Horseguard State Park (Avon) & Stanley-Whitman House (Farmington) CT

5 06 2019

DEEP Sky’s the Limit site: Horseguard State Park in Avon

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View from the scenic overlook at top

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The Cliimb

Wildflowers were abundant; hemlocks were in good shape

CT Historic Gardens: Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington

 

Lunch: Claudia’s, Farmington

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Paugussett SF, Newtown CT

3 10 2018

 

Yay, we did it! We went to all 14 of the DEEP Sky’s the Challenge sites for 2018!

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Paugussett State Forest entrance: Hunting warning, so we wore bright colors

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Lake Zoar looking north

The falls were roaring today! Gorgeous woods and walk

 

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Lake Zoar looking east

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I inhaled my lunch before Cherry was half done with hers: Yummy falafal, lamb wrap, baba ganush, and even halvah to go…wow.

So. We did it! We printed out our photodocumentation and sent it off to DEEP with the hopes of winning a walking stick (well, at least Cherry is hoping for that). It was a great challenge and of course we enjoyed our time together.

NEXT????!!!!





River Highlands State Park, Cromwell CT

25 07 2018

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(Text from DEEP website) Where once there were farm fields and pastures, today there is a totally wooded, wonderfully situated, twenty-first century state park. Dedicated in 2001, this recent addition to the park system preserves 177 acres of ecologically important Connecticut River frontage. Tucked into a growing suburban landscape, River Highlands has escaped development to provide a quiet refuge with a wonderful view.

IMG_5659Lush with mixed woodlands dominated by oak, beech, and white pine, the hilly topography ranges in elevation from about 15 feet above sea level by the river to over 150 feet at the northern and southern high spots on the bluffs.

The most level area, or at least the most gently sloping, is at the park entrance on Field Road. It was here, and to the north, that pasture and field once flourished. Today the woodlands have taken over and the wetland systems have rebuilt themselves offering the visitor a true glimpse of the tranquility of the Eastern Forests.

IMG_5664But the real asset of the park is the view from the bluffs it protects. The Connecticut River, beautiful from so many locations, is at its best here. The bluffs are highest at the northern end of the park rising 130 feet above the water, and the view is ample reward for the hike to get there.

The are many trails in the park to lead the hiker across wooden bridges, over streams, along the 150 foot high bluff, or down to the water’s edge past a unique geologic feature known as the blowhole. Here one can hear the wind as it whistles past the bluffs. The Native Americans came to listen to the “wind being caught by the spirit of the earth.” When the colonists arrived they called it Devil’s Blowhole, believing it was an act of Satan. Sailors knew it as an area of quick winds as the park is just upstream of one of the tightest bends on the lower river.

 

Lunch at Ambrosia, Cromwell

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Housatonic Meadows State Park

16 05 2018

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(Text from the DEEP website) Located in the rock-strewn valley of the Housatonic River amid the rugged hills of the northwestern uplands, Housatonic Meadows is an ideal setting for a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Camping under the tall pines on the riverbank gives the overnight visitor a genuine back-to-nature feeling. The clear, cold river water also provides a fine opportunity for fly fishermen to test their skills on trout and bass. A two-mile stretch of river (including the park shore) is limited to fly fishing. In 1927 Housatonic Meadows was established as a state park.

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At the trailhead

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Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) along the way

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At the overlook of the Housatonic River Valley

 

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A group of Yale students hiking the AT

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Fellow DEEP Sky’s the Limit hiker Jim with Cherry

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Followed by lunch at the Goshette

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Our waitress understood my taking home our left over french fries for my neighbor’s chickens.