“The colours of the trees have changed, the landscape palette rearranged” Robert Patinson

Warm temperatures, brilliant sunshine, dark charcoal skies, light winds, no rain falling…all factors that have contributed to a colorful period of fall hiking and paddling. We present an album for your enjoyment, highlighting the brilliant colors of autumn in Vermont !

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A few hours exploring the (now closed for the season) state park….overlooking one of our frequent paddling spots.

edgar hurrah for fall

Edgar dances for joy…he loves the cooler temperatures of autumn!

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Early colors showing for a late day paddle….

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Calm evenings make for reflective moments….

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Sometimes we have to “play tourist” , and pull over for a photo!

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Great paddling in some new ponds…so much fun to explore as the foliage nears peak brightness!

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Griff loves hiking on our local trails networks….

We celebrate the end of September, with a short, but sometimes steep and scrambly, hike to a beautiful vista overlooking the Mad River Valley…..

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Colors are stupendous this year!

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Edgar wears his orange bandanna now…it is bear season in Vermont!

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Edgar and Griff did not quite know what to make of the nest of snakes…thankfully, we have no dangerous snakes in our area!

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Proud dad and his dog…..

So now we enter October….our final canoe camping trip is this weekend. Wanna know when it is going to rain?; just check our camping schedule! It has not rained in 8 days, but looks like we’ll be tenting under the drops this weekend! We’ll also be attending the Northern New England Sled Dog Trade Fair. That will get us all psyched up for the upcoming snow sports season!

“There is a harmony In autumn, and a lustre in its sky…”

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A cool morning paddle…respite from the challenges of the week

A brief posting this week…As the seasons change, so do our lives. The past two weeks have been difficult ones, as we faced the unexpected death of a beloved member of our family. My mother–who taught me to ski, play golf, and who encouraged my love of summer camp and the outdoors, passed away last week.

Our scheduled canoe camping and hiking trips went by the wayside, as being with family, and supporting each other became the priority. The dogs were of great comfort to us, just being there, wordlessly comforting us in our grief.

The autumn is arriving with glorious early colors, and the serenity we can achieve by being out there, in the cool fall air, taking in the glorious changing of seasons is much appreciated this year.

On we go, into a new season of our lives…..

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Fall brings change, in the air, and in our lives…..

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Getting out with the dogs, is a welcome and peaceful time

Until next time, peace to you…..

A Double-Dip to Celebrate September !

September is here! The past few weeks have seen cool nights, not much rain, and some cooler and windy days…but no, we did not celebrate with a double-dip ice cream cone (though the return of hot and humid weather might suggest that). We decided to start the new month with a paddle on a new (for us) body of water, in a part of the state which we do not usually paddle. This single paddle trip somehow turned into a day in which we dipped our paddles in 2 different lakes, for our 30th, and 31st paddles of the year!

So, for a slightly different approach, here is the “Top Ten” list of our activities for the past few weeks…

#10  A sunset paddle on a lake where we have gone for quiet foliage paddles turned out to be less than peaceful. There was one other boat on this medium sized lake—a high powered motor boat, pulling wake boarders. Of course, they had to run the entire length of the lake, including the narrow end where we were paddling. And of course, the boarder kept falling, so they had to keep circling, often much closer than the 200 feet distance from us, that the law requires. And of course, they acknowledged they were too close, but that did not deter them….so we had a rollicking time, but managed to keep from swamping, through sheer determination and strong paddling. We did beach at one point to use the bilge pump, and ended up cutting short our excursion.

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Taking a break, in some calm water away from the rude and inconsiderate boaters.

#9 #8 #7  All kind of blend together…the end of August means a return to work, and a reduction in mid-week hiking times. We kept our nearly daily hikes on local trails ( though one network was closed for a week, due to bear activity). We also hiked Mad River Glen ( Stark Mt.) in the Valley, and on a trip to Rochester, NY, Griff and I explored the trails in Mendon Ponds Park. Last week, Griff and I headed out at 0520, to begin a sunset hike on Mt. Elmore. Well, we had a really nice, cool, foggy hike…foggy being the operative word. We never really saw the sun through the fog, but we did have the mountain to ourselves!

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Edgar was not too keen on getting in the chairlift seat…I guess he has no future as an avalanche dog!

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Lots of ravines and “up and downs” on the trails at Mendon Ponds.

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No long distance views today!

#6   We returned to the lovely Wolcott Pond for a sunset paddle…this time, there were no power boats to harass us! There actually was one other canoe on the water this time, but certainly it did not affect the feeling of solitude here.

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Edgar had the rare opportunity to go for a short solo…Gryphon anxiously paced on shore!

#5  Another early morning on Green River Reservoir…we’ll be camping here again in a few weeks, and realized we’d gone a few weeks without a visit. We explored an arm of the reservoir we rarely visit, and had a delightful and peaceful trip.

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Our 2 boys…early morning at GRRSP, with red and orange foliage beginning to peek through the greens!

4#   We set out to paddle Parker Pond, but arrived to find strong gusty winds, and whitecaps…okay, so at least we found it and checked out the access area. We took a very scenic ( thank you, GPS T’Pau) trip to another lake, where we thought the wind might be less.  We had paddled Little Hosmer Pond earlier in the year, but now we were at Big/Great Hosmer, the adjacent lake. It is a long and narrow lake, where scullers frequently train. It was ,in fact, less windy, so we headed out. The “browse line” left by wintering deer herds were clearly visible. A sculler rowed by, leaving us “in the dust”. We chatted with some fisherman, who had just caught a lovely bass. We headed through the narrowest point of the lake, and suddenly, the wind picked up…we are used to that now, and paddled strongly and firmly, safely finishing an enjoyable paddle.

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It is inevitable…the colors are arriving….

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It was quite calm in the small cove in which the access is located.

#3   SWAG! Yes, I won the Wag N’ Swag sweepstakes, sponsored by Animal Wellness. The dogs were quite excited by the packages of prizes which arrived ( more excited by the toys and treats than by the shampoo and poop bags). We’ve been giving out poop bags to our dog owner friends, and will bring some to the trailheads where we hike. The dog food is great, but I am a bit hesistant about the dried catfish skin chews…I mean, dog breath is not great to begin with, and add old fish….

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Is it all mine????? Nope. We’re going to share with some other dogs….

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#2  No photo…but a personal accomplishment. We have discovered that having a nice,high quality canoe means more canoe maintenance…never had to buy tung oil or nu-finish for the Old Towns, and we are proud of how we keep the canoe clean and safe. We recently somehow lost one of the flotation tank plugs, and Swift Canoe quickly sent us a replacement. But the new style plug is a different size, and did not seem to fit. The folks at Swift were very helpful and understanding…but they said I had to drill into the tank…Yikes, drill into our beautiful canoe?? Well, I am proud to say I successfully completed this task…without causing any damage! A little thing, but for me, a tool dunce, a nice accomplishment.

#1  Back to our Double-Dip, and the highlight of the past few weeks…after a very nice, adequate paddle on our initial destination , we decided to head south and check out another, larger lake. Wow, this was great! We discovered Bristol Pond,with an amazing channel through marshes and great bird habitat…though we had not planned to go paddling for a second trip, this one looked too good to pass up. So back we went into the boat, and had a great time. Many Great Blue Herons, lots of geese, kingfishers, and other birds were keeping the dogs interest. We passed a fisherman, who had just caught a 12 inch bass…he seemed startled to see that we had TWO dogs in our boat. We will definitely return to this lake another day.

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We did not load from the dock…there is a nice sandy/muddy launch area.

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A beautiful day!

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Mr. Heron….

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Some local flora.

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Our trusty Swift Kipawa…with it’s new float tank plug!

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