Saturday, December 3, 2016

Catching Up

So it has been over a month since I last posted..we have been walking most Sundays, only missing one but I have been under the weather and maybe just a bit lazy as well so the posting of the blog has fallen behind.. so here goes

October 30, 2016 - Miller Brook Conservation Area

Kathy's Coffee Shop, Westport
Our morning started at Kathy's Coffee Shop in Westport, breakfast was great, good toast, and friendly service. A good start to the day. After a ten minute drive we arrived at a parking area on Copicut Road and started our hike off into the woods. This is a highly recommended place for an easy walk and you can determine the length. This day we walked about two and a half miles..although there was some disagreement about this as our apps that record our movement seemed to bot be confused.. I think about 2 and  a half miles.
Lots of stone walls.
We hiked through wonderful old growth trees and areas of stone walls that boggle the imagination. Once we made our way back to the car we crossed over the road and went and explored the reservoir, which to our eyes seemed very low with lots of exposed rocks. A great place to explore. Back to the can and home in time to watch the Patriots.
A short Movie is below

November 6, 2016 - Caratunk, Seekonk

Carol and Kathy at Caratunk
Our dear friend Kathy joined us this morning and after a great breakfast at a local diner we headed to Seekonk, MA (10 minuted from our house) and had a  very pleasant 2 mile walk. This is our favorite 'close by' walk. It is not too long, and since we were all feeling a bit under the weather it fit the bill just nicely.
We seemed to have the place to our selves and hikes several of the trail making a large loop around the perimeter of the preserve. There were a variety of plants and although the area is know for the birdwatching... I don't think we ever saw a single bird on this trip. In the final mile of the walk we came upon a stand of Hickory trees and the nuts were easy picking. I thin this was the first time Kathy had seen a Hickory nut so of course I had to mess with them with my knife and I stained just about everything. . .
Hickory Nuts
When I was a kid growing up we had a huge Hickory tree in our back yard and we always gathered several bushels of nuts and let them dry out so we could feed the squirrels all winter long. When we returned to the parking lot it was completely full. It seems that we were not the only ones to go hiking that day.

November 13, 2016 - Parker Woodland

At the Seaplane Diner
 This day we started off at one of my favorite actual Diners in Rhode Island, the Seaplane Diner on Allen's Avenue in Providence. This is a typical spot for my friend Kathy and I to go sketching when the weather is too cold or too dark because of the early hours we keep, but this time it is where we started our hiking day. Being Sunday it was not the same crowd that I normally see there. This time the service and the food only qualified as adequate..maybe weekdays are better. From Providence we drove out to Coventry and the George B. Parker Woodlands. Another fantastic spot in Rhode Island that we had never heard of.
Along the trail
The trail here varied from narrow and un even with some climbing to dead flat wide walking trails, and it seemed a very popular place as we met quite a few folks along the trail. I am always impressed with the amount of stone here in New England. Being raised in Illinois we had neither many hills and almost no stone in the ground..this landscape is a treat for me.. 
A split rock.
The weather has been very cooperative this fall, as we have had almost no rainy Sundays and yet we have been having rain during the weeks.  Well into the woods we came upon the Vaughn Farm. A homestead site that dated back to 1750 when the Vaughn family first settled here.  Carol and I explored the site which was well 
Carol explores the foundation
marked and well documented. It was also in these woods that we came across an area where there was over 120 cairns that one one could explain. These large stacks of rock were scattered across the hillside and some were quite large in the 4 to 6 foot high range. A lot of speculation surrounds the apparently..some think the Phoenicians built them, some think native Americans..and of it could have been those pesky little green aliens that we hear about and never see.  There was a couple of beautiful streams and some wooden raised platforms and bridges.. a variety of things along this trail. Another two and a half mile walk. Lovely.
The final past back
Another of those unknown spots that could become a favorite. Such a wide variety of terrain. 
Cairn Field - so strange

The photo on the right is the area where the cairns were. It is such a strange place to stumble upon way out in the woods.

November 20, 2016 - Rehoboth State Forest

At the KP Grille
The KP Diner as we have always known it is a great stop on Route 44 in Rehoboth Massachusetts - our old hometown. Carol and I lived in Rehoboth for over 25 years and it is the town that Carol grew up as a child. In all that time we had never heard of the Rehoboth State Forest. After finishing up at the diner -- which we both recommend - we headed to the forest to explore. This was another of those Sundays that we felt a little pressure because of outside forces like, say, the Patriots. We found the parking area just fine and headed down the path.
We never knew...
The map on the signpost only shows a very short path but I think we could have walked much farther as the were many unmarked paths through the woods. We hiked both the Cedar swamp trail and the Pine Loop and even found a freshly blazed (yellow) trail that wasn't on any map but it brought us back to our parking area. The trail is wide and easy walking in most places. The cedar swamp is beautiful with tall straight cedars and a good mix of rock walls and even a bridge across a brook. The Pine Loop is nice as well and although the marked trails aren't too long it is still a very pretty walk.
Our cairn
In one area of tall pines Nana and I decided to make our own cairn. This is something we first did when we were cruising the North Channel in Canada during our Great Loop in 1999. That area had lots of cairns on the little islands we stopped at. So now the Rehoboth Forest has a new cairn, at least until something knocks it down.
Rehoboth Forest

So I think we are all caught up. We did no hiking last weekend, November 27,  as Nana was out of town with the grandkids, but as I write this we are planning a hike for tomorrow and we will see what that brings.