A New Blog

We are launching a new blog called Sea to Summits – The Adventures of Bruno, Sheri and Zealand. Here we will share our adventures in New England and beyond, and also making our new home at 58 Summer Street in Westerly.m Be sure to check out the blog and subscribe to get email updates with each new post.

Meanwhile, Hangman Hill will still be online as a record of the many adventures we had while living at our lovely home on Hangman Hill Road.

Goodbye Hangman Hill

The last few weeks have been busy settling into our new home on Summer Street in Westerly. Overall this has been a bittersweet time, saying goodbye to a place we have loved living for over twenty years is hard. We will miss the peaceful environment, gardens, wonderful neighbors, and walks to the Cool Breeze Farm. At the same time, we have come to love Westerly as a town, and are excited about making it our home, making new friends, and exploring Westerly and surrounding areas.

We are grateful to our friends and family who have been supportive of our move, and special shout out to Mike and Dee, Mark and Jen, Joey and Bernie for both moral support and heavy lifting. We are also thankful to our new neighbors in Westerly for putting up with our renovation of 58 Summer Street. They have been very gracious and welcoming.

Andy and Nick Schilke made the sale of Hangman Hill much easier than we ever imagined. Thank you to the whole Schilke Team!

This will be the last “Here at Hangman Hill” post. Don’t worry, we are keeping the blog but have decided to retire the name. Stay tuned for a new name as we continue to share our adventures.

We will close out this last post with the photos that Nick Schilke took for the listing of Hangman Hill. While some of our furnishings had already been moved to Summer Street at the time the photos were taken, they capture the pastoral beauty of the property and the very best of a beautiful home.

Moving day at Hangman Hill

We have been slowly making our way to living full time in Westerly, RI at Summer Street. In early March we put Hangman Hill up for sale with the help of The Schilke Team, Andy and Nick. It goes without saying, Hangman Hill has been a pretty special place to live. So, this is a bittersweet time.

Today Barnes Moving and Storage arrived at Hangman Hill to help us move our belongings to Westerly. We had already moved some of the essentials, but at the recommendation of our friend Denise, we hired Barnes to help with the rest.

Barnes crew at work

The crew arrived promptly at 8am this morning. They were very friendly, professional, thoughtful and careful in their packing. They even seemed to enjoy working as a team, which we really appreciated.

Downsizing with the help of a dumpster

We were pleased to have a warm spring day as one of our last at Hangman Hill. The crocus were in full bloom and the daffodils about ready to burst. It felt a bit odd not thinking about planting the garden, but also a relief not to have to spend the weekend doing our regular spring clean-up. There are walls to repair, sticks to pick up, pruning and the garden needs some work to be ready for spring planting. All of these things we have enjoyed for many years. We now look forward to a smaller garden and landscaping project at Summer Street.

Crocus by the mailbox
Crocus here, at Hangman Hill
Zealand enjoying spring sun and blue skies

One of the last things we did was to move some granite pavers using the garden cart that the last owner, Cheryl Kirkman left for us. That garden cart was by far the most important tool at Hangman Hill. It has been used to mulch, shuttle wood from the woodshed to the house, transport seedlings and plants, ferry laundry to the clothesline by the garden, and transport garden harvests to the kitchen. We are leaving behind the cart for the next owners so they too can know the joy of a trusty garden cart while living at Hangman Hill.

The Hangman Hill workhorse

Cooking with beer

On Thursday evening we took a short drive to East Greenwich RI to participate in a cooking class at “TasteBuds Kitchen”. The theme was cooking with beer, and this was a Christmas present to ourselves and helped to support a local business.

The menu included a citrus salad dressing made with an IPA, bacon mac-and-cheese made with a maple ale, chicken and mushrooms with a lager sauce, and chocolate cupcakes made with stout. We teamed up with another couple who we met at the event and everything turned out to be very tasty and easy to make.

At the end of the evening we ate our 3-course dinner, and even had some leftovers to take home with us. It was lots of fun and the class was very well put together, so give it a try if you are in the area.

Best Christmas Cards of 2022

Each January as we take down our Christmas decorations we pick out our favorite cards from our friends and relatives. After a couple of lean pandemic years we received a good number of cards in 2022.

Our personal top-4 are quite simple this year and we’d like to express our thanks to everyone who sent us a card or letter. It makes Christmas special to hear from you all!

Home for the holidays

We decided to stay in Connecticut for the holidays, and opted to explore several of the local seasonal attractions before Christmas. This included an evening walk in Westerly to see the new “Stary Nights” displays and a return visit to the Stonington “Lobster Pot Tree”. Thanks to Jen, Mark, Denise and Mike for joining us on these escapades.

Thankful for hiking in NH

We spent the last week in NH celebrating the US Thanksgiving holiday. As well as enjoying traditional Thanksgiving dinner, we managed to fit in quite a few hikes with our good friends Mike, Dee and Mesa.

On Wednesday, we dropped a car in nearby Bartlett and hiked along the ridge parallel to Route-302. We went over the summits of White Ledge, Mount Stanton, Mount Pickering, the Crippies, and Mount Langdon. This was a lovely 8-mile ridge walk on crunchy snow that had fallen the week before.

On Thanksgiving Day we did a shorter 4-mile hike around the Boulder Loop Trail, just off the Kancamagus Highway. This allowed us to get home by 3pm and get the turkey in the oven!

On Friday we awoke to the sound of rain on the windows, but we seized on a break in the weather and again dropped a car so we could avoid retracing our steps. We hiked up to Ripley Falls and then over to Arethusa Falls, avoiding the higher summits which were cloaked in clouds. About 4.5 miles in total.

For our last hike we had planned to ascend Middle Sister via the Carter Ledge Trail. However, route-16 was blocked off (probably due to an accident), so we diverted to Ferncroft Trailhead and hiked up to Mount Paugus via the Kelley Trail. This was a delightful 7.5 mile hike with ice underfoot and sunshine all round us for most of the day.

The mica and quartz mine

The trails of the White Mountains in New Hampshire wind through, around and over granite, schist and quartz. One the ground it is common to see flakes of mica, sometimes the size of tiny diamonds and as big as your thumb.

Last weekend we hiked to a mica and quartz mine in the Evans Notch area. The mine is located below the summit of Lord’s Hill via the Conant and Mine Loop trails. The mine is open to the public and there are permits for mining available at a kiosk located near the mine.

The deposits of mica and quartz were beautiful and the size of mica flakes were nearly as big as your palm. In hindsight this concentration of mica explained the large mica flakes we had seen while hiking nearby back

Twenty-Five Terrifying Hikes

Catching up on some activities and wanted to highlight our last hike on the Terrifying 25 this summer

For the past several years we have been working our way through a list of trails called the “Terrifying 25”. This list was created by Trish Herr and her two daughters after they completed hiking the 4000’ Peaks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working through the list that includes several well-known, challenging trails in the White Mountains, such as the Huntington Ravine Trail. But it also includes some really interesting lesser-known trails.

During our most recent visit to the White Mountains we hiked into the Great Gulf Wilderness and to the top of the headwall beneath the summit of Mt Madison via the Madison Gulf Trail (MGT), which is the last of our “terrifying hikes”.

Mt Madison and the Great Gulf Wilderness

The day began by taking The Great Gulf Trail that begins from Rt 16 just north of Pinkham Notch. We hiked several miles to the start of the Madison Gulf Trail (MGT) which took us to the Parapet at the top of the headwall. We found the Madison Gulf Trail to be one of the most challenging of the 25 trails for its steep, rock and wet terrain. But like all of these trails, we found enjoyment in the challenge, and also the beauty of the many waterfalls we passed as we approached the top of the head wall.

Waterfall along the Madison Gulf Trail

From the Parapet we walked around Star Lake, and took the Buttress Trail which traversed through dense, scrubby trees and then descended steeply into the Great Gulf Wilderness where we took the Six Husband’s Trail back to the Great Gulf Trail.

Star Lake
Our way home
A rock challenge on the Buttress Trail

Many thanks to Trish, Sage and Alexandra Herr for putting together this list of “terrifying trails”. We really enjoyed this list and a few favorites include the Ice Gulch Trail, the Morgan-Percival loop, and the Great Gully Trail.

Our latest patch…

Late September Harvest

The garden is starting to slow in growth, but there are still peppers, okra, tomatoes, chard, and ground cherries to harvest.

Peppers and okra have been very good this year. The okra plants are well over six feet tall and the peppers big enough for stuffing!

The zinnias continue to bloom and are still bright and cheerful.

We also have had a good crop of squash. Soon it will be soup season!