Travel

Stonington Sunsets

We were presented with a spectacular sky tonight as the daylight faded. I’m not sure I need to say much else.

Click a thumbnail to open the gallery then navigate with your arrow keys.

 

 

Read More...

Travel

Adventures with Aly

First, though

a bit of wrap-up from yesterday. When Rachel and I returned from hiking yesterday, we encountered Aly boating with Grandpa Bill in the peapod and Leah playing on the rocks with Grandma Jan, having a great time with their grandparents in Maine.

Now, onto the aforementioned adventures

Aly fancies herself an adventurer, and at low tide, we can trudge out to two islands, so we did that this morning. The first island has the oft-photographed storage shack and two lobster cars, which are floating pens that are used to stage lobster, though these two particular lobster cars always seem to be on this island instead of in operation. The island also contains a lot of various junk, including tires, transmission components, cables, ropes, etc. It also has some brightly colored tide pools which make fine photographic subjects.

One final note. Leah says that vacation is tiring.

 

And here’s Aly in the same “camping bed” at a slightly older age.

Click on a thumbnail to open the full-size gallery, then use your left and right arrow keys to navigate.

Read More...

Travel

Edgar Tennis Preserve

About a ten-minute drive from downtown Stonington, the Edgar Tennis Preserve is another beautiful shore area maintained by the Island Heritage Trust. Rachel and I hiked there on a sunny Sunday afternoon, doing both the loops that travel along the water (about 3 miles total of easy hiking, with a few rock scrambles along the way). Similar to the quarry hike, there are few parking spots available, perhaps 7 total. The views throughout the walks are stunning – ocean views, tidal bay views, and mossy forests dotted with ferns.

This hike wouldn’t have been a good one for the girls, as the footing was strewn with roots and rocks. The spongy forest floor made for cushioned walking, and also entertained Rachel as she watched the ground squish beneath my footfalls. We spotted few people along this trail, but among the dozen or so we did see, one was yapping loudly into her cell phone as her family marched along with hanging heads. The forests were mixed evergreen and birch, but we saw no living birch trees through the hike – all the birch was on the ground and looked as if some pest had destroyed them all from the inside out. We highly recommend this series of trails and will certainly visit again.

 

Click on a thumbnail to open the full-size gallery, then use your left and right arrow keys to navigate.

 

 

Read More...

Travel

Settlement Quarry

Worth a second look

On Sunday morning, we took Leah to Settlement Quarry, which is just a short drive from downtown Stonington. We’ve been by the quarry before on our way to various nautical experiences with Bill Baker at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, but had not hiked through it previously. Part of the Island Heritage Trust, there are scant few parking places at the trailhead. It takes about ten minutes of uphill walking along a two-track trail to reach the top of the quarry, but the scenery while hiking along the trail is gorgeous forest. We also encountered an abandoned furnace near the summit.

 

The payoff

Upon reaching the summit, we were immediately rewarded with spectacular views across the entire range of vision. The blasted remains of granite sheets stretched downhill all the way to the water, though the slope is not too treacherous for easy footing. We enjoyed this so much that we came back on Monday with Aly for another fun hike.

 

Click on a thumbnail to open the full-size gallery, then use your left and right arrow keys to navigate.

 

Read More...

Travel

Fog & Tide Pools

Saturday morning

arrived with what the folks around here call “ribbon fog” weaving around the islands in our view. It made for a picturesque view of the old lighthouse and some neighboring islands.

 

The fog didn’t seem to hamper the sea gulls’ ability to pursue the bait boat as it made stops around the harbor.

 

Ocean’s eleven

Degrees, that is. Aly got the idea that she really wanted to go swimming and after wading in to about waist depth, she used her singsong sweet voice to request my presence in the water. In a moment of temporary insanity, it sounded refreshing and I agreed to put on my suit and join her. Without a doubt, this is the coldest water I have ever submerged myself in. If you’ve ever watched males try to wade into cold water, they seem to get very timid when the water is just below waist level. Well, let me tell you, this water made my knees hurt and my quads hurt before it even got to that level. After a few minutes of whining, I finally flopped into the water, swam out a little bit, and then decided I’d better swim back in, since the cold had knocked all the air out of my chest. It was not refreshing.

 

I asked Aly later if she’d go back in and she said “I don’t think so, Dad.”

After that, Grandpa Bill took the girls for a boat ride in the water tender, the lone motorized vessel among his armada.

 

Leah enjoyed a quick snack in the kitchen before dinner:

 

Sunset and seaglass

After dinner, I wandered out with my camera during low tide and got some pictures of the contents of a few tide pools.

 

Click on a thumbnail to open the full-size gallery, then use your left and right arrow keys to navigate.

 

Read More...

Travel

A sunny Stonington Friday

Getting here

Thursday was a long travel day. Ten minutes before we left our house, the sky opened up and it rained very hard the entire drive to GRR. We breezed through security, despite an old lady in front of us verbally assaulting the TSA guy because of some gel tube she had in her carry-on. First she claimed to not know about it, then she started yelling at him because it was so expensive. This was followed by another about face, where she first yelled this: “What are you talking about, I travel all the time and have never had this problem before!” As he started to respond, she returned back to her confused old lady tone and said “Well, how should I know that, I don’t travel very often.” I felt a momentary sadness for her granddaughter traveling companion, then resumed chuckling as we left the security area and headed to our gate.

Read More...

Life in Holland Michigan, Strawberry Loves The Great Outdoors

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

A bonus visit

After a work outing in Saugatuck ended a bit early, I took advantage of the extra time by spending some time wandering through the north end of Saugatuck Dunes State Park, working my way to Lake Michigan and then walking along the water line back to the central path. It was a spectacular day in the mid-80’s, a slight breeze, and warm water. Over the course of 90 minutes walking the trails, I only passed a handful of people (and one dog).

Read More...

shit my blog says

Work team outing to Saugatuck

We started with lunch

What else would we start with? Unfortunately, we have no pictures of the wonderful lunch at The Mermaid restaurant in Saugatuck. I’m sure you’d all love to see Louis’ Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich w/Fries (or mine), Karla’s Shrimp Bowl, Amy’s salad, Janene’s veggie burger and whatever Steve and Jef ordered. So the committee apologizes for the lack for visual imagery regarding lunch consumption.

Read More...

Family

The blue eyes of summer

A morning with Lele

Read More...