Sunday, July 31, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

I went for a 3.5 hour trail hike today, did the Trimountain area of Mattabesett. Today happens to be the birthday of a good friend, so I threw a little on-trail party for her. She's off traveling now, but that's no reason to skip the celebration!

It was somewhat humid, but reasonably good weather for hiking. I did about 8 miles with a pace just a little more than 2 mph. Felt great!

flickr photo stream for the hike

Saturday, July 16, 2005

2 hour hike today

spotted wintergreen

Went for 2 hours on the Paug and Trimountain section of the Mattabesett trail. Very humid, but it was great to get out.

I took some photos along the way; they're published at flickr. I also found a great site for identifying Connecticut wildflowers - the Connecticut Botanical Society.

See more progress on: go hiking

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hiked for 3.75 hours today

I started early, decided to attempt a loop that would connect Mattabesett with the new Lone Pine Trail. I wasn't sure how long the whole thing would take, since Lone Pine is a new trail, not in my maps. But I planned on a max of 6 hours (so I'd turn around by 3 hours if I wasn't sure of the loop time, at that point).

I parked at the Mattabesett lot off of route 77. The rain from last night had helped to cool things down, which felt good, though a bit humid. That first hike straight up off of route 77 going west is always a bit jarring, really gets the heart pumping. It was at the top of that scramble that I saw this weird little orange-accented millipede.

Soon after, I had my first fall, due to the damp and slippery rocks. I slid straight down a rock and landed on my butt, giving myself a nasty gash. My tailbone is still aching. After a brief pause to collect myself, I forged on to the lovely view of the Coginchaug Valley and Myer Huber Pond.

I was pretty sure if I kept hiking along the blue trail I must come to the Lone Pine Trail fairly soon, based on previous trips. VoilĂ , after 40 minutes of travel, I came to the first intersection with LPT, the white blazed blue-dot trail. The trail was flooded with a tiny stream here, due to the soaking rain of last night. I followed this branch of the LPT down to its intersection with the blue blazed red-dot branch.

The stream crossing along the way had become unmanageable, but I found a point close to the trail where some windfall could be used as a bridge. At the next point where the trail met the stream, the stones that I had used on previous trips were pretty well submerged. I didn't want to risk completely soaking my socks and boots, so I removed them to ford the stream. That was kind of fun!

By the time I came to route 77 again, I had traveled for another 40 minutes. I took the red trail to cross through Braemore Preserve. Lots of Indian Pipe was coming up there, and along the trail in general.

It was in Braemore that I started to see salamanders along the trail (or were they newts?). While I was attempting to photograph one, I had my only encounter of the day with a human being - a guy and his unleashed dog. The dog was hostile, raising its hackles and growling. The guy laughed it off and assured me that the dog was just frightened. Riiiight.

It took me another 40 minutes to get to the other side of Braemore, where there is an interesting rock wall that looks a bit like a wave. (It looks a lot more wavelike when you're standing beneath it.)

So, it takes about 2 hours to get from the route 77 lot to the edge of Braemore, close to where the Lone Pine Trail joins up with the Mattabesett again. At this point I was sure I'd be back to the car well before my max of six hours, so I hiked on. It was along this section of the Mattabesett that I slipped a second time, on another wet rock, this time bloodying my knee. It was just one of those days! Nice hike overall, though.

When I got home I took a nice soak in the bath to ease my aches. Great ending to a great day!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pioneering Portfolio Management

A friend of mine loaned me the book Pioneering Portfolio Management, by David F. Swensen. I started reading it and it was pretty interesting. But I have a preference for fiction, so I kept putting this aside. I’ve had the book for a while now, and I’d really like to get it back to my friend. But I also want to finish it. So I need to zoom through it…

three hours today

I went hiking on the same trail as yesterday, but this time parked midway so I could start a little farther along. This time I got to the end of the trail that I couldn’t finish yesterday. Turns out this new trail intersects with the blue trail, and you can use the blue trail to complete the hike as a loop.

It was another beautiful day! I saw a deer with a small rack.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Most fantastic ski vacation I ever took! Charming village, no auto traffic allowed inside, buses to ferry you about to the ski lifts. Loads of skiing at my level (blues and greens). Just… wow!

five hours today

I planned to go for four hours, but I went off down a trail I’d never taken before, and I had to keep following it to see where it went. I never reached the end, though. I had to turn around at 2.5 hours because I’d only brought enough water for a four-hour hike, and even going for five hours was pushing it.

I saw a couple of deer, both of them bounding away prettily. And I saw two turkeys (both female, I think) with a brood of poults (juvenile turkeys). They were right at the side of the trail, very close. We saw each other at the same time – I froze to stare, and the juveniles flew up into the trees in a panic. The adults went running off into the woods. I think they must not have been too scared, or else they would have flown away too. Or maybe they were trying to distract me from their brood.

I also saw a frog (in water) and a toad (in the woods).

It was a quiet day, very pleasant. I passed an older guy poling along, with his two dogs (both unleashed, one of which snarled and jumped at me… drrr!). And I passed two older guys mountain biking… apparently they were lost, but I couldn’t tell them which way to go.

And, I got a tick. Easily removed.