Saturday, April 26, 1986

1986 Beach Pond State Park (4/26/1986)

Saturday, April 26, 1986
After lunch we headed down I-95 to find Beach Pond State Park near Escoheag in West Greenwich and hike in search of Stepping Stone Falls. We went to the address in the guide book, but found no state park. We saw the state park on the map and found the park, but there were no signs of or to the falls. We parked and took a trail leading to the pond and beach.
Boats were out on the lake with fishermen. The trail led us across a street and southward around the lake. Erich found a stick with a string attached and as he pulled the stick, it dragged leaves out of the pond.
Kyle, Erich, and Kent
Beach Pond
There were bugs flying around, so we put up our hoods. The trail did not follow the edge of the pond too closely. Kent followed an upper trail for a while and intercepted Kyle far ahead. The lower end of the pond was rather marshy and we saw a couple great blue herons and a Canadian goose. Farther along, Kent cautioned us to be quiet, and we snuck up on… a slice of deli ham!
We came upon a white-blazed trail taking us on a detour to a lookout atop cliff-like rocks. On our way down, Erich managed to slip and bruise his bum. Next he pitched forward to skin a knee. Hopefully experience will show him that he can’t walk in the woods the same way he does in the school halls.
We hiked another trail leading back to the lake, and came to a tiny stream that tumbled down some unevenly stepped rocks. We had to be satisfied with these waterfalls. We also noted the stream was wider than we thought, as Kent pointed out where you could hear trickling beneath us, and here and there between rocks covered with moss. There were also holes where the noise was more pronounced.
We continued around the pond and found some large rocks jutting out of the water near the shore to walk on. After I passed the rocks, I heard a loud splash and thought a big fish had jumped. But when I turned around I saw Kent hauling Erich out of the water. Erich was miffed because he was wet. So far I hadn’t brought food or drink, bug spray and the Stepping Stone Falls, and now I hadn’t brought a change of clothes or a dryer, or at least a bridge from the stones to the shore.
We continued following the marked trail and came to a road. We thought to follow the road back towards the pond we thought we were circling, but Kent was convinced it only led to the houses at lakeside. So we went the other way and found the marked trail again, seeing purple butterflies. We seemed to go on and on, and came to a ‘Y’ in the trail, except we were coming in on one of the arms. We ended up taking the other arm because a sign indicated it lead to Beach Pond, 1.4 miles away! We went through a pine forest, then through a wet area with skunk cabbage. Finally we found the road that was within sight of the pond, and returned to the car. We discovered the hike had taken four hours! The kids fell asleep as we drove home, so we skipped the stop for ice cream.

Thursday, April 24, 1986

1986 Historic Massachusetts (4/23/1986)

Tuesday, April 22, 1986
Kathy C arrives at 18:30 bearing a huge box of fresh fruit!

Wednesday, April 23, 1986
I had the day off and dropped my car off at Dayton Tire to have my Continental tires checked. We then drove in Kathy’s car to Wellesley, MA on SR-37 to I-295 to I-95. When we got off at Wellesley, it looked like NJ suburbs in the hills, with forsythia and tulip magnolias in bloom. The downtown had new fa├žades and we found the Stitchery about 9:30. Kathy made some purchases, and we crossed the street to a cheese shop to get a snack of Edam cheese and crackers.
We took back roads north to Concord, passing Walden Pond and Henry David Thoreau’s house site, both now awfully close to the road! After driving around Concord Square, we headed to the Minute Man National Park. We passed an empty colonial home that turned out to be the William Smith House. He was captain of the Lincoln Minute Men. We found a foundation and remains of a fireplace chimney that turned out to be the Samuel Hartwell Farm Site. Nearby was a neat colonial building that was the Hartwell Tavern. We returned to the main road at a place called “Bloody Angles,” a local ambush point. We drove farther in the rain to the Battle Road Visitor Center to get information on the park. We learned the main part of the park was back above Concord. We drove back into Concord, passing The Wayside, a home of many authors, including the Louisa May Alcott, and later Nathaniel Hawthorne. We passed Ralph Waldo Emerson’s house and the Town Square. We stopped at the North Bridge, and first searched for a bird whose call we kept hearing, but couldn’t identify him.
Memorial obelisk at the North Bridge
We crossed the North Bridge over the Concord River and climbed the hill to the Buttrick House to visit the Visitor Center displaying Revolutionary War uniforms and dioramas of the area. In one of the gardens overlooking the North Bridge was a recorded message giving a glorified description of the “first shot heard ‘round the world.” Back in town, we went to several interesting shops, then left to drive up I-95 to Salem. Passed a witch house or two and parked in a huge lot in the middle of town. There was an information booth that was closed, but a sign said to go to the back door. The lock was broken, so it was easy to enter and pick up a map and some brochures. We followed the map to an empty shopping area to stop in a small craft store with items made by the elderly and handicapped. Kathy got in a friendly conversation with the clerk. We walked along a bricked-in street to the empty Salem Commons. Not too inviting on a wet drizzly day. We found Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables and tried to count the gables.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables
We followed the waterfront of Salem Harbor. Stopped in a candy shop that featured items we had never heard of before, like Gibraltars (chewy candies that after a time become hard as rocks), and Black Jacks (anise-flavored stick candy). We opted for a chunk of fudge. We stopped in an India trade shop of spices, and wandered through the shops of Pickering Wharf. We found a pizza place to get some chowder, seafood for me and corn for Kathy, to warm us up. It was 16:30, so we headed home. We got take-out from Chopsticks for dinner.

Thursday, April 24, 1986
Kathy C left today.

Sunday, April 20, 1986

1986 Weekend in NH (4/18-20/1986)

Friday, April 18, 1986
Kent came home from work at 13:00, and after a quick lunch we picked up Kyle and Erich to drive to New Hampshire. We headed up I-95 and joined I-93 north of Boston. Once in New Hampshire, we saw a couple bumper stickers. One said, “Welcome to N.H. Now go home.” The other said, “Volez avec l’aigle ou gratter avec les poulets/Fly with the eagle or scratch with the chickens.”
We were expecting a 4-hour drive and planned a snack stop, but suddenly we were nearing our destination. We took Exit 32 to Lincoln, passing Loon Mountain after a few miles, and soon found the condo development of Clearbrook. Patches of snow were on the higher mountains and on the ski slopes. We found the P condo that they loaned us to use on an off-season weekend. We unpacked and read the condo regulations. It was a beautiful place with two bedrooms and a bath downstairs with a laundry room. The kids each chose a top bunk of the two bunkbeds in one room. The entrance was on the next level with a high-ceilinged living room. Up another level was the dining room and kitchen. Sliding doors gave a great view of Loon Mountain. Another level had a sitting room (the couch could fold out to a queen-size bed), and then the loft had another bedroom and a bath. This bedroom had a view down on the living room that also had a fireplace.
The P condo
We went for a walk to the stream in the woods next door. Then back for dinner of lasagna, garlic bread and peas, with a mountain view and setting sun. After a story was read, the kids were ready for bed at 19:30! Kent and I made a fire in the fireplace. The squeaky recliner kept Kyle up until he knew what was making the noise.

Saturday, April 19, 1986
Erich was up at 5:04 to show us his bug bite! After a hearty breakfast, we were ready for the day at 7:30! We drove back through Lincoln, and up through North Woodstock on US-3. We passed several tourist places that were closed for the season. We arrived at the Franconia Notch State Park with only one other car in the parking lot. The Visitor Center was closed, but signs directed us around the building towards The Flume. We followed an asphalt road to a covered bridge over the Pemigewasset River, then followed the stream (Flume Brook) upward.
Flume Bridge
Lower end of the Flume
We saw places where the water sheeted over wide flat rocks. We entered the gorge that became narrower with the water tumbling through. There was snow on the path, and then we couldn’t go further because of frozen waterfalls down the steep sides of the gorge that had knocked out the walkway.
Frozen waterfalls
We backtracked to one of the bridges over the brook, and walked up the other side that climbed to the top of the gorge. We found ourselves at the top of a waterfall that plunged into the narrow gorge.
Above the Flume
The kids had trouble climbing the hill and actually laid down to rest! It was more difficult because the paths went straight up instead of zigzagging. It was easier to go downhill, and we passed another family.
Back at the car we had a snack, then drove to the Basin.
Pemigewasset River to the Basin
We never found the Basin itself, but did find the Baby Flume, a narrow stream going down a rock slide, around a U-curve, and finally under a wooden bridge.
Erich, Kyle, and Kent
Kyle and Erich dropped sticks in the stream, and ran down to try to fish them out at the bottom.
Baby Flume
Kyle, Kent, and Erich at the Baby Flume
We returned to the car, passing a rock formation we think is the Old Man’s Foot.
Old Man's Foot
Erich on the Old Man's Foot
Erich and Kyle
We headed north again, to stop and see the Old Man of the Mountain. We parked and saw a girl looking through a telescope in the opposite direction. We walked to Profile Lake for the best view of the rock formation that looks like the profile of an old man.
Not another picture!
The Old Man of the Mountain
The Profile
We returned to the car, and learned the girl was watching falcons.
We drove back south, stopping at Carver’s Trading Post, which was closed, but we could still see the bears in residence.
View north towards Mount Washington
Bear at the feeding tube
Kent and Erich at the feeding tube
Kyle at the feeding tube
We bought a couple bags of bear food to toss down the tubes into the bear cages, or put in tin cans and use a pulley to bring them up to a platform. After Kyle and Erich emptied their bags, we drove into Woodstock, where I checked on breakfast information at the Woodstock Inn. We wanted to eat lunch at Truant’s Tavern, but it wouldn’t open until 11:30, so we continued to Lincoln. The Common Man Restaurant was only open for dinner, so we returned to Truant’s Tavern and were seated next to a wood-burning stove. The “waitron” was wearing a T-shirt, shorts, and hiking boots. I tried a big bowl of creamy clam chowder with big clams in it. Kyle and Erich got their hamburger and cheeseburger, each 6 oz. of meat! Lots of fries and some fruit wedges. I had a BLT and Kent had a veggie pocket. About $24 let us leave.
We returned to the condo to drop off leftover hamburgers and use the restroom. We left and this time headed east to Kancamagus Pass, stopping for a view down into the next valley.
Kancamagus Pass
Still such a warm sunny day as we wound our way through the mountains with lots of white birch trees. As we continued driving along, we noticed cars stopped at the side of the road. Wildlife! Sure enough, there was a female moose lumbering in the woods. Farther along we followed a mountain stream and in it were kayakers. We arrived at the end of the Kancamagus Highway and turned north into Conway. Noticed many outlets stores, but forged on to North Conway. Got a fantastic view of Mount Washington in the distance. In North Conway we had a view of the mountain from Main Street. There were many more outlet stores, and we shopped at a Converse Outlet. We stopped at the railroad station for a picture, then turned around to head back. Stopped at a Friendly’s to take out ice cream cones. Kent gave me the car key when he took the boys to the restroom. I unlocked the car and put the key on the dashboard for Kent. But when Kent came out, he decided to just walk across the street to the Polo Outlet, which made perfect sense. I got out of the car and as I slammed the door shut, I realized the key was inside! Too late! I had a sense of doom. Kent went into Friendly’s to get a hangar, and I tried calling the police at the pay phone. I was instructed to drop in the money at the second dial tone, which I thought I did, but I was cut off. I tried again, and lost more money. I went into Friendly’s to explain my dilemma, and was told not to put in the money until my party answered. He gave me a dime to try again, and then realized I was with the guy who had the problem of the key locked in the car. He called the police, who claimed not to be able to unlock foreign cars. People offered their VW keys to try, but no luck. Finally the Friendly’s manager called a locksmith for us. He tried a flat plastic piece to reach the lock, then picking the lock, and finally got it with the hangar! We paid him $35 and left at 15:30. We stopped at a Bass Outlet in Conway, then returned to the condo. I made Cincinnati Chili that turned out watery. After already feeling badly about locking the key in the car, this made me feel worse. Kent came and straightened things out. Later we made popcorn as we sat by a fire, and tried to keep the kids up longer, so we wouldn’t have such an early morning again.

Sunday, April 20, 1986
But they were up at 5:00! We later drove to the Woodstock Inn for breakfast at 7:30. Started out with sticky cinnamon buns and fruit juices. I had poached eggs with asparagus over homemade bread with a Hollandaise sauce. Kent had “red flannel” hash, with red beets in it for color, and a poached egg with whole wheat toast. The boys had a feast with an egg, sausage, a pancake, toast, and home fries. We left $20 and returned to the condo. The kids were sent to play outside as we had to clean the condo and pack the car. We left at 10:30 to head south on I-93, but soon detoured to US-3 for a more scenic drive. Kyle and Erich fell asleep as we passed Lake Winnepesaukee. At Weirs Beach we saw several closed amusement parks, including huge water slides. We followed SR-11 east to SR-28, and stopped at Bear Brook State Park at 12:30 for a picnic lunch. Back on I-93 to I-95 and back to RI where we dropped the boys off at their mom’s, and were home by 15:00.

Saturday, April 5, 1986

1986 Battleship Cove, MA (4/5/1986)

Saturday, March 29, 1986
Kent, Kyle and Erich at the Roger Williams Park Zoo

Sunday, March 30, 1986
Erich and Kyle on Easter (KSS)

Saturday, April 5, 1986
Mike and Ryan were visiting for a week.
Erich, Kyle, Ryan (KSS)
Today after lunch we dropped Kyle off at a birthday party, and the rest of us went to Battleship Cove. Ryan and Erich dropped off snoring as we drove. So they had plenty of energy to run all over the USS Joseph P Kennedy, Jr destroyer, the USS Lionfish submarine, and the USS Massachusetts battleship. Stayed a couple hours.
USS Massachusetts and USS Lionfish
Ryan and Erich
Teak deck
Ryan and Erich on the anchor playground 
Bridge reflection in spotlight
Erich and Ryan with Mike
on the USS Massachusetts