelve skiers made their way to the Sugarloaf Inn, one joined us from a nearby facility, and three went missing in the back woods of Maine overnight and finally arrived the next day.
We celebrated the usual Gang mixture of good food and drink, wonderful camaraderie, and as much, or as little, skiing as desired. In keeping with the mellow vibe of the trip, some went out early, preferring the firmer snow, others went out later, opting for softer conditions, but we could all meet up for a sun-soaked mid-mountain lunch. The fourth day brought low clouds and deteriorating snow conditions, but many intrepid members still managed to salvage some decent skiing from the day.
The Sugarloaf Inn is a slightly funky relic of the 60s (aren’t we all!), but it’s comfortable, with friendly and accommodating staff and a surprisingly ambitious restaurant. Breakfasts were included in our room rate; dinners were a la carte and were consistently imaginative and well-executed.
Susan L., Carleen McO.
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