Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bowling Day for Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS)






Join ORFS
The Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) group meets every Tuesday year-round at 10 am.  In the summer we kayak/canoe, swim and hike.  In the fall we hike, and in the winter we snowshoe, cross-country ski and bowl.  Our trips are from 1-1/2 to 2 hours, followed by lunch.

Directions and location are available for our Tuesday 10 am outings via email and the monthly New London Chapin Senior Center Courier newsletter. To learn more and join, contact the Chapin Senior Center at 357 pleasant Street, PO Box 1263, New London, New Hampshire 03752 or go to their web site at http://www.coachapincenter.org


ORFS is a very informal group and participation is for all outdoor enthusiasts wanting guaranteed good exercise with a friendly fun group.
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" Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

    Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

    Steve’s books are also available as e-Books at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com  

    Saturday, April 14, 2018

    SRK Greenway Trail 7 NH Route 4A to Wilmot Center



    The Sunapee, Ragged, and Kearsarge (SRK) Greenway is a 75-mile loop of hiking trails in central New Hampshire. The Greenway Trail System circles the Lake Sunapee area and connects Sunapee, Ragged, and Kearsarge Mountains. 

    Our quest today is shown below: Section 7 topographical map of the SRKG with a descriptive title of Trail 7 NH Route 4A to Wilmot Center.  This 4.4-mile section involves two trails: the Bog Mountain Trail and Kimpton Brook Trail. This was our first time on section 7, specifically Bog Mountain, for Patty, Jim and myself.



    This Greenway map shows our trip in green. The Greenway estimated time to hike is 3 hours.  On our easterly ascent, we stopped frequently for water breaks, and once for a snack, and took 20 to 30 minutes at the summit.  On our hike down to the western trailhead terminus we stopped a few times for water, and then once for snack.  Our total time for Section 7 was just under four hours.

    This section of the SRKG is a mixture of well developed wooded trails and woods-logging roads. Our goal was to summit Bog Mountain, 1,787 feet, starting at the eastern trailhead parking lot at the Wilmot Town Hall.  We would be doing all of section 7.  For those hikers wanting a shorter hike to the summit, we did cross two major dirt roads, Stearns Road, and Pocket Road cross woods, that could be used to more readily access the summit.


    We picked up the bog mountain trail within a minute of walking from the parking lot.  This eastern side of the mountain was very rocky, and reminded me of the saying, “Don’t take NH for Granite”.  The trail up to the summit followed a vein of granite appearing to be centuries ago, reminding me of previous hikes to the White Mountains of NH with plenty of granite rocks. 


    For most of the eastern trail up to the summit the trapezoid signs readily kept us on the trail.  The views from the barren summit of Bog Mountain was marvelous.  We easily recognized Mt Sunapee and Kearsarge Mountain and their surrounding mountains. Certainly, well worth our trek. 


    The hike from the summit downward to our western trail terminus was easier than the eastern side.  However, the trail signs from the summit to the western terminus were not always readily visible.  It appears like the signage was made for hikers entering on the western trailhead, as we frequently had to pause to locate the trapezoid signs, and often spotted them only when we looked behind us from whence we came.

    We exited the Bog Mountain Trail and crossed Stearns Road onto Kimpton Brook Trail.  The Kimpton Brook Trail had large tree blowdowns from winter storms that blocked the trail.  Mixed into this, which made the Kimpton Brook Trail hike exciting, was crossing at least 4 streams by leaping rock to rock, using a blowdown tree, or a hewed log maybe 10 inches in diameter. 


    We now, never have to say, “I wish I had hiked the SRG greenway section over Bog Mountain.”

    References


    ++++++++++++++++++

    " Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

      Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

      Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

      Steve’s books are also available as e-Books at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com  

      Tuesday, April 10, 2018

      February and April Snowboarding and Downhill Skiing in New Hampshire



      April 2018: Two Days at Mount Sunapee and One Day at Okemo Mountain


      For a bonus video check out Carson, Nicholas, and Tim skiing Mt. Sunapee in February





      ++++++++++++++++++

      " Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


        Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

        Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

        Steve’s books are available as an e-Book at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com  

        Friday, April 6, 2018

        SRK Greenway Trail 4 Protectworth Trail, Springfield, NH


        Prologue

        Learning, opportunities, and fun can often come in threes.  First was when my wife and I joined the Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) group and its emphasis on weekly year-round hiking and paddling in the Lake Sunapee-Dartmouth region. Through ORFS hikes, I recognized my second opportunity, discussed in my January 2018 Blog post titled, New London, NH Conservation Commission web site .  The Conservation Commission web sited listed 29 trail hikes in the New London area.  This ORFS connection further led to my third opportunity, learning more about, the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition  (SRKG) and the 14 trails listed in its guide.   And yes, there is an overlap of trails between these two organizations.  Wow!  Maybe I should create a list of those hikes I have done, and those I need to do?

        Enough said, let me start with my latest hike and blog post, and that is the 4.3-mile Protectworth Trail in Springfield, NH.  Go to the SKRG site and see Trail Map 4 for a topographical map of the Trail. 

        The ORFS group introduced me to the Protectworth Trail as one of their Tuesday winter hikes.  On that day the ORFS hiked one mile of it (actually 2 miles as we snowshoed in one mile, and then backtracked to our starting trailhead).  See my Blog post of April 2,2018 for more on this ORFS trip. 

        I was thrilled with this trail because of the snow, blue sky, crisp teen temperatures, no wind, snow-covered tree canopy, and my ORFS friends.  So much so that a few days after the hike, I asked my son Tim and friend Mike to join me in hiking the 4.3-mile Protectworth Trail from its start on Route 114 in Springfield, NH, and finishing at its western trailhead on Baptist Pond at the intersection of Stoneybrook Road (also known as Baptist Pond Road) and Deer Road.

        The Springfield section of the SKRG is named the Protectworth Trail in honor of the original name given to the land by the Portsmouth proprietors in 1778.  This section of the SKRG is a combination of gravel and wood roads.  It has a few short steep hills on the class VI roads.

        We took two cars – Tim drove to the Deer Road-Stoneybrook Trailhead and parked in an area off Deer Road.  Mike and I met Tim there, and we drove in my Jeep to the eastern trailhead on Route 114 to start our trek.

        Do we wear snowshoes, microspikes or just our winter hiking boots?

        For the ORFS hike, due to deep snow on the trail, we all wore snowshoes and gaiters.  They were a necessity because we did some bushwhacking on ungroomed side trails off this class VI trail.

        When Tim, Mike and I arrived at the Route 114 trailhead we first checked the trail, and the snow was now packed plus had ice spots.  We elected to wear our microspikes.

        Scouting the Trail

        A few days before the hike, my wife and I scouted the Deer Road/Stoney Road western terminus of the Protectworth Trail by driving to where it ended on Stoney Brook Road, locating the Protectworth trail sign, and driving a ways down the dirt Deer Road.

        This would be my first time doing the entire Protectworth Trail, so for safety reasons (do not get lost!) I brought my compass along with the SRKG topo map.


        SooNipi Magazine Fall 2015 by Ron Garceau

        Ron Garceau, a friend and the editor of SooNipi Magazine, had written a very nice article in the Fall 2015 issue. The person who had planned the ORFS hike of Protectworth Trail had shared with me the below two pages from the SooNipi article.  I do believe if you enlarge the images, you can clearly read these two pages.  I share these pages with permission from Ron Garceau.  Indeed, Ron’s hike was in the fall, whereas our hike was in the winter …covering the same delightful Protectworth Trail.


        References


        1.      New London, NH Conservation Commission web site http://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2018/01/a-friend-just-shared-below-new-london.html
        2.      Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition http://www.srkg.com/alltrailsguide.htm
        3.      Chapin Center Council on Aging http://coachapincenter.org/index.htmlhttp://coachapincenter.org/index.html


        ++++++++++++++++++

        " Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


          Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

          Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

          Steve’s books are available as an e-Book at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com  


          Monday, April 2, 2018

          An Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) Celebration of Spring


          This Tuesday’s 10 am trek for the Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) was very special. It began with a choice of doing a 3-mile hike around Lake Kolelemook in Springfield, NH, or doing a snowshoe trek on the Protectworth Trail, part of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG).

          More so, after the hike, the annual celebration of the March Equinox would begin at our hosts, the Coombs.   Kathy and Bill invite the ORFS to adorn themselves with provided flowers and greenery and partake in Kathy's Spring Offerings.  We dance to our own music and participate in a "New Beginnings" ceremony.

          Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) is a great circle of trail corridors and conserved lands providing hikers with minimally-developed access to the mountains, lakes, vistas and historical sites of the region. The “necklace” trail comprises over 75 trail miles, created with the cooperation of landowners and local authorities, through the forests, over mountains and, where appropriate, via old roads, now unsuitable for wheeled traffic but more extensively used as much as two centuries ago. 

          The Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Trail Guide topological Map 4 below shows the Protectworth Trail in Springfield, NH. We trekked on the trail about one and a half hours. This trail is Class VI.  It had been previously groomed for snow mobiles, cross country skiers, and hikers.  Besides staying on the main trail, we also added some bushwhacking (making our own side trails in deep snow).

          We did not hike the full Protectworth Trail (4.3 miles) today, but after 45 minutes on the trail, we turned around and returned to the route 114 trail-head from whence we started.  I got enough sense of this beautiful trail, to plan a return to complete the full Protectworth Trail within the SRKG.

          Given I chose the Protectworth Trail to snowshoe, the video below gives you a sense of our trek, and then continues to the “party peoples” celebration of spring and new beginnings … and Bill’s sharing of his UFO experiences.




          References
          ++++++++++++++++++

          " Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


            Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

            Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

            Steve’s books are available as an e-Book at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com  



            Wednesday, February 7, 2018

            Tai Chi Senior Capstone Project



            Colby-Sawyer College (CSC) is a dynamic and innovative liberal arts and sciences college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. (http://colby-sawyer.edu/).

            I was a guest of a friend who was a community member of the Dan and Kathleen Hogan Sports Center.  We were there for a physical workout of running, rowing machine, bicycle machine, weights, and one-on-one basketball.

            On the reception desk I saw the below sign by senior students seeking older adults to participate in a Tai Chi study.  The students were looking for participants to engage in research looking at the effects of Tai Chi on center of balance and fall confidence in senior adults.  Given my mantra of, Never say, “I wish I had …”, I provided my wife’s and my email address to them. A week later we received an invite to participate in this six-week study.

            As the three students readily stated in the evaluation form we completed, they were not certified in Tai Chi.  One of the students had taken Tai Chi lessons in the summer and prepared a proposal that would provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate to their faculty capstone committee, the application of their four years of academic study at CSC.

            So, what is Tai Chi? Originating in ancient China, Tai Chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits.

            During the first class we were asked to demonstrate certain metrics for the students to measure (stand on one foot, rise from a chair, walk a circle), as well as complete a background form.  The students stated at the end of the six weeks they were to again measure the metrics and do an analysis of change from week one to week six.

            The below video was taken at the beginning of week three.  The video here in no way is connected to the student capstone, but the theme of this motivation blog, Never say, “I wish I had …”, hopefully will encourage this reader to try something they have never tried before.  My wife and I now, never have to say, "I wish I had experienced Tai Chi".

            And yes, this video is at normal speed.  Tai Chi moves are slow motion and low impact.

            Oh, one more thing.  I give my permission to the students to use this blog and video, and any follow-up post and video I do, in their capstone as they deem appropriate.

            Here are the references used by wife and me as we researched Tai Chi to practice during days we could not participate at the college.

             Tai Chi for Beginners Video | Dr Paul Lam | Free Lesson and Introduction
             Learn Tai Chi 8 forms for beginners (English version) - Hong Kong Jackysum5
             What is Tai Chi
            https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/what-is-tai-chi/

             The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi by Peter W. Wayne, PhD with Mark L. Fuerst,
             
            2013 by Harvard Health Publication

            ++++++++++++++++++

            " Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


              Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

              Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

              Steve’s books are available as an e-Book at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com  



              Sunday, February 4, 2018

              Four 60+years young friends winter hike to AMC's Lonesome Lake Hut


              What does it feel like for four friends, all 60+years young in good physical condition to do a winter hike into Lonesome Lake Hut? 




              Grab your favorite beverage, relax, and enjoy the hike as Lennie, Joe, John and Steve hike from Lafayette Camp Ground uphill through woods to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)  Lonesome Lake Hut.  The temperature is in single digits, windy, and deep packed snow. 


              If you read about the Lonesome Lake Hut references you will see it is promoted as an easy hike for families.  Well, I must admit it was a very challenging hike for us. The first hour was up – up – and up and we frequently paused to experience the Franconia Notch views, or as one of my companions suggested, “the views are an excuse to catch our breath". We added a stop to put hand-warmers in our gloves and mittens. The trail crisscrossed up the steep mountain through the trees and rocks, with the trampled trail sometime 1-foot in width embedded into the side of the hill.  When you stepped off the trail, you could sink up to your thigh – and we quickly learned to stay on the snow packed trail. 

              How do we dress?

              This winter weather demands we dress appropriately for very cold weather.  We also need to decide, cross country skis, snowshoes, or micro spikes?  Given we are hiking uphill through the woods, that means XC skis are out.  If we were the first hikers through 3 feet of snow, snowshoes would be our choice to keep us on top of the snow.  However, we are not the first hikers on this trail, and the last week has resulted in hard-packed snow.  Do we wear only insulated boots or micro spikes.  Given rain last week on top of snow, and we would be in single digit cold, we made micro spikes on our boots our choice.

               Although Lonesome Lake Hut in the winter is self-service with sleeping accommodations, we planned only a day hike. Our uphill trip took just over one and a half hours to the hut.  Our return downhill hike on the same trail was one and a quarter hours.

              The below video is a celebration of Lennie’s retirement.




              About Lonesome Lake Hut

              Lonesome Lake Hut’s elevation is 2,760 feet with the 12 acre Lonesome Lake in its front yard.  The hut is on the Appalacian Trail.  The view from the hut provides spectacular views of the Franconia Ridge across pristine glacial Lonesome Lake and the nearby 4,000-foot peaks, including Cannon Mountain.


              Lonesome Lake Hut is a 1.6 mile hike starting at Lafayette parking area ascending 950 feet. This is the westernmost hut of the eight AMC wilderness huts on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

              The below New Hampshire State Parks map is most interesting.  You can see our trail in blue from Lafayette camp ground up to Lonesome Trail Hut (green).  But this map has more ... you can identify the Franconia Ridge 4,000+ footers (Mt Layfayette, Mt Lincoln, Little Haystack, Mt Liberty) as you climb and descend Lonesome Lake Trail.  Also, you can identify the Cannon Balls and Cannon Mt mountains looking north from the porch of Lonesome Lake Hut






              References


              ++++++++++++++++++

              " Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


                Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

                Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

                Steve’s books are available as an e-Book at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com  

                Wednesday, January 24, 2018

                ORFS Winter Hike at Colby-Sawyer College's Kelsey Field Trail


                The Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) group meets every Tuesday year-round at 10 am.  In the summer we kayak/canoe, swim and hike.  In the fall we hike, and in the winter we snowshoe and cross-country ski.  Our trips are from 1-1/2 to 2 hours, followed by lunch.

                Directions and location are available for our Tuesday 10 am outings via email and the monthly New London Chapin Senior Center Courier newsletter. To learn more and join, contact the Chapin Senior Center at 357 pleasant Street, PO Box 1263, New London, New Hampshire 03752 or go to their web site at http://www.coachapincenter.org


                ORFS is a very informal group and participation is for all outdoor enthusiasts wanting guaranteed good exercise with a friendly fun group.

                Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, provided our weekly Tuesday 10 am winter hike. Hiking the Kelsey Field trail was a first time experience for our ORFS hiking group.

                Jim was our leader and hike organizer.  Leading 20+ ORFS was a responsibility he readily accepted.  In fact, he first hiked the trail last October to be sure of its locations and turns, and level of difficulty.  The second time he hiked the trail was after a snow and ice storm.  He used emails to notify all ORFS to bring their micro spikes or crampons, snowshoes, and trekking poles ... he expected the trail to be mixed ice with snow.

                The sky was cloudless with the temperature in the low twenties.  A beautiful New Hampshire day for a winter hike.



                The trail was designed and constructed by Professor Leon Milan, Environmental Services, and his students.  It was built to be used as an outdoor classroom and a cross country track for the Athletic Department.  

                The Kelsey Trail had to meet the specifications for cross country track.  It was first opened to the public during Homecoming Weekend, October 2017.

                Colby-Sawyer College Event Services office was happy to have ORFS use the trail and also have a delicious lunch in the dining hall.  The entire outing was enjoyed by all. 



                DIRECTIONS to Kelsey Field Trail:  from New London on Main Street, turn onto Seamans Rd. at 1st Baptist Church.  Continue behind CSC and turn right at Mercer Field take the first left and drive to the far parking area.  Trailhead is across Seamans Rd.  For lunch walk up the path behind Danforth Hall and Lawson Hall.  Lunch will be at the CSC Cafeteria, Building 20, Ware Student Center. If you have a handicapped sticker you can drive to the Cafeteria and park in appropriate spaces.  Lunch will be the Student Buffet.
                Colby-Sawyer College
                http://colby-sawyer.edu/

                More Blog Posts on Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS)
                1. ORFS Winter Hike Put Safety First: Kidder-Cleveland-Clough Trail
                2. Christmas Caroling with the ORFS
                http://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-outdoor-recreation-for-seniors-orfs.html
                3. Radio Interview with Pearl Monroe - September 6, 2017 
                http://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2017/09/ 
                ++++++++++++++++++

                " Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


                  Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available   

                  Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. 

                  Steve’s books are available as an e-Book at Kindle and hard copy at Amazon.com