Top of the Hill Gang Cape Cod Weekend, 2018 The official weekend was kicked off on Friday, June 1st with a bike ride from North Falmouth to Woods Hole on the Shining Sea Bikeway. The rain that had been forecast was supposed to stop by 10 AM (the start time of the ride). The parking lot was full of TOHG bike riders by 9:30 AM and off we rode. There were a few sprinkles along the way, but nothing to stop this hearty group. By the time we reached Woods Hole, it appeared the rain had stopped and even a little sun shone through, however on the ride back to North Falmouth, the sky opened up and the majority of the group rode back in the drenching rain. I never heard a complaint, and most of us were soaked to the skin, I even overheard someone say that was the best part of the weekend.
Friday evening was the well-attended (at least 110 THOG members) Pizza party with tons of appetizers, salads, snacks and of course a wonderful variety of delicious pizza and lots and lots of people catching up with each other.
Saturday offered far better weather than Friday and there were three bike rides to choose from; one to Chatham, another longer version to Chatham which included the lighthouse in Chatham and one to Provincetown.
There was also a group who took a walking tour. And from what I could tell, TOHG members did their part frequenting the local ice cream establishments after bike rides or walking tours.
Saturday evening many people made reservations at one of the many great restaurants in the area and various groups headed out for the evening to enjoy dinner on their own.
Both Saturday and Sunday mornings TOHG members filled the breakfast rooms at Bayside Resort with loud conversations and lots of laughter.
Sunday many people headed home while others joined in another bike ride.
Big thank you to Linda and Walter B., Dawn M. and Joe M., Linda and Paul McH. and Ray G, for coordinating bike rides for this weekend, Ines and Marco A. for their website assistance and to everyone who helped with the set up and clean up for the Pizza party. This popular weekend is in part a success because so many people pitch in to help and because we really seem to know how to enjoy ourselves even in the rain.
Ellie G. - Cape Cod Weekend Coordinator
Thursday Canal Ride with the early arrivals: Sue R, Rich K, Marie A, Maryann D, Jim A, Jane P, Joe M, Kate K, Dawn M, Jane B.
Joe and Dawn
The Hub Mystery Group is discovering that the Boston Area has numerous fascinating places. On May twenty fourth we visited Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown. Our guide Kevin Hartigan, was a font of information. He made the 185 year history of this famous school fascinating, recounting the work and passion of many men and women who founded this impressive place. He related anecdotes about famous students like Helen Keller and not so famous, yet equally brilliant, Laura Bridgeman who was deaf and blind yet capable and accomplished. We learned how inventive and creative the teachers and students are. While there we saw several students traveling the halls independently to classes, using different tools to assist their trip. Afterwards we walked across the street to the Watertown Diner and shared good food and conversation.
Deep within the heart of Easton, lies a geothermal spring that is protected by 146 acres of woodland. With an origin of Nova Scotia, Canada, the water travels beneath the earth’s crust directly to the Simpson spring in Easton. This water resource dates back before the Native Americans who used it. Our group toured the facility from the water source to bottling and viewed many of their historical artifacts. Easton Spring also have for purchase fresh farm products, vendor crafts and food at the cafe on Saturdays. We enjoyed lunch at the Fresh Catch in Mansfield that included Betty F, Linda K, Faye S, Joan S, Lucille S & trip leader Rosemary S.
Twenty TOHG members rode a pleasant twenty miles round-trip on the Bruce Freeman Bike Trail between Chelmsford and Acton on Monday, May 21st. It was a picture-perfect day with Goldilocks temperatures, dry air and no wind. Many riders had not been on the newly completed section of the trail from Westford to Acton and they loved it. We stopped for lunch halfway in Acton at Filhos Great Road, just off the trail, and most had $10 lunch specials (very tasty). Meredith P, Chuck H, Harry F, Allan G, Dennis U, Dawn M, Betsy B, Jimmy W, Jane P, Kate K, Nancy B, Ines A, Mary W, Pat K, John C, Ellen W, David R and Sue B.
Missing from the photo: Pat P and Chris B.
LR: Wendy R, David R, Maggie C, Stephanie O, Elsie L, Joe C and Jane P.
On Sunday, May 20th, seven members of the Gang ventured out in very iffy weather to walk on the Blackstone Heritage Canal route to the remains of the old locks and beyond. Some May wildflowers were in bloom, including lady slippers, as well as bird sightings (a great blue heron, for one) and a turtle. We walked a total of six miles and those who needed refreshments at the end went to the Muffin House.
Chris B., Cathleen R., Nancy C., Sue B., Jane P., Chis and Jane P.
Six TOHG members, plus a guest, went on a seven mile walk on the Assabet River Rail Trail between Stow and South Acton on Tuesday, May 8th. It was perfect weather, starting out cool and ending up quite warm when we got out of lunch at the Brook Kitchen & Tap in Maynard center. No one, except Jane (who lives about a mile from the trail) had been on the AART before. The newest section, between the town of Maynard and the South Acton train station (on the Fitchburg commuter rail line), is very scenic with woods, ponds and marshes. Bicycling and kayaking are also very popular past times along and next to the trail.
Our group met on May 5 at the Westford, Ma East Boston Camp Recreation Area for a walk around the lake and a then a pot luck lunch and BBQ.
On Sunday, April 29th, eight of us went to Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA to see a field of more than 75,000 blossoming daffodils and many other beautiful flowers and trees . When we arrived it was raining but it stopped just as we finished going through the Limonaia and the Orangerie and decided to go outdoors to the daffodil field and various trails and gardens on the property. An unusual new stickwork installation called “The Wild Rumpus” was quite amazing. When it was time for lunch, we all went into Clinton (five miles away) to the Clinton Bar & Grille. None of us had ever been there before but it ended up being a very good choice and a place we would all like to go back to sometime. The food was exceptional (and the wine was, too)! The group included Marco A., Jean M. and daughter Barbara, Joe M., Dawn M., Meredith P., Jane P. and David R.
On Thursday, April 26 the southwest mystery group had a very interesting day. They toured the Botanical Gardens at Roger Williams Park. This greenhouse garden includes hundreds of species and it’s the largest of its kind in New England. The botanical gardens are inside the massive Roger Williams Park, named after one of the state's founders. On display were many Fairy Gardens which were truly a delightful piece of artwork with lots of imagination. Some of us got to design and make our own Fairy Wands. After spending a couple of hours exploring the gardens and saying hello to the goats, we went to Gregg's Pub for lunch. It was a time of getting to know one another even better and interests we each had. The Fairy Exhibit is there all season so it was recommended to be put on a to-do list for some of our families and friends.
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