Ten members of the Hub Mystery Group toured the Harrison Gray Otis House, the only surviving mansion in the Bowdoin Square neighborhood in Boston. Built in 1796 by Charles Bullfinch, a friend of Harry and Sally Otis, it has been restored to its original glory by Historic New England. As we toured, our guide related family history along with details about the design and decoration of the rooms.
After our tour we all enjoyed a delicious lunch at a nearby Italian restaurant.
All 27 of us agreed it was a spectacular day for the ride including five new members who must have brought us their beginner’s luck for the weather. A big “Welcome” to you guys! I couldn’t have ordered better weather—about 70 degrees, sunny, and the foliage was gorgeous. A big thank you again to Al G. and Paul McH. for leading and sweeping the 20-mile ride; also, to Joe and Dawn doing the same for the 10- mile ride. (I said I was the sweep for the 10 milers, but really, I just was the slowest one.) Next year I hope to start earlier in the year.
Back at the house, we feasted on meatballs, chili, chicken wings, cheesy potatoes, tangy coleslaw, potato and pasta salad, 2 apple pies, other numerous desserts, and wine and beer. There was great camaraderie sitting in the backyard in our shirtsleeves. Thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable!
Six members of the Metrowest Mystery Group visited the Lillooet Sheep and Cheesery in Boxford, Ma on October 10. Farm owner Nathaniel Higley and cheese maker Erin Bligh (standing in picture) gave us a tour of the farm where we learned about regenerative agriculture, pasture management, small scale dairy and cheese making. We tasted goat Chèvre, sheep Tilo and goat Jane Goodall cheeses. Lillooet is the only farmstead sheep dairy in the state. Afterwards we went to lunch at The Spot in Georgetown. Chris. B., Carol B., Jan G., Al G., Lainie O’C. and Jane P. all agreed it was a wonderful experience and tasting.
Eight members and two guests walked the Freedom Trail in Boston on a day that was to be rainy, but never became so. We wandered past the Robert Shaw Memorial, The Granary Burying Ground, Kings Chapel, The Old State House originally the first home of the Boston Latin School, The Old South Church, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s House and the Old North Church before some of us ended with a great lunch at la Familia Georgio’s on Salem St. in the North End. We also stopped to purchase treats from Bova also in the North End.
The Walkers included: Sue B. Maureen D., Barbara H., Elaine M., Margaritt McN., Scott M., Jane P., Kathryn U., Kathleen W., and Meredith P.
The South West Mystery Group spent a delightful time on a #10 day on September 27 at the Lane Property conservation area in Foxboro. The plans were that we could take a short or longer walk with a volunteer guide, Bill. This is a protected space on Neponset Reservoir with 1 1/2 miles of shoreline in Foxboro with pine forests, to a sandy peninsulas extending into the Reservoir, Blueberry Island and the dam. We began with the "Story Book Trail” at the parking lot, following an old dirt road through a peaceful pine forest and the Neponset Reservoir before circling back through a woodland trail to the start. Some preferred a shortened walk and others the longer hike of two miles. Afterwards we sat at a picnic table with our lunches overlooking Crack Pond watching the Canadian Geese floating by. Rosemary Smith astounded us all as she had already set the table, before our arrival, with tablecloths, napkins, plates, etc. and brought a fabulous array of fresh fruit; vegetable tray with dip; watermelon and red/white wine. Bill, our guide and his wife were invited to join us. It truly was a peaceful and amazing way to spend the day. Joan S. L-R Ann C., Joe C., Rosemary S., Joan S., Maggie C., Betty F. Missing from picture Maureen D., Bill R. and the guides.
Eleven TOHG members enjoyed a trip to the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire in late September when the fall foliage was near peak. Nine members stayed at the Lawrentian Ski House in Bartlett, while two others joined us on the day of the hike up Mt. Willard. Our trip began on Tuesday with a two-hour walk around Bartlett’s cross-country ski trails and along the Saco River. On Wednesday, nine members climbed Mt. Willard, while three others explored the Angel Trail. On Thursday, several members climbed up to view the beautiful Ripley’s Waterfall. Members enjoyed meeting new friends and catching up with old friends during social hour on the porch. We all enjoyed the TOHG camaraderie!
Joan H-B. and Jane P.
Almost all arrived for this perfect day on the River - all well behaved, no one fell out. Lunch was plentiful and tasty.
Twenty TOHG members enjoyed a very pleasant and picturesque walk around Horn Pond in Woburn on a beautiful sunny day!
Thank you to all participants:
Chris B., Jerry and Ruth G., Marge C., David R., Gale K., Jane Ph., Nancy B., Nancy Ch., Jan G., Barbara H., Pat R., Ellen G., Gail W. (Ellen’s guest), Ann Ch., Dawn M., Joe M., Frank C., Kathleen McE. and me,
After our Horn Pond walk, we were invited to Luise S. for a look at her beautiful garden and to share a light lunch.
The Gang went big on Labor Day. Forty-five bikers came for the ride and 54 of us enjoyed the cookout afterwards. Actually, we were socializing so happily in the Marblehead high school parking lot that we started our rides a bit late. We decide to split the 22-mile group of 25. Don T. led the first section and Jim A. the second. They made it all the way to the tip of Nahant. Their sweeps were Marco A. and Pat G. Polly T. led twenty 10-milers with sweeps David and Jean J.
After the ride, 53 members and one guest met at Don and Polly's for our cookout. Despite the prediction of an afternoon rain, it held off until four o’clock, when we’d planned to leave anyway. Al G. was the star chef. He cooked 37 hamburgers, 20 hot dogs and 12 sausage servings. Everyone brought munchies, a salad, or a desert. No one, no one, went hungry. Best of all they had a good chance to connect with each other.
Thank you for coming, friends all,
Polly and Don
Stone Age Bike Racks (by Don)
The pickleball outing was quite fun if I do say so myself. Many want to do it again. We had 19 Gang members and the two instructors from Billerica. With the four courts all going at once, everyone got a good workout. When the instructor said, “We can take a break for a while and get some water.”, some of the members kept on practicing their strokes not stopping for a second! The 1st timers practiced just hitting some easy balls, then moved on to serving, and then to playing (without scoring). I told them I would be taking pictures of all the foolish looking maneuvers that were made, but since I was the only one looking foolish, I negated that rule. Mother nature was kind to us with a little breeze and low temperatures – not those 90+ degree temperatures we’ve been getting. Most of us went out to the 99 Restaurant for lunch and then headed home. I’m so grateful the instructors volunteered to help because if I was on my own, people would have left more confused than ever – probably vowing never to play pickleball again.
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