Summer 2007
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Crotched Mt. Hike - July 28, 2007
Activity by Dawn S.
Photos by Ken L. and Dawn S.
Trip report by Ken L.

Our destination: Crotched Mt. in Greenfield, NH.  Our plans were to take the usual loop to the summit, across the ridge, down, then back.  The weather radar picture I could see from my phone seemed to indicate the rain would end in about an hour after the start of the hike, but that was just a guess, and either the weather gods changed their minds, or my estimate was really that bad.  :-)

Rob, Jen, Nancy, Linda, Michael, Al, Dawn, George, and Your Webmaster (behind the camera) were greeted with a bit of rain for our hike.

Normally that might be a bummer, but the alternative was some hot and humid weather should the sun come out.  We preferred the rain, and it kept us cool but not cold for the day.

Spooky woods!

Red efts do not mind the rain.  We saw many of them on the trail.

Soggy but happy people along the trail!

Fungus of the LARGE red variety growing on a tree.
Hand and associated finger courtesy of Nancy C.
We took the loop in the counter-clockwise direction, and that led us to the swamps at the base of the hill...

...and then over to Dixie's Vista.  It was there that we realized the rain would be breaking up...eventually...
















After Dixie's Vista it was about time for lunch, and folks kept finding acceptable lunch spots along the way up to the ridge, but after the third or fourth one we arrived at the "usual" spot.

Michael, Linda, and Al having some lunch


Now I checked my calendar, and it's late July.  Why, then, were black flies abundant?  There weren't any on Watatic last week!  If they're supposed to be gone by now, someone should have told them.  Well, we dealt with that until Dawn grew weary of "being bait", and we continued on our journey.

Sun soon

Up a bit more, and we were on the ridge.  There are some nice views (vistas, overlooks, outcroppings, whatever) from there, and the clouds were breaking up, but we'd have to return another day for the outstanding views one gets from there.

A daunting rain cloud!

We stayed for a little while near the summit of Crotched Mt. then descended along the trail by the glacial erratics.



Finally!  A view of Mt. Monadnock...kinda...

After the hike we went out for some dins at Elisha's in Milford, NH...still a bit soggy from the day but happy for a bit of grub!

Thanks for putting this one together, Dawn!  And it was nice to have some folks from the Boston Hiking Meetup along, too!

GONewEngland BBQ at Hopkinton State Forest - July 21, 2007
Activity by Kathy K.
Photos and trip report by Your Webmaster
got bubbles?

Today's trip report is brought to you by Get Outdoors New England Bubble Stuff!  Tough, durable bubbles---safe for the environment!

Welcoming Committee / Motivator Kathy K. has been compensated for this endorsement.

Off to Hopkinton State Forest where Kathy K. put together a nice day out for us!

Kathy was there early, and Dawn S. and Your Webmaster wandered around shortly before 11...

Yeah, the crowds hadn't arrived at that point.  :-)

So we invited these guys.

And when Dawn's sister Tracy arrived, Your Webmaster finally had someone to play with!

Coda loves to play tug soooo much...

...that she doesn't notice when you've tied the rope to the picnic table.

Ace was there, too.
Ace is fiesty but friendly.

People started arriving and setting up.  There were a lot of familiar faces---and some new ones!

Congrats to Sarah and Ashish with their new daughter Maya!

Dan "The Pup" and his son Ryan.  I hadn't met Ryan before.

The Millers and the Sciaccas made it even more of a family day at Hopkinton...

(Yes, they did leave at least some of the dirt in the park.)

Ahhh, time for some lovely family photos...memories for a lifetime...a keepsake forever... much for that...'t...ask...Martin... pose!!!

In addition to being in some new pictures, we took a look at some old ones.  Alan has several photo albums with activities going back to 1998 or so.

You'll need to c'mon by next time to have a look at those!

Later on in the afternoon it was time to pack it up and head home.  Thanks to Kathy K. for the activity idea, and thanks to everyone for the nice turnout.  It was great to see a lot of long-time GONewEnglanders---and the next generation, too!

Middlesex Fells Hike / Geocache - July 15, 2007
Activity by Ken L.
Photos by David J. and Ken L.
Trip report by Ken L.

Your Webmaster picked up a few geocaching travel bugs while in Pennsylvania, and it was time to set them free in the Boston area.

One, named "I need a vacation!", needed a good vacation spot.  So I picked Boston (OK, let's call it "close enough to Boston"...and I'm going to assume that at least some people call Boston a "vacation spot").

It's hard to see, but "I need a vacation!' is a 35mm film canister with Eyore inside.

The other, named "Teddy", wants to see all 50 states.  So I picked Massachusetts (not really a state*, but "close enough to being a state").
* -- Massachusetts is a commonwealth.  :-)

Teddy is a big eagle.

You can go to the geocaching web site and look up these travel bugs to see what they're doing now.

ANYWAY...The Two Daves and I wandered through the Fells on the southbound side of Rte 93 starting at Sheepfold.  The first order of business was to get to Bear Hill to snap some photos of the travel bugs.  And, of course, where was Your Webmaster's camera?  At home (so thank you Dave for the photos, plus I grabbed one or two with my cell phone).  But I digress...The two photos above were taken from Bear Hill at the Middlesex Fells.  Bear Hill sports a lookout tower with a nice view of the surrounding area.  Unfortunately the weather was a bit hot and hazy, so Boston didn't come out so great in the background.

Your Webmaster had chosen several geocaches to find while at the Fells.  Of the Daves, Dave had not done geocaching before, but Dave had.  So it was nice to have someone along who was new and someone who could assist.

We broke out the GPS receivers and made a bee line for the April Fool's Cache, which turned out to be fairly close to Bear Hill.  After a bit of bushwhacking to get onto the right trail (which we...uhhh...well, it turns out we didn't need to do :-/  ), the non-geocacher Dave was turned into a geocacher when he found the big bucket that is the April Fool's Cache!  Good going, Dave!  Teddy the Travel Bug was released into this cache.

Dave couldn't believe how easy this was and mused about how it could possibly be any fun at all.  I assured him they weren't all this easy.  Yeah, have coordinates and a GPS receiver, and there you go...right?

HA!  Not In The Subway Cache was next on the list.  We got to the right location, and Your Webmaster spotted the place the cache "should be", and let Dave go get it...but it wasn't there.  Other obvious locations?  Not there.  Other not-so-obvious locations?  Not there.  The three of us spent quite a while trying to locate that cache, but we were thwarted!  So, no, Dave, you don't always find them.  In fact, some of them are puzzles, and people who hide caches are starting to make them even more difficult.  Big buckets are easy.  This one wasn't!  It turns out that there's a more accurate set of GPS coordinates available in the logs for that cache, so we'll be back to get this someday with a better pointer.

After failing on this cache, Dave led us to the silver mine.  Silver mine?  Yes!  Apparently the Fells had a silver mine.

It was off to find the third cache, The NetWare Toolbox Massachusetts US cache, but after a little jaunt down the trail, the heat from the day started to get to us, and Your Webmaster needed to cool down for a while.  The reservoir looked good, but that's a no-go zone (you WILL get ticketed for going anywhere near it), so we settled for a shady spot along the trail.  After a few minutes we got going again, and the GPS receiver kept leading us in the right direction, but the available trails didn't!  We zig-zagged a bit, and we eventually made our way to the cache.  Your Webmaster redeemed himself by finding it straight away, and Dave found it soon after that, but Dave took a while.

Your Webmaster has the "I need a vacation!" travel bug ready to go into the "Toolbox"...if Dave ever finds it!  :-)

After a little coaxing, Dave found the "Toolbox", and we opened it up.  "I need a vacation!" found its way into the box along with a Jeep travel bug from Dave.

Waiting to load up the "Toolbox"

Good goin', first timer! 

We stayed there for a little while cooling down, but the heat was getting to me, so we decided to head out after just the three caches.  There are more geocaches in the the Fells, so we'll be back.  I'm not giving up on "Not In The Subway" yet!

Rafting The Dryway - June 23, 2007
Activity by Dawn S.
Photos provided by Dawn S.
Production and music by Ken L.

View the YouTube video...