Originally posted on Beth Lapin:

8 September 2015

photo by Leslie M. photo by Leslie M.

So we thought it was hot last month when we hiked, but today, again, it was in the 90s and humid. A record. But fear not, Cherry and I forged ahead with our plans to hike at Ragged Mountain in Southington.

We met on Route 66 in Middletown and, after some confusion about our hike location, we piled into my car and headed off. We found the trailhead easily and were pleased to see a clear map posted there. Less exciting was the notice that coyotes were defending their young in dens and people with dogs should be on alert.

We decided to take the woods road to the peak, catch the view, and then return to the car. Although it would be only two miles, we thought that would be sufficient in this weather. We started at 8:30AM on the upward adventure.

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Originally posted on Beth Lapin:

Dancing girl with sunflower 001It is summer and I am walking up the hill through a tree-covered archway on a dirt road, as I have done regularly for the past thirty years. I pause, as usual, at the Dancing Girl, a spindly hemlock with its trunk and roots resembling a gracefully moving young woman. But today, a few feet away from her splaying roots, in the gravelly till of the roadside, I catch sight of a splash of yellow rays and I stop short. Dead in my tracks, as they say.

For years, I’ve noticed this tree, with its roots exposed and clinging to rocky outcrops. They resemble legs, its trunk a torso, and its branches the swaying arms and head of a dancing girl. For decades, I’ve hike up this dirt road and encountered a host of oddities, including discarded condoms and bundles of the Hartford Courant, enormous dead fish, blood-red saprophytic plants…

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Originally posted on Beth Lapin:

17 August 2015

Tyler Mill Park Wallingford w Diane Saunders 08.17.15 005 Diane Saunders

It may not have been the hottest or most humid day of the summer, but it was close. Regardless, Cherry and I met in Durham at 8AM to continue our Hiking for Friendly’s.

Route 68 towards I-91 was shut down due to an accident, but fortuitously, the detour took us directly to Tyler Mill Preserve in Wallingford. Armed with a map I’d downloaded, we parked and took off at 8:30AM. We entered the 1,000-acre park at its northern end and found the well-marked red trail. We started a clockwise exploration, moving quickly past it’s junction with the yellow and then orange trails. We enjoyed crossing forested wetlands with high rock outcrops on the eastern edge.

Cherry had just returned from a week’s silent retreat where she appreciated daily walks and swims plus an occasional massage. I’d just hosted a beach day attended by 25 of…

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Come and see where Cherry and I hiked and ate:

Sprague Preserve and Willimantic Friendly’s.


Originally posted on Beth Lapin:

June 8, 2015

Portland Airline trail CT Trails day CT Trails Day

Cherry and I decide to hike a new stretch of the Airline Trail in Portland that was highlighted on CT Trails Day. I checked with a local volunteer about parking details, we leave one car where the trail and power line crosses Depot Hill Road, and head back to Camp Ingersoll on Route 66 to start our two-mile trek.

We have trouble finding the trail head, although we do encounter the camp’s dump for the camp and numerous ATV trails. Eventually, we find ourselves headed in the right direction, primarily under the power line. The trail isn’t bike-ready but is certainly easy for walking.

One large puddle is filled with tadpoles that we hope will mature before they run out of water. Before you know it, with talks about summer plans and our steady pace, we are at our second car. Nothing to…

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Originally posted on Beth Lapin:

Cherry and I have new hiking plans. Check it out: Hiking for Friendly’s.

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Clouds Never Die

Clouds Never Die

Pathfinder is a monthly publication to console, support and empower the modern widow/er. A recent article based on an interview with me on how nature can help heal grief can be found on their website about 2/3 down the page.

For a complete copy of the article, consider subscribing to the magazine.


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