May 13, 2019 – Farandnear Reservation – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Farandnear Reservation in Shirley, Massachusetts.  The Farandnear was the former estate of Arthur Banks who was a well known professor and political scientist.  It includes 2.7 miles of trails, and an Arboreteum.  The Park is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a bird-singing Adventure to Farandear Reservation on a very cool spring day.  I was excited to explore a new local spot.  Upon arrival, and throughout our visit I could not have been more impressed.  We began in the Arboretum, however, decided to explore the trails first before finishing up with the flowers.  There were maps available, and the trails were clearly marked, even full photo maps along the trails.  We were greeted by the proud landscaper/property manager who gave us some fun tidbits about the reservation, and was very friendly.  The property was absolutely perfect from start to finish!  There was a singing ravine, adorable boardwalk bridges, meadows, paths through the reservoir, and bogs.  It was another spectacular Trustees of Reservation property, where around every corner a new landscape appeared.  We enjoyed the lovely wildflowers, and lots of green framing the trails.  We even saw beaver dams, a heron flying by, and of course soaked in the continual songs of birds.  There was not a sole around and the reservation was so peaceful, and therapeutic, awing at all of nature’s creation.

After exploring the trails for some time we headed over to the Arboretum.  There were bright color flowers, fun trees, lots of tulips, benches to relax, and landscape features along the way.  There was even a spot for learning, and inspiring those little minds you may have in tow.  We sat in the Arboretum and relaxed savoring the smells, sights, and fresh air.  We did not want to leave but our Adventure eventually came to our end.

If you may be wondering, I located The Farandnear through the Trustees of Reservations.  I would encourage you to check out the Trustees of Reservations, as you can search for properties in your area.  Many of the land, trails, and properties are absolutely lovely, and the Trustees of Reservations does wonderful work to preserve the land and history throughout Massachusetts.  I was quite fond of The Farandnear Reservation and will definitely be back (Rating:  4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 27, 2019 – Viles Arboretum – Maine

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Viles Arboretum in Augusta, Maine.  Viles Arboretum is made up of 224 acres of property including six miles of trails, gardens, an art/sculpture trail, and many special events and activities.  There is a Visitor Center and a gift shop which are open during week days.

We had a drenching Adventure to the Viles Arboretum on yet another dreary New England day.  I was excited to find the Arboretum, a location that many times is not open to my furry friends.  Upon arrival we were disappointed to find the trail maps were gone, so decided to stroll around and see what we could find.  There were numerous sculptures that captured our attention and guided us on our walk.  We ambled along the paths, sinking into thick water and mud.  However, we did not let this stop us and continued on checking out the art and landscape along the way.  There were vibrant signs identifying what soon will be lots of green and flowering areas.  There were gorgeous birch trees, tulips, forsythias, and a large white flowering tree.  There were many labels for trails, yet without a map it was not clear as where they may lead.  The Arboretum appeared to be endless with trails in many directions.  We spent about an hour walking, and exploring.  I am positive that the Viles Arboretum will be quite breathtaking as the buds bloom.  It was definitely a unique spot which we hope to explore again in the future (Rating:  3).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throwback Adventure – Chesterfield Gorge Nature Area- New Hampshire

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. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

Back in October of 2015 Shadow, Buster, and I Adventured to the Chesterfield Gorge Nature Area in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, also referred to as the Chesterfield Gorge State Wayside.  This Area is a small state park at just 13 acres that features the Wilde Brook, a trail, and a rocky gorge with waterfalls.  There are picnic tables and a visitor center that is open in season.

We had a fun Adventure to the Chesterfield Gorge.  As you may have heard my Throwback memory is not as detailed as I would hope.  However, I remember finding the location almost to ourselves.  We began following a trail along the River, and ended up finding us to a scenic little bridge, where I was able to take one of my many, all-time favorite photos of Shadow and Buster.  The Gorge was simple, but tall, fenced off in several areas, and although I guess this was for safety, it really  interfered with the true nature experience.  I believe the trail looped around in almost a “u” shape with some up and down climbing alone the way.  It was a short walk but we certainly took our time enjoying the great outdoors.  We found different spots to sit and relax, the boys enjoying many sips and dips in the River.  Definitely a wonderful Fall day at the Chesterfield Gorge.  I have include a quite amateur sideways video at the bottom, but it gives you a good visual of the main gorge-waterfall.  I do hope to be back to visit the Chesterfield Gorge.

 

 

April 6, 2019 – Malcolm Preserve – Massachusetts

Today we Adventured to the Malcolm Preserve, a property of the Trustees of Reservations and Carlisle Conservation Foundation.  Malcolm Preserve is a 11 acre property that is part of 1,300acres of protected land.  Malcolm Preserve was previously used as farmland.

We had a local Adventure to the Malcolm Preserve on a dreary, yet perfect spring day.  This was one of those Adventures that I debated blogging about as really a quite simple, and almost unappealing Preserve.  However, a change of pace for those locals who may be looking for a new spot, and anywhere is a happy time for those furry best friends!

We began our Adventure today excited for a short drive and a new property to explore.  We arrived at the well marked parking lot of Malcolm Preserve, eager for a walk.  We began our Adventure near some homes before ending up on the trail through the woods.  There were some markers of names along the way, but no map, or instructions as to where they might lead.  We decided to mostly veer straight, appearing to follow the Estabrook Woods trail.  There were few visitors allowing a peaceful stroll, until we wandered past a loud construction site, crashing us out of our therapeutic oasis.  There was lots of mud on the trails, and a couple small areas of water, complete with the song of a babbling brook.  The trails were often lined with rock walls, adding some scenery to the dull landscape.  We ran into several other dog walkers and were pleased that they were quite considerate of others.  These visitors were friendly, and my guess was likely locals to this conservation area.

One of the spectacular things about living in New England is the amazing changes in seasons, causing you to appreciate the little details that often can go unnoticed.  Today I was so pleased to see merely see the glorious color of green, as nature has begun to spring up.  As we finished our hike, walking almost three miles we were pleased to see the sun, and ready to head home for some backyard fun.  We are certainly enjoying our spring Adventures in New England.

If you may be wondering I located the Malcolm Preserve through the Trustees of Reservations which I have been learning about in the last several months.  I would encourage you to check out the Trustees of Reservations, as you can search for properties in your area.  Many of the land, trails, and properties are absolutely lovely, and the Trustees of Reservations does wonderful work to preserve the land and history throughout Massachusetts.  So although I did not find today’s Adventure up there with some of the rest, there are so many others worth exploring.  However we still enjoyed our outing today visiting the Malcolm Preserve.  A great way to start a gorgeous spring day in New England (Rating:  2).

 

March 3, 2019 – Sabbaday Falls – Winter Visit – New Hampshire

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to Sabbaday Falls.  I have blogged about this location previously in my “Throwback Adventure” section, however decided to blog about it again as this was our first visit in Winter.  Sabbaday Falls is a popular waterfall located in Waterfall Valley, along the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire. There is a short, handicapped accessible travel trail to Sabbaday Falls. Sabbaday Falls is an approximate thirty five to forty five foot drop, ending in a Gorge-like area. The waterfall is made up of a series of cascades.

We had a spectacular, icicle-filled Adventure to Sabbaday Falls on a warm, Winter day.  This Winter Adventure looked completely different then this location in the other seasons.  I was ecstatic to see the parking lot plowed, and a path in place for the hike as I had tried once before to visit this Falls in Winter with no luck.  We began our journey up and over a gigantic snowbank, and immediately arrived on the trail.  The trail branched over to the stream on two occasions, however not being able to see the rocks or our footing we did not venture too far in that direction.  However  the mysterious covered stream created a lovely Winter scene with framed circles forming here and there.

We continued on the main trail.  I suspect the snow was several feet high as I noticed we were walking almost at the top of the railing of a fence, on the groomed snow path.  As long as we stayed on the trail we did not sink down, and were able to walk steadily along.  It did not take us long to arrive at the Falls.  Most of the waterfall was covered with snow, which must have been sitting over the frozen ice.  I was pleased that we had been there previously as we would have really not known the “normal” flow of the Falls.

The most gorgeous part of the area was some spectacular icicles coming down the rocks, at the bottom area of the cascades.  Below the icicles there was a gorgeous rock filled pool with flowing water.  I really could not get enough of this special scene.  Shadow humored me as he continually tried to dive into the water pool, although wondering if he might get stuck, I decided it best not to swim at this location.  He sure is one adventurous water boy!

It was really a magical Adventure at this gorgeous location.  I would encourage you to visit Sabbaday Falls once in every season as it is just a lovely spot.  So glad we were able to get in our winter visit (Rating:  5).

 

 

Throwback Adventure – Crystal Cascade – New Hampshire

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. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In October of 2016 Shadow, Buster, My Mom and I Adventured to the Crystal Cascade in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Crystal Cascade is a gorgeous waterfall that has a 100 foot drop into the Ellis River.  There is just a short walk to the Falls that begins at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.  The Cascade is along one of the popular routes to Mount Washington.

We had a special Adventure to the Crystal Cascade on a beautiful Fall day.  Buster had recently been diagnosed with a terminal tumor, and we knew his time was limited.  This made the memories even more marked as I recall this lovely Adventure.  It was a short walk to the Crystal Cascade with a slight elevation gain. The trail was simple, but perfectly Fall in color.  Upon arrival we found a steep, little trail to sneak close to the beautiful Falls.  The Falls was singing loudly, and provided a full sensory experience.  Buster enjoyed chewing some sticks while Shadow sat and posed for the camera.  There were limited spots to view the waterfall, so we were glad to find this spot all to ourselves.

We spent some time at the Crystal Cascade before heading past the waterfall to a little bridge across the top.  There were absolutely stunning Fall views from this spot with the musical waterfall below below.  An absolutely magnificent scene that we thoroughly enjoyed.   I was actually planning to visit again this past summer with Wilma and Shadow but the trails were closed due to flooding.  However we do hope to visit again on another date.  Please see below some photos and videos of our special day at Crystal Cascade.  In one of the videos you will see a conversation between my Mom and Buster, as he was a talker, often known for his happy howl.  Glad to create special memories on our Adventure to Crystal Cascade.

 

February 9, 2019 – Fruitlands Museum – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts.  Fruitlands Museum is a museum celebrating multiple visions of America on the site of a utopian community.  It connects nature and culture with a variety of exhibits.  It is on 210 acres of property which also includes hiking trails, a store, special events, and a cafe.

We enjoyed a gusty Adventure to Fruitlands Museum, a place we have been to on at least on two other occasions.  We started off in the museum area, with lovely views, perfectly shaped buildings, and unique statues along the road.  The area is always perfectly groomed, although little landscape to see in the winter months.  We walked through the exhibits heading down the hill, the wind incredibly breezy, almost pushing us back.  We appreciated the museum area visually before heading to the trails.

We spent most of our time exploring the trails on the property.  The trails were marked well with color, winding through the woods, up and down some hills and through a field.  We saw some deer from afar, enjoyed some boardwalk trails and dodged slippery ice patches along the way.  The trails were very simple, and somewhat blah in the brown of winter.  There were kiosks along the way providing information, and numbers to label different parts of the trails.  We especially enjoyed the hike through the field adding a variety in the color, with some perfect hay-like grass for Wilma and Shadow to partake in some synchronized rolls.  The hike was somewhat eerie with squeaking trees, not a person in site, and gun shots from afar.  Although I had called to make sure there was no hunting at this site, the sounds caused some worry, and masked the “normal” relaxation of the hike.  However, we carried on and were glad to get some exercise on this February winter day.

So as you know, we only explore part of the Fruitland Museums property as the Shadow and Wilma were not invited into the museum buildings.  Therefore we will not rate this Adventure for our readers, but definitely a unique local spot for an Adventure.  Below you will see photographs from our visit yesterday, and a past visit with Shadow, Buster, and My Mom (although this past visit was more a relaxing time viewing the sunset, versus exploring.)

 

February 9, 2019

 

 

Fall 2016