The Walking Posts

The posts labeled with the little “Truckin’ ” man are from my Walking Journal, which I've been keeping since January 1, 2012. What began as a simple New Year's Resolution to exercise more quickly morphed into a hiking addiction. Below are some running totals.

  MILES TIME CALORIES
August 2015 48.47 24h 0m 4333
Year-to-Date 410.10 196h 42m 37636
Aug. Avg. 38.76 18h 32m 3607

Francis Carter Preserve

Posted By on August 12, 2015

Francis Carter Preserve

4.5 miles; charlestown, ri

it’s been ages since i hiked with the usual suspects, and a whole week since i’ve hiked, period. missed both the hiking and the suspects, but boy howdy was it humid this morning! we talked a lot about ireland. did i mention i’m going to ireland?

dewy blueberries

dewy blueberries

there are still blueberries to be had along the trail, but you gotta look for them. i also saw huckleberries.

A-

A-

guess i’d have to give this hike an A-, with points off for humidity.

you can find francis carter in the hikefinderold mill road trailheadtrail map (courtesy of the nature conservancy).

Mattabesett Trail, Pistapaug Pond

Posted By on August 5, 2015

Mattabesett Trail, Pistapaug Pond

3.9 miles; durham, ct

i did a (very) short section of this trail with the hubs as an out-and-back. it was fairly demanding, and i skipped doing the very last part because of the steepness of the trail and the loose traprock gravel that covered it. not interested in another wrenched knee 3 weeks before ireland (did i mention i’m going to ireland?).

the trail

the trail

while portions of this trail were nice a flat and level, i’d have to say the majority of it was fairly steep and very rocky with the characteristic “trap rock” of central connecticut. makes for some difficult walking.

view

view

you are rewarded for the climb to the top of pistapaug mountain with this view of pistapaug pond and the distant higher hills to the west. it’s a pretty walk at the top along a ridge overlooking the pond.

signage

signage

the mattabesett trail is part of connecticut’s blue-blazed hiking trail system, and is the southern part of the new england national scenic trail. you can find more info on the connecticut blue-blazed hiking trail system at www.ctwoodlands.org (look for the interactive map of the all the blue trails in connecticut), and information on the new england national scenic trail, which runs from the long island sound in connecticut to the massachusetts/new hampshire border, at www.newenglandtrail.org.

PCHC North-South Trail, Leg 6

Posted By on August 1, 2015

PCHC North-South Trail, Leg 6

7.69 miles; coventry and west greenwich, ri

the weather this past week has been just AWFUL for hiking—hot, humid, and very buggy. but we (the providence county hiking club) persevered, and have now officially passed the halfway mark on the north-south trail.

north-south trail midpoint

north-south trail midpoint

i know i posted this photo a month ago, but this time it’s legit. we all posed for pictures with it—all 4 of us.

hay rolls on place farm

hay rolls on place farm

but not to get ahead of myself, we started very early this morning at place farm on the plainfield pike in coventry. you can tell from the long shadows. we were trying to beat the heat, and succeeded for the most part. in fact, this first little section through place farm was actually a bit chilly.

the moosup river

the moosup river

it wasn’t long before we were following along the banks of the moosup river.

spenser rock

spencer rocks

the highlight of this section is spencer rocks, a small cascade along the moosup. small, as in not high, but it’s pretty big in terms of how wide and long it is. except today it was fairly unimpressive. according to the us drought monitor website, this part of rhode island is still in the “abnormally dry” to “moderate drought” category, which you can tell from how low the water in the river was. you could have literally walked across the river on the rocks, not a normal thing for this spot.

joe pye weed

joe pye weed

another harbinger of the coming winter, the joe pye weed is in bloom.

amusing sign

amusing sign

we all thought this sign, set just below the north-south trail signature blue blaze, was kind of amusing. i mean, if you think about it, the north-south trail ends at the ocean, making it a pretty convincingly dead end.

crime scene?

crime scene?

speaking of dead, it’s kind of hard to see in this photo, but that’s a plastic foot under the rock. yes, a life-sized plastic foot. don’t ask me, i just take the pictures.

it was just past the “crime scene” that we passed the halfway point. the rest of the hike was fairly boring… gravel roads through the nicholas farm management area, and then hazard road, which turned into a paved road in west greenwich. oh, and we passed this spot, which i found from another direction entirely last week.

hazard road trailhead

hazard road trailhead

i have not added this hike to my hikefinder. you can find info on the north-south trail here.

Vin Gormley/Kettle Pond Loop

Posted By on July 31, 2015

Vin Gormley/Kettle Pond Loop

11.6 miles; charlestown, ri

again, trying to get my mileage up, so i combined these two hikes into one long one. and it was, again, a bitchin’ hot day, but not as bad as wednesday.

bucky beaver

bucky beaver

i started this hike at the kettle pond visitor’s center, and headed into that hike, but instead of turning left to go onto the vin gormley, i turned right and did the long, 2-mile road walk right at the start. when i finally made it to the “bucky beaver” trailhead, i was happy to see bucky was still there.

downed tree

downed tree

i came across a recently downed tree on the trail. and speaking of which, the tree which i reported down on the north south trail boardwalks is still mostly there. looks like somebody started to remove it and didn’t finish. i still had to detour off the boardwalk to get around it.

orb weaver web

orb weaver web

i love these webs. i hate spiders, mind you, but i love the way these webs catch the light.

watch goose

watch goose

i know the knock on road walking, what with the dogs that come out to “greet” you as you walk by, but it’s not every day you have to dodge a watch-goose. this guy was SO not letting me anywhere near his driveway.

you can find both the vin gormley trail and the kettle pond loop, a.k.a. the kettle pond/kimball wr/burlingame loop, in the hikefindertrailheadtrail map vin gormley trail (actually a photo of the map posted at the campground), auntie’s trail map of the kettle pond loop.

Tillinghast Pond/Wickaboxet Loop

Posted By on July 29, 2015

Tillinghast Pond/Wickaboxet Loop

11.16 miles; west greenwich, ri

as i’ve told a few close friends anyone who stands still long enough to listen, i am planning a hiking trip to ireland this september. it will be an 8-day self-guided hike on the kerry way hiking trail, which closely follows the famous “ring of kerry” road. the best part is that i will be staying in b&bs every night, and the tour company will be delivering my luggage from stop to stop, so no backpacking. i only have to carry a day pack and a lunch. i am incredibly excited about it, and can’t wait for it to happen, except for the fact that the day hikes average 13 miles, and one day is 20 miles of hiking. eesh.

with my ireland trip in mind, i’ve been trying to increase my mileage locally, and today was a good example. i finally did the full tillinghast-wickaboxet loop i tried to do last may. it came to 11+ miles because there is a new addition to the tillinghast pond preserve, the macalpine-shepherd preserve, which takes the entire property out to hazard road in west greenwich, which, coincidentally, is part of the north-south trail. hm. i wonder if there is a reroute in that trail’s future?

and as a side note, this hike would have been even longer had i started from the pratt conservation area (see the trail map at the end of this post). i’m kind of glad i didn’t, though, because the very end of that trail back to the trailhead is a really long, steep hill, and think if i’d have had to climb that hill after 11+ miles, i think i would still be there.

mmmm... blueberries

mmmm… blueberries

i started off on the coney brook trail, which is across the road from the parking area on plain road. i decided to head out quite early in the morning to beat the heat, rather too optimistically as it turned out, and was happily munching my way down the trail eating fresh blueberries, when suddenly i came across…

new trailhead! yes, as i mentioned above, i found a newly-cut and blazed spur trail off the coney brook trail that ended at hazard road. it was only 7/10ths of a mile long, but being an out-and-back, added almost another mile and a half to my hike.

coney brook crossing

coney brook crossing

there were several new boardwalks on this new trail, and a nice bridge across coney brook.

hazard road trailhead

hazard road trailhead

and check out the fancy marker for the trail head here! very classy.

north south trail blaze

north south trail blaze

and as i also mentioned, it hooks up with the north-south trail, this particular section of which, coincidentally, the providence county hiking club will be passing along on saturday.

pond above coney brook cascades

pond above coney brook cascades

i don’t believe i’ve ever noticed this pond above the coney brook cascades, but i should have. it’s quite lovely.

giant mushroom

giant mushroom

ever since i found the mushroom identification Facebook group, i’ve spared you most of my fungus shots, but this one was too good to pass up. the thing is almost the size of a dinner plate! no idea on the i.d., sorry.

victim of the ants

victim of the ants

one of the “highlights” of the wickaboxet loop trail is the allegheny mounding ant mounds. they’re very aggressive, as this poor millipede could probably tell you if he could talk and was still alive. i stopped near here to get something out of my pack and had to brush ants off my legs. they seem to be super active right now to the point where you really can’t slow down on this stretch.

you can find the entire tillinghast pond-wickaboxet trail system (minus the newly-cut trail and including pratt conservation area) in the hike findertrailhead, auntie’s trail map.

PCHC North-South Trail, Leg 5

Posted By on July 26, 2015

PCHC North-South Trail, Leg 5

8.74 miles; foster and coventry, ri

this section was one loooong road walk, but with some interesting sights along the way. i can’t wait till we get back in the woods. our next leg, next weekend, should mark our halfway point.

false solomon's seal

false solomon’s seal

we’re moving from wildflowers to berries, so it’s obvious summer is slipping away. i liked the way the light caught these berries on the false solomon’s seal.

we made new friends

we made new friends

even though this entire section was on roads, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting. there was the alpaca farm…

and moar friends

and moar friends

the beautiful palomino pony…

and yet moar friends?

and yet moar friends?

and um, this guy. he looks perplexed.

eat me acres

eat me acres

and i don’t think i’ve ever seen a more aptly named farm.

turk's cap lilies

turk’s cap lilies

there were lots and lots of turk’s cap lilies along the way—such a vivid orange.

mash pole

“mash” pole

new011511mashSwamp2

the original “mash” pole

i’ve never heard them called “mash” poles before, but i guess it makes sense…

along the plainfield pike

along the plainfield pike

the final bit of this leg was along the plainfield pike in coventry. the pike was chartered in 1794 and ran between providence and norwich. it was a fairly hair-raising stretch to walk.

i have not added this hike to my hikefinder. you can find info on the north-south trail here.