Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Hiking the Interpretive Sawyer Trail in Dewey Woods, Sunapee, New Hampshire


As noted in the Sunapee Conservation Commission brochure, “The Sawyer Trail,” is an interpretive hiking/walking trail. I first learned of Sawyer Trail when my wife Catherine hiked it with members of the Outdoor Recreation for Seniors group, known simply as ORFS. She was so impressed she had to share this trail again with me on a beautiful NH fall day. 


Click the below video and enjoy insights into the interpretive Dewey Woods Sawyer Trail.


Twelve signs, known as stations, provide the hikers with brief stories, such as the trail’s history, tree surroundings, and how trees contribute to conservation. For example, the sign at Station 2 tells about a nearby cavity tree used by various wildlife. Station 4 describes “old-growth” trees over 100 years old. Some people call these “wolf trees.” A wolf tree is simply a tree that is much older and larger than the surrounding trees in the area, most likely due to bygone days when selected trees were left by farmers in a field for shade. When farming stopped in the area, tree seeds matured and grew into a forest surrounding the wolf tree. The hemlock trees at this station are at least three feet in diameter and 50-plus feet tall. For more on “wolf trees” go to my blog narrative of the SRKG Trail 6 noted in the references.

The trail is named after Sawyer Webb who for his senior high school project, conceived, designed, and spent many hours creating this nature trail here in Sunapee, New Hampshire.

Click this link to SUBSCRIBE to OutdoorSteve's YouTube Channel

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

References

1. Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Trail 6 – Wolf Trees and Many Trails
https://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2020/04/sunapee-ragged-kearsarge-greenway-trail_28.html

2. Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS)
https://www.coachapincenter.org/orfs/

3. Sawyer Trail in Dewey Woods, Sunapee, NH

https://www.town.sunapee.nh.us/sites/g/files/vyhlif5056/f/uploads/sawyer_trail_map.pdf

4. Sunapee Trail Maps

https://www.town.sunapee.nh.us/conservation-commission/pages/trail-maps

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Monday, October 10, 2022

All Trails Lead to Ledge Pond

The Sunapee Conservation Commission invited the town to a walk in the woods to Ledge Pond by way of five trails for access to the pond.  A recently developed trail, Lucien Trail, was showcased on this hike. My wife Catherine and I, joined the Commission leaders and 40 or so residents, on this Commission-directed hike.


Ledge Pond has five defined trails:
  1. Lucien Trail (Yellow Arrow Marker)- recently prepared as a Boy Scout Eagle Scout Project by Lucien Osborn.
  2. Ledge Pond Trail (aka- the snowmobile trail)
  3. Meadowbrook Farm Trail
  4. Daniel Bean Trail (Red Arrow Marker)
  5. Bog Trail (a dead-end trail)

The Lucien Trail is a well-thought-out and very nice hike. The Lucien Trail is a circuit north and south of the existing snowmobile trail leading to the pond. The trail is a moderate effort of about 1 3/4 miles, with some elevation gain. The entrance to the Ledge Pond parking area is reached by taking a left before the Irving station in George’s Mills, onto Springfield Rd., immediately left onto Main Street, and then a right on Prospect Hill Rd. Meadow Brook Rd is on the left. 

During the hike, attending members of the Commission, Barbara, Tim, and Mark, shared the history of this Ledge Pond area and how George's Mills had once relied on the Pond for their water. Tim, Mark, and Lucien shared forest and animal life and the Lucien Trail construction.

Due to frequent stops to ask questions of our hosts, times and distances for the trip varied as not all of the hikers returned on the same trail. Outdoor Steve's trip was roughly two hours using the Lucien Trail up, and returning on the Meadowbrook, Daniel Bean, Ledge Pond, and Lucien Trails, covering 2.1 miles.


As referenced below titled Ledge Pond / Town of Sunapee, "the Town of Sunapee and its Conservation Commission donated a conservation easement protecting 41% of the shore frontage on Ledge Pond to the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust. The property was originally owned by the Town to protect the pond’s water quality; it was formerly used as the drinking water source for Georges Mills. The easement includes a total of 103.32 acres and over 5,100 feet of shore frontage.

The bulk of the property is a town forest, managed for timber as well as water protection, wildlife habitat, and pedestrian and snowmobile access by the public. Common loons nest on the pond, which is ranked among the highest-quality wildlife habitat in New Hampshire. A public parking area, located off of Meadow Brook Road, allows walkers/hikers to park and walk less than half a mile along a woods road to the pond. From there, hikers can take in the views of the pond or continue along trails in either direction which run near the shoreline and provide views of the pond, its shoreline, and sometimes of the loons themselves.

An established snowmobile corridor crosses the pond and enters the easement property making the property accessible to many in the winter also. We are grateful to the Town of Sunapee for ensuring that this pond will maintain much of its undeveloped shoreline."

Click this link to SUBSCRIBE to OutdoorSteve's YouTube Channel

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

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Practicing Skeet Shooting Skills

A sunny 45-degree Saturday morning at Rodys Gun Shop, Newport, NH, offered Steve and his friends an opportunity to practice their skeet shooting skills.

L-R: Steve, Coach Rick, Mark, Leon

Outdoor Steve is a newcomer to this sport, and this blog is definitely not a "how-to" tutorial. The two references below provide the reader insights into American Skeet Shooting. 
  • An Upper and Lower House on opposite ends of the range where the orange clay disks (commonly called "targets" or "clay pigeons") are thrown.
  • Eight Stations from where the shooter rotates.
  • One round of shooting is 25 shots spread across the eight stations.
  • A round of Skeet involves one box of 25 shotgun shells per shooter, which will be fired at eight stations.
  • The shooters begin a round at Station 1 in front of the High House and progress around the arc to Station 7 in front of the Low House, ending at Station 8 precisely in the middle between the two houses.
  • Today, Steve and his friends did two rounds, firing 50 shots each. All shooters wore hearing and eye protection.
The below graphic of a skeet shooting range specification and picture of Rodys Gun Shop range show:

Skeet Field Layout from http://nssa-nsca.club/all-about-skeet/american-skeet/





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Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Visit to Prince Edward Island, Canada


Steve, Cathy, Dave, and Helen visit Prince Edward Island, Canada. 


We strolled the boardwalk of Cavendish Beach in the Prince Edward Island (PEI) National Park.

We spent one evening at a Ceilidh in Stanley Bridge Hall. A Ceilidh (pronounced "Kay Lee") is a celebration of music connecting traditional music from Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island. An evening enjoyment of music complete with stories, fiddling, song, and step-dancing.


We visited the lighthouse in North Rustico, one of sixty-one lighthouses on PEI.  We saw the offshore statue in North Rustico harbor celebrating the role of the fishing industry in the lives of the people of PEI.

A must-visit in PEI is the home of  Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green GablesCathy and I had previously watched an Anne of Green Gables movie, and Cathy could not wait to see the homestead of L.M. Montgomery (her author name), as described in the movie and book. We walked the garden enjoyed by her and read the signs with excerpts from her books (most signs in PEI are in English and French.) You will hear Cathy read one of the many meaningful signs along the path.   


The Buzz PEI is Prince Edward Island’s monthly Guide to "What’s Going On" featuring community events and local art, music, theatre, books, food & drink, film and more. https://buzzpei.com

We stayed in a delightful two-bedroom cottage at Cavendish Bosom Buddies Cottages and Suites.

Our visit was shortened because of Hurricane Fiona. We thoroughly enjoyed our two-night stay - originally planned for six nights. We could feel how proud the people felt to be P.E. Islanders. We definitely will return.

Click this link to SUBSCRIBE to OutdoorSteve's YouTube Channel

References

Monday, August 15, 2022

Three-Day Canoeing-Camping in Saranac Lakes: Locks-Pizza-Knots


Tim, Dundee, Paul, and I recently returned from a three-day canoe and camping trip on Lower and Middle Saranac Lakes in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. This area includes Section 2 of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trip described in the below references. The trip was initiated and organized by Paul.


The above map shows our two campsites (82 and 70), Middle and Lower Saranac Lake Locks, and the Registration site. The put-in and takeout are in the same area.

This region is part of the Saranac Lake Islands Public Campground Area. All campsites must be registered. Given the demand for this beautiful area, we did an early campsite registration. Reservations can be made at https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/


The weather was perfect for our three-day paddle and two nights of camping, EXCEPT for the return day. Our return four-hour paddle to the take-out started in nice weather, but the last two hours of this loaded canoe paddle were made in torrential rain and rolling waves. All of us had experienced this situation before, and we managed to keep upright but were exhausted from our vigorous and non-stop paddle.

Trip Highlights
  • A five-hour two-car trip from, NH, to Saranac Lakes, NY. The Registration Office is on Second Pond on Route 3 (see map.)
  • A three-day two- night paddling trip. Each morning we packed up our tents and moved to the next assigned site. We cooked all our meals over an open campfire.
  • Our day 1 paddle to our assigned site was 7 ½ miles and took about 5 hours of canoe paddling. This included passing through a lock from Lower Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake. We operated the locks ourselves. Sometimes rangers are there, but this time we did it. A fun thing to do as we went up about five feet to reach the Middle Saranac Lake level. Upon our return in two days, we went through the same locks – this time dropping five feet by the locks.
  • Our day 2 paddle to our new campsite took about three hours. Once there, we set up again our campsite.
  • Our day 3 paddle took about 4 hours and was in the middle of a rainstorm. My son and I, as well as our two friends, had experienced this dramatic type of rain and waves before, so we handled it with no issue, but it certainly required more effort – meaning no leisurely paddling only strong paddling because we wanted to minimize the time to get back, as well as the wind and white caps were a bit challenging.









 




The trip detail is shown in the four below videos:
  1. Trip Summary (minus detail included in Videos 2, 3 and 4)
  2. Detail of going through Locks as we passed through Lower Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake, and on day three a return trip through the same Lock. 
  3. Our campsite cooking experience was highlighted by Paul’s experiment with making a pizza from scratch (hint-it was delicious.) Plus our first dinner was steak and potatoes cooked over an open campfire, followed by breakfast of steak and eggs. 
  4. Paul’s tutorial on Knot Tying. Wilderness camping requires setting up tarps, and tents, and tying canoes and kayaks to the cartop. All necessities require knot tying.
1. Trip Summary Video (Detail included in videos 2, 3 and 4)


2. Passing Through the Saranac Locks

3. Cooking Pizza Over an Open Campfire


4. Knot Tying - Bowline and Truckers Hitch

Fun things we did:
  • Paul provided an instruction class on knot tying – Truckers Knot, clove hitch, etc. Paul usually uses these knots when we put up our tents and campsite tarps. We wanted to learn these knots for ourselves.
  • Paul, very creatively demonstrated and cooked a pizza over our campfire.
  • Went swimming.
  • Campfire evenings of memories and laughs from our many trips of years past.
  • Without assistance from a ranger, we twice took our canoes through locks. These manually-operated locks consist of a watertight basin known as a lock chamber, which is used to raise or lower the water level as required. Our canoes (and us) and other boats are raised or lowered by filling or emptying the lock chamber. Gates at each end of the lock chamber allow the canoes to enter and leave. First, we went from Lower Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake. Upon our return to take-out, we went from Middle Saranac Lake to Lower Saranac Lake. The locks are there to allow boats to by-pass a series of rapids and waterfall which would require a portage and prevent most boats from traveling between the two lakes.
  • Dramatic Campsite Sunset 

    Click this link to SUBSCRIBE to OutdoorSteve's YouTube Channel
References
  1. Northern Forest Canoe Trail
    https://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/
  2. Evolution of the locks joining the Saranac River Locks
    https://localwiki.org/hsl/Saranac_River_Locks
  3. How to tie a bowline – a tutorial
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxpIecNDq4A
  4. How to tie a Truckers Hitch - Survival Skills - Knots
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcRqeA9b90o
  5. Two Easy Ways to Tie a Clove Hitch Knot
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUBIvWf-Udc
  6. OutdoorSteve.com
    https://www.outdoorsteve.com
  7. New York State Parks
    https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/
  8. Three Generations Paddling in Saranac Lake
    https://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2018/06/three-generation-paddling-in-saranac.html
  9. Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Long Lake to Village of Saranac
    https://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2021/02/paddling-northern-forest-canoe-trail.html

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

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    Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


      Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




    Additional Sources of Books at:
    Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
    E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Hiking Phillips Memorial Preserve New London, NH

 The Phillips Memorial Preserve, New London, NH, is part of the NL Conservation Commission trail system. 

The Shore Loop Trail is on a wooded hillside between Goose Hole Pond and Otter Pond.  The trail is readily marked with a YOU ARE HERE notation map and trapezoid-shaped direction arrows at all intersections.  Trail highlights include a notable view of Mount Sunapee and Lake Sunapee and access to Otter Pond. The trail leaves from the parking area alongside Goose Hole Road, climbs by an old stone quarry, then reaches the top of the hill. Good views toward Lake Sunapee are seen from the trail as it heads down toward Otter Pond. At the trail intersection toward the bottom of the hill, a turn to the right takes one to the edge of the pond and a turn to the left goes back to the parking area. The trail is about a mile in length. Enjoy the below three-minute video.


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

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Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Sean McDonald, WMUR New Hampshire Chronicle Host, Interviews Skip Hause of ORFS

Seventy-eight years-young Skip Hause made a swim challenge to Helaina Sacco, Head Swimming, Diving Coach & Aquatics Coordinator for Colby-Sawyer College (CSC), New London, NH. For this swim, Helaina will also be joined by two of her collegiate swimmers, Quinn and Kelsey.

In the below video, Sean McDonald interviews Skip after Skip's Swim across Sunapee Harbor.



Other Swim Challenges by Skip
" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

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Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Experience vs. Youth - A swim for the ages



Seventy-eight years-young Skip Hause made a swim challenge to Helaina Sacco, Head Swimming, Diving Coach & Aquatics Coordinator for Colby-Sawyer College (CSC), New London, NH. For this swim, Helaina will also be joined by two of her collegiate swimmers, Quinn and Kelsey.


Skip has challenged a celebrity swimmer in a fund-raiser for the past seven years in a half-mile open water swim from Sunapee Harbor’s Lake Avenue to Dewey Beach. 


Support Crew and CSC Challengers Planning Swim Strategy
The Handicap

Skip and Helaina agreed Skip needed a time handicap.  Helaina and Quinn would wait for a full sixteen minutes before she and Quinn start their swim. Thereafter, two minutes later, Kelsey, the current CSC school record holder in the 400 IM, 200 IM, 200 Fly, and 100 Fly would begin, giving Skip an eighteen-minute start on Kelsey.

The swimmers begin at Skip’s dock in Sunapee Harbor.

These sixteen and eighteen-minute times came from using Skip’s best time last year when he challenged Helaina given a twelve-minute lead and was easily passed by Helaina. Thus Helaina felt comfortable this year that the sixteen and eighteen-minute leads for Skip may result in them reaching the Dewey Beach shoreline simultaneously. 

New Hampshire WMUR TV hosted by Sean McDonald was on-site to film and interview the athletes.  Once the TV show is live, I will provide a link here.  It was my pleasure to see how a professional film crew works and to meet them in person.  Their use of a drone is remarkable. 

The below 16-minute video shares the Challenge with You.

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The stakes for this very sociable race raise funds for the Colby-Sawyer College swim team. 

Make Donations to Colby-Sawyer College

Mail checks payable to Colby-Sawyer College:

Colby-Sawyer College
Attn: Helaina Sacco, Head Swimming, Diving Coach & Aquatics Coordinator
 
541 Main Street
New London, NH 03257
Other Challenges by Skip
" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

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Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X