Barnes Memorial Nature Preserve and Friendly’s in Bristol, CT

29 10 2015

27 October 2015

Bristol Friendly hike 10.27.15.jpg 002Today, it was 37 degrees when Cherry and I met at the parking lot in Middletown to head to Bristol (where the kids are sharp as a pistol). At 8:30, there was commuter traffic and we decided we could leave later next time.

While admiring fall colors, we caught up in the car, covering Cherry’s open house a few weeks’ prior. She was pleased with the results, where her friends and family, who had heard about each other for years, finally had the opportunity to meet. I assured her that I enjoyed putting faces to all her family’s names.

After a brief set of wrong turns, we arrived at the Barnes Memorial Nature Preserve on Shrub Road. Originally owned by The Nature Conservancy (my former employer), the area boasted of three miles of marked trails. Although the center was closed, we could see three aviaries in the back on the second floor. One had an owl, the other a raptor, both of which must have been undergoing rehabilitation. Several woodpecker species foraged in the parking lot trees.

We started on the red trail, which included a small rash of labeled trees, before petering out. We crossed Falls Brook and continued until we reached the yellow trail. That took us to the top of Pigeon Hill, an esker formed during glacial melt twelve thousand years ago. Along the way, Cherry shared her recent adventure to the source of the Connecticut River with her stepmother, Barbara. They enjoyed poking around the quiet and peaceful small towns in northern Vermont and New Hampshire.

We missed the white trail intersection, so returned to the junction with the blue trail and followed the Tunxis Trail north. We were impressed with the large trees and lack of bird activity. This time around, we found the white trail connector and completed our loop. Our hike lasted about an hour. By then, it was almost 11:30, a respectable time for lunch.

Friendly’s in Bristol was on Route 6 and easy to find. Our waitress, Amy, was amenable and led us to a sunny table by the window. I ordered the newest $5 meal (chicken fingers), while Cherry had soup and salad. While eating, I shared my efforts to reach out to repair some gaps that had developed with some of my friends and family over time. Following the Jewish New Year tradition of seeking forgiveness, I had listed ten people to include in this effort, along with ten projects I’d wanted to work on. I felt a bit discouraged with my progress, but Cherry encouraged me to consider a longer time frame for completion.Bristol Friendly hike 10.27.15.jpg 007

By then, our sundaes had arrived and life was good again. Amazing what a little ice cream can do! Returning to Middletown, by early afternoon, we separated with intentions of making good progress on our To Do lists.

And next month? Avon!

Advertisements