Working (out) in the basement

We are mostly working at home and thus missing our regular trips to the Pfizer fitness center. In the summertime we worked-out outside on the deck and really enjoyed the al-fresco exercise experience. Now that the days are much shorter and the outside temperatures are colder we have been forced inside for our gym time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us (and many others) to be creative. So, we cleared a space in the basement and purchased some rubber floor mats. With a few weights, mats, straps, bands and balls that we already had we now have our own in-house fitness center for the winter months.

Assembling the mats

Basin Trail and the Goodrich Boulder

A few weeks ago we spent a cloudy and damp weekend in New Hampshire. Despite the sub-optimal weather we enjoyed some really nice hikes and also some brief spells basking in the sunshine.

We hiked the Basin Trail in Evans Notch on Saturday, and this allowed us to check out some future overnight camping spots. And on Sunday we completed our penultimate “Terrifying 25” trail by hiking to (and onto) the Goodrich Boulder in Waterville Valley. This short hike was extended by continuing on to the Greeley Ponds to explore their peaceful and secluded valley

Looking south from the top of the head wall (above the Basin)
Climbing the Goodrich Boulder.
(Yes, the ladder really is that big!)
The view from the top of the boulder
Coming down…
Lower Greeley Pond

Early October hiking

The first weekend in October brought us back to New Hampshire for our annual homeowners meeting (of our chalet development). We were lucky enough to get a hike in on Sunday, and we tackled Pine Mountain from the Gorman side. The leaves were perfectly colored and we even saw a rainbow.

Fall hiking in the White Mountains

At the end of September we enjoyed a weekend of camping and hiking with friends in the White Mountains. Our big hike of the weekend was to the summits of Mounts Parker, Resolution, Stairs and Crawford. We had perfect weather and great views in all directions.

On Sunday we explored another nearby 52WAV peak, Mt Potash. And to finish the weekend off perfectly, we enjoyed dinner on the veranda at the Eagle Mountain House on Sunday evening.

Spy and Scruffy on the trail
Looking north from Mt Resolution
The fall colors were perfect

Camping on Richardson Lake

Our plans for a trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in September were cancelled leaving us some free vacation time. Our friends Mike and Denise graciously invited us to join them at Pine Island, ME for a camping trip.

Richardson Lake consists of two lakes, upper and lower, stretching over fourteen miles from north to south. It is largely undeveloped, has crystal clear water and is a habitat for all things Maine, i.e., moose, loons, eagles and mergansers (aka…ducks). There are a few islands in the lake that offer camping, including Pine Island.

Our tent site on Pine Island
Mergansers

We spend a long weekend camping on Metallak Island several years ago and were very happy to return. Pine Island is much bigger so we were able to keep safe distance, but enjoy outside activities together. In addition to Mike, Dee and Mesa, mutual friends Spy and Shauna and Scruffy also joined for the week. With six people, three dogs, 2 canoes, 2 kayaks, 2 kites, a slack line, a library of books, and plenty of food and drink, we were well situated for 5 days of fun!

Zealand relaxing in the tent
Happy hour for Mr. Z

The weather was superb, we had abundant sunshine and warm days with cool nights. We had a little rain one day, but otherwise were able to swim, paddle, relax on the beach, enjoy sunsets and after-dinner campfires. One day was every calm enough, and warm enough for a little waterskiing!

Sheri on skis

Afternoons were spent paddling, reading and eventually gathering for happy hour and sunsets. Once the colors faded and the temperatures on the beach cooked dinner over the fire on stove-top.

Reading… or napping?
Zealand and Mesa having a siesta

After dinner we gathered on the beach for a “dry-ki”, drift wood collected from the island or nearby shores of the mainland, for a bonfire.

Bruno collecting fire wood
Dry-ki fire on the beach

By the end of the week the temperatures started to drop, and hints of color could be seen on the trees. The last morning before departing back to South Arm to our cars, Sheri and Dee paddled one last time, in spite of 36 Fahrenheit temperatures!

Morning paddle
Dee paddling into a sunrise with hits of smoke from Oregon fires

LIVE Music at Goodspeed Opera House

At the beginning of the year we bought season tickets to the Goodspeed Opera House in Haddam, CT. Sitting just above the banks of the Connecticut River, the Goodspeed is a lovely theater that never fails to impress. It is famous for many reasons, including its Victorian architecture, a lovely setting by the river and for being the theater where the musical “Annie” and “Man of La Mancha” made their debut.

View from our seats

Sadly the theater season was cancelled this year. But, this summer the Goodspeed offered a series of outdoor concerts. We jumped at the chance to see live music in an outdoor setting that was set up to socially distance the audience. Thanks to our friend Denise, we got a spot along the river with plenty of space between other parties.

Our “seats” (Bruno with Mike and Dee). The Gelston House in the background.

The band featured was the Playbillies, a group of Broadway actors and musicians who perform Broadway showtunes ….performed in bluegrass style. We know what you are thinking… but it was excellent. Check out this video cover of Dancin’ in the Dark from the musical based on Bruce Springsteen.

The Playbillies
Match Maker

Sailing with Gene and Kathy

On Friday Sheri spent the afternoon sailing with Gene and Kathy. The weather was perfect for a sail. From the mooring they sailed past University of Connecticut, Avery Point, into Long Island Sound. The winds picked up and it was lovely to see Groton Long Point, Bluff Point and Mystic from a different perspective.

Thanks Gene and Kathy for a perfect summer afternoon sail, and for helping Sheri who was a little rusty on tiller and the gib!

Summer Fun on the River

We have been enjoying a more relaxed summer with Friday vacation days and the absence of work travel.

One Sunday we met Mike and Denise for a paddle from the Alton Pond at the dam north to the Wood River. We had a swim, paddled along a tributary to a lovely set of falls and ended with a picnic. Oh, and the rope swing… like being a kid again!

Mount Magalloway (52 out of 52WAV)

We awoke on Sunday morning after a comfortable night sleeping in the back of our Ford Flex. Who knew that we could both stretch out easily and also accommodate Zealand down by our feet!

We set up the stove and brewed a pot of tea, and got organized for the very short hike up Mount Magalloway. This was to be our last peak on the “52 with a view” list and we had come a long way to reach this point.

The hiking was short and easy, and we were at the summit just half an hour after leaving the parking lot. We explored the viewpoints/ledges, the fire tower and the somewhat dilapidated buildings at the summit. We also had a celebratory cold-drink to mark the occasion.

The hike back to the car was fun, but the trail was quite difficult to follow because of many fallen trees along the way. Despite this we were back at the car before lunchtime.

On the way up…..
The fire tower at the summit
Views from the ledges (still quite hazy)
A lovely distant view from the fire tower
Lots of blow-downs on the trail back to the car.