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.
Walking the Carrabassett trail in Maine
Weather went from a low of 18 degrees on Monday and Tuesday to a gradual warm up over the next three days moving from the mid to high thirties on Wednesday to even the fifties by Thursday and Friday. For our trip, Mark Twain's quote surely applied: "If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes." Good Times were reported by all.
Warming up after single digit skiing
Snow started gently falling the afternoon we arrived at Old Field House, and continued through the night and all the next day. Conditions for skiing and snowshoeing were ideal– on a scale of 10 , they were an 11!!
The first evening found us gathered in the family room of Old Field House sharing fruits of the grape, munchies and conversation with a fire burning in the fireplace. Pizza and salad were on the menu for supper, followed by desserts made by Peg T and Judy T.
Gang members went to Jackson, Bear Notch and Whittier Woods where conditions for both skiing and snowshoeing were super! All that exercise worked up our appetites, so we strolled across the street to enjoy great meals at the tavern at New England Inn the next two nights. Of course, the diehard game players entertained themselves with various fun card games in the evening.
Wednesday afternoon’s highlight was a trip to the Mount Washington Hotel to enjoy cocktails in the windowed great room overlooking Mount Washington in all its snowy splendor.
Great time, great companions, great conditions – who could ask for more???
The trip was planned on the prediction of snow and yes there was perfect snow at Appleton Farms on January 31.
This an area is managed by the Trustees of Reservations and the cross-country ski trials are groomed by the North Shore Nordic Ski Association. So even though the fresh snow was deep, there were groomed trails with tracks to ski on.
It has a large area for parking and the lot was plowed. And at our 1:00 start time, the parking lot was close to full.
The sun was shining and there was vey little wind. It made for a perfect afternoon of skiing for Ilene and Dan P, Dan Y, Mary McG, Karen L, Miriam J and Anne W, trip leader.
COPYRIGHT © 2023
TOP OF THE HILL GANG
All Rights Reserved