October 13, 2018 -Erving State Forest – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, My Uncle, and I Adventured to Erving State Forest in Erving, Massachusetts. Erving State Forest is a Forest located along Laurel Lake, a 51 acre body of water. The Park is popular for swimming, fishing, hiking, and camping.

We had a lovely Fall Adventure to Erving State Forest. We were so happy that the rainy day had cleared so that we could meet my Uncle for a hike. We began our afternoon heading down to Laurel Lake to check out the scenery. There were still a couple sprinkles in the sky, but we did not let that stop us. The Lake had a beach area with a concession stand, and a modern boardwalk down to the shore. We explored the area noting the nice set-up for summer beach outing. Shadow enjoyed a roll in the sand, while Wilma had fun with some chaotic digging. Some wonderful beach energy to start our afternoon.

From the beach we headed over to a bright colored bridge to view the Lake. The sun rays went in and out of the clouds shining down on a lovely Fall scene. From there we headed on our hike, up a slope, the road plastered with gorgeous colored leaves. We caught up with great conversation, stopping to check out different highlights along the path. It was a cool day yet our steady walk created the perfect temperature.

I find the best time for a hike is a beautiful New England October day! The smell of leaves, the spectacular colors, and a temperature are all just right! We had a lovely hike at Erving State Forest (Rating: 4, Company – Just perfect!)

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October 6, 2018 – Pine Hills Park – Vermont

Today Shadow, Wilma, My Parent, and I Adventured to Pine Hills Park in Rutland, Vermont. Pine Hills Park is a 325 acre park offering 16 miles of trails including trails for mountain biking, snowshoeing, and hiking. The main land was donated to the city of Rutland by Henry O Carpenter in 1921 with the idea of creating a developed park.

We had a foliage filled and refreshing Adventure to the Pine Hills Park in Rutland, Vermont. We entered the park with some interesting structures greeting us, before quickly arriving at a large park map. The park provided brochures which included a detailed, and color coded-trail map. The trail started at a long boardwalk, leading us to a massive, and scenic boulder. We of course took took some family photographs before heading on our chosen trail. The trail was simple, but gorgeous on this lovely Fall day. The signs of Fall were clear with many yellow and orange leaves scattered throughout the trail. The trail looped around, flowing up and down the forest land. We were elated to have my parents join us on this Fall Adventure. My Dad walked Shadow, while my Mom sought out the perfect photographs along the trail. We took our time, discussing trees, basking in the wonderful Fall, family day.

After our walk we found some nearby picnic tables to eat lunch before heading to our next Adventure. I will have to admit, my Dad found this little Park, and we could not have been happier with this find. Definitely a Park I wish was local, but glad we could explore it on our Adventure today (Rating: 4, Company – 5).

September 20, 2018 – Mine Falls Park – New Hampshire

Yesterday Wilma and I Adventured to Mine Falls Park in Nashua, New Hampshire. We decided to go on a local Adventure while waiting for Shadow to be done with his day in the hospital, for surgery (see previous blog). So a nice distraction, but yet still somewhat worrisome waiting for a surgery update. However, Shadow and Buster, and I had been to Mine Falls Park numerous times in the past, so I felt a tiny bit better knowing Shadow was not missing out on a new Adventure.

Mine Falls Park is a 325 acre park in the city of Nashua, New Hampshire. The name of the park came from the 1700s when low quality lead was told to have been mined from the island below the Falls. Workers actually dug the canal to drive the industry. The Master Plan of the Mine Falls Park was created in 1974, and the Park grew from there. The Park consists of wetlands, trails, and fields. It is bordered by the Nashua River and Mill Pond.

Wilma and I enjoyed our visit to Mine Falls Park, somewhat deflecting our worry from Shadow. The Park has a unique feel with trails along the canals, and several lovely bridges to cross. We looped around the canal, before heading to the lower trail along the River. Wilma seemed quite thrilled to be on a new Adventure sniffing everything in site. It was exciting to see very small signs of Fall on the leaves, and the lovely wild flowers along the trail. We traversed a smaller trail along the River, and found a city marked rock along the way. Mine Falls Park is a simple park, but yet lovely in its own way. It brought back wonderful memories of visits with Shadow and Buster, who unlike Wilma, enjoyed dips in the water. However, Wilma, had no complaints about her feet being on dry land. Definitely glad to go on a local Adventure with my little lady, but we sure did miss our Shadow (Rating: 3).

September 2018

August 2015 (One of my many Adventures with Shadow and Buster to Mine Falls Park)

Throwback Adventure – Cedar Key Island – October 2011

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing.

In October 2011 Shadow, Buster, and I went to Cedar Key, Florida. Sadly Buster has passed away since, but he definitely enjoyed his share of adventures. He was an amazing boy, and will always be missed. As you may know if you follow my blog, I lived in Tampa, Florida for eleven years, Shadow for four, Buster for three, and Wilma zero as she was not yet born. Shadow, Buster, and I had wonderful tropical Adventures while residing in Florida.

Cedar Key is an island city in the Gulf Coast of Florida. It sits three miles off the Gulf of Mexico and is accessible by car. Cedar Key Island is popular for artists, and naturalists. It is a tranquil location with only approximately 800 full-time residents.

We had an absolutely amazing Adventure to Cedar Key Island. One of my challenges with my “Throwback Adventure(s)” is my detailed and descriptive memories of the experience. However, I remember having a perfect get-away with my boys. We stayed in a super dog-friendly hotel, even providing us gifts for the dogs. The hotel was right near the beach, allowing lots of time to explore, and enjoy the evening sunset. It felt like we were able to explore the entire Island on foot. There were beautiful beaches for digging, and relaxing, dog friendly restaurants, colorful kayaks, boardwalks, and endless shells. We explored, and explored trying not to miss a single spot. I have very found memories of this vacation and will always treasure it fondly. (Rating: 5)

Summer 2018 – Bethlehem, New Hampshire

This Summer Shadow, Wilma, and I had the pleasure of spending weekends living, and working in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. This gave us plenty of time to explore the town of Bethlehem, and the surrounding areas. I felt it therefore a MUST to blog separately about the charming little town of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem is a hillside location in the White Mountains, often referred to as the “Star of the White Mountains”. It is a small village complete with unique architecture and mountain views. Bethlehem is well-known for its golf courses, antique shops, art culture, and a variety of outdoor activities.

We had a wonderful time this summer exploring the town of Bethlehem. We often spent Sunday mornings strolling along the main street, which was complete with antique shops, local Inns, dining opportunities, and even a brewery. There were venues including the well known Colonial Theater, bringing in acclaimed shows and performers. I often would stop in at the Cold Mountain Cafe for a fresh, home-made donut and coffee, while enjoyed delicious dinners at the Wayside Inn.

Not far from the center of town were prestine golf courses, parks, and the scenic Ammonoosuc River. Although we spent much of our time exploring the surrounding areas I did my best to capture this lovely town in the summer photographs below. We will always treasure this spectacular Adventure and hope to be back again (Rating: 4).

September 1, 2018 – Weeks State Park – New Hampshire

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Weeks State Park in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Weeks State Park is a Historic Site located on Mt. Prospect. It was the estate of John Wingate Weeks who worked under Presidents Harding and Coolidge. He was a conservationist and a congressman. The property contains 446 acres and was given to the state of New Hampshire by his children in 1941. It includes a museum, stone fire tower,and trails throughout. The Park is known for spectacular views, including of the Presidential Mountain Range.

We were elated to find Weeks State Park online, leading us to great anticipation of a wonderful Adventure. Upon arrival we drove up to the top of Mt. Prospect on the narrow road. There were two spots with views that we stopped to photograph on the way. They were clearly labeled, allowing us to identify the various mountains and bodies of water. A nice feature to these planned look-out sites.

On arrival at the summit we had a nice view of the estate, several buildings, and the scenic tower. We began exploring on the nature trails. The trails were simple, and not well labeled, however they were surrounding the estate. We circled around until we reached the “North Overlook”, providing a raised view of the area. After checking out the “North Overlook” we returned to the estates snapping photographs of the buildings, towers, and landscape. I thought the tower climb might be too ambitious for Shadow so we skipped this aspect of the Park. However, we enjoyed chatting with some locals, exploring the main porch, and resting in the grass. Quite the unique architecture, almost like a European retreat. We definitely enjoyed our Adventure to the Weeks State Park (Rating 3).

Throwback Adventure – July 4, 2011 – Oscar Scherer State Park

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing.

I finally will be adding a “Florida” section to my blog. Posting these adventures is long overdue as I lived in Tampa, Florida for eleven years, before relocating back to my home state of Massachusetts. We had many wonderful adventures throughout the state of Florida, and I am elated to share these Throwback Adventures on my blog.

On July 4, 2011 Shadow, Buster, our friend Rhonda, and I journeyed to Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Florida. This Park is a Florida State Park, which opened to visitors back in 1873. It is popular for wildlife viewing, and recreational activities, including: hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, and fishing. It is located on the South Creek, along the Southwest Coast of Florida.

We decided to celebrate July 4th with an Adventure to a new local Park. We were so happy to have our dear friend Rhonda join us on this holiday adventure. It is rare to find such a kind, genuine, and dedicated friend, and we are lucky to find such a gem of a friend with Rhonda. We sauntered along the trails, enjoying the water views, and stopped to rest on benches along the way. As many of my posts and adventures have been in New England, you will notice the unique Florida landscape, highlighted with beautiful Palm Trees and Ferns. It was wonderful residing in Florida, with such varied landscape from the Northeast. Although my Throwback blog makes it hard for me to remember particular details, I remember enjoying our trip to this Park. We are looking forward to our friend Rhonda joining us for a future Adventure. We sure do miss her!