Monday, October 17, 2016

More Solo Time

October 11 - 15, 2016
Willington, Connecticut

I forgot the pretty covered bridge we saw crossing into New Hampshire our last day. Like the Fall foliage, I never tire of these bridges. This is the first we've seen with the x-cross pattern. 

The "fine" has gone up!

Crosses the river of the same name.
Initially our stop near Hartford, Connecticut was to see an old friend from high school who works at UofC. We planned to be here for four or five days.

But once the discussion of moving his mom to Fresno, California started, it quickly moved from possibility to reality. His cousin and aunt found her a nice home and made things happen on the receiving end. Bill "just" had to fly to Roswell to make them happen there, then fly Mom to California.

Wilderness Lake Campground is in a good location for both the airport and visiting our friend so I made reservations for two weeks. Again, our introduction isn't great as there's no sewer hookup. Turns out that there are no sites with sewer, so for them the "full hook-ups" I reserved is water and electric. I'm very unhappy and thinking I should immediately find a different place. After a few deep breaths I talk with the young owner who explains that gray tanks are drained to the dirt behind the site and a honey wagon will dump once a week without charge. Since the other parks nearby are nearly twice as much, I think we'll make this work. Not a fan of the gray tank dumping, but it's how they do it. This will always be the "You're not from around here, are you?" location, as that's what the honey wagon guy told Bill when he questioned the practice.

Otherwise, the site is level, satellite connects, cell phone service is strong, water pressure is fair, and it is a clean and safe-feeling location. The trees and little lake are very pretty. He gives us two sites so there's plenty of space.

Wednesday we just relax, and Bill packs to be gone for nine days. I drop him off at the airport around 5 PM, getting back home before dark.

Some of the little towns have Scarecrow Contests that add a fun note to walking on Main Street. Tessa and I spend a few hours Thursday checking out the creativity.

"Iron Maiden" bwahahaha

A stretch as a scare crow, but it's pretty cute.

I really like this natural entry
Hay Bob Bucket Pants

The little girls going in for dance lessons call her Stella.
It rains lightly overnight and Friday it stays under 60 degrees all day. Tessa and I take a drive on back roads, heading north to Southbridge, Massachusetts.

Tall tree stump as flower pot
Low hand-stacked walls run through the forests all over this area.
When I graduated from college in 1977 I was working for an industrial glass company as their administrative assistant. The boss often flew to headquarters which was (is) in Southbridge and told me how pretty the area was. I said someday I'd go see it. Can't decide what's more surprising, that I actually do visit, or that it took me until age 60 to do so!

The town has seen better days, but most businesses are open and only a few homes are boarded up. Life goes on. As does the business, which a banner tells me is celebrating 100 years - wow.

Historic buildings line downtown
They're still here
The cooling trend continues and when I get up Saturday morning it's 29 degrees! I can't believe I still have running water.

The sun warms things up and Tessa and I go looking for a nice place to take a walk. We find Gay City State Park in nearby Hebron. Other than a tiny lake and some picnic tables, there is nothing here but the forest trail. I figure we'll take a short stroll, but it's so pretty, and the trail just challenging enough to be fun, that when we eventually get back to the parking lot we've spent 3 hours covering about 2.5 miles.

The forest glows

The rocks and roots aren't as challenging as the hundreds of loose acorns on the trail.
A small foot bridge covers the creek
More rock fences along the trail
A few large rocks to scramble. 
Still-life on the forest floor.
Tessa glows
Water color water
Since Bill is across the country I splurge for a late lunch of very yummy sushi. He's not a fan.

It's been so long!
This beautiful plant in front of the restaurant looks black although very close up it's a deep red. Stunning.

The trees along the highway are vivid, distracting, fabulous. What really makes me smile though, are the hillsides. They look like potted mums, tucked snugly together in such an artistic arrangement. Nature never disappoints.



  1. Nice of Bill to pitch in and help out. Not sure what the problem is with gray tank water on the ground especially if the land can absorb it. What's the worst it could have? soap?? The only thing I use my gray tank for is washing dishes, the bathroom sink and showers if the campground's shower is icky.

    You can post covered bridges until the cows come home and it will never be too much for me, nor will your beautiful fall color pictures and those leaves. The last one is stunning.

    Love the scarecrow contest. I think every town should have one. Great entries there. Give an A to the Garden Club and to the headless Mooseman. As for your hike, 2.5 miles in 90 minutes is practically running. LOL! You girls seem to be doing a fine job on your own.

    1. Bill is the only remaining child and her care falls on him so we're very grateful for other family members stepping up. I guess the small food scraps that come from dish washing and the soap are what bothered me. It didn't seem like a fast hike as we stopped to look so often....maybe I guessed wrong at the time :-))))

  2. It's a good thing you're able to get rid of the gray. At least you don't have to worry about filling up the sewer.

    Dealing with parents as they age can be difficult. Glad that Bill is able to help his. Time will pass quickly and he'll be back before you know it.

    1. Because they're on septic it's not much different than the leech lines. Thankfully the time has gone pretty fast and he's home tomorrow :-)

  3. Beautiful! That looks like a trail you could hike every and not get bored.

    I like it when they let you dump the gray! New Mexico encourages it at their state parks.

    1. There were so many things to see - large and small - you're right it would be interesting every day. See, I'm learning that we're still newbies, I had no idea the practice was common anywhere - good to know!

  4. Sounds like a good idea moving mom to CA. Probably easier and better for you to visit!? Looks like you and Tessa are able to keep busy taking in the gorgeous colors. Definitely lots of WOW going on there. Love Tessa's glow in the woods:) That was an interesting mix of scarecrows! Hope all is going well with Bill's trip moving his mom:)

    1. It really will be so much easier with her in CA, we'll get to visit all but one family member in the same state! She's all moved in and the trip has been a big success. They've been adding to the scarecrows so there's even more variety now!

  5. I agree with Sherry, keep sharing the covered bridges. And all those glorious fall colors not seen in the SW. In the west with hard ground it's not practical to dump gray on the ground. Nice they offer a free honeydipper to deal with the black. The scarecrows are a hoot! I like that "Iron man". The hike looks delightful. You do well almost solo with Tessa's help. Hope all is well with Bill helping moving his Mom.

    1. The free pump out is a definite benefit, especially since their rates are so good for the area. Tessa is great company. Her favorite scarecrow was the bed bugs - probably because it was so close to her nose :-))))

  6. Fresno sounds like a good fit for Bill's mom with family nearby to lend her a hand when needed. I suppose dumping gray on the ground isn't a big deal either. Part of the leave no trace principles deals with waste water. Just use biodegradable soap and it'll be fine. I'm a bit envious of all the amazing colors you're experiencing :-)) Keep the orange/red/yellow photos coming!! Please let us know when you'll be out west again. We'd love to spend more time with the three of you :-)

    1. Fortunately we already use biodegradable so we should be good. It's really hard not to stop every few miles and take another pic! We are going to be in Sacramento for a few days in May for sure, so I'll connect with you as soon as we know dates. We'll be staying at Cal Expo.

    2. May sounds good :-) See you then:-)

  7. Oh no....I keep missing your posts since I haven't been getting notifications. :-( I need to remember to check in with you! Anyway, it's wonderful to see that you're enjoying such a beautiful autumn in New England. Those scarecrows are so much fun! (Glad to read in your comment to Pam that Bill's mom is all settled in her new home. It seems like it will be so much easier for everyone.)

    1. See if you can re-subscribe. I had to do that with Debbie's blog, and although it said I was already subscribed, it did send me an email to confirm. Glad you checked in!! I love all the creativity of the scarecrows :-)))