Saturday, January 5, 2019

January 16th Release of "Outdoor Play Fun 4 Seniors"



Hi, Outdoor Steve here. My new book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 Seniors, was released Jan. My behind-the-scenes videos give you give the feeling of “being there.”



Kayak on Little Lake Sunapee. Feel, through my chest camera, what it is like to cross the fabled and dangerous Knife Edge Trail on Mt Katahdin, Maine. Experience sculling on a perfect New Hampshire fall foliage day. Hike with my family up Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the summit of Mt Washington. Ride in my iceboat as I whirl around Perkins Pond. See moose for real ... and much more.

Outdoor Play Fun 4 Seniors is a book for any room in the house! Most sections are set up for less than a 5-minute read.

The title, “Outdoor Play Fun 4 Seniors,” comes because I qualify as a “senior” in any sense of the word. I respond to Grampa, Papa, Dad, Steve, Outdoor Steve, and Super Senior.  Novices and experienced outdoor enthusiasts will wow at these adventures.

Order at OutdoorSteve.com to never say, "I wish I had read Steve’s Outdoor Play Fun 4 
Seniors.”   

Outdoor Play Fun 4 Seniors is a fantastic read for 50 and over novices and experienced who want to look for new challenges. A perfect bathroom and coffee table book. Short reads, each with a story to never say, “I Wish I Had…” has come through again.” Linwood Parsons, Master Maine Guide.


"Steve’s selfie video while riding in his iceboat in New Hampshire was quite a thrill for me. The unintentional video of his son and friends discovery of paddling whitewater on the Clyde River in Vermont was a photographer’s dream." Jefferson Nunn, author, Seven Deadly Bitcoin Sins


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An Amazon Special: Order Outdoor Play Fun 4 Seniors paperback and get the e-book for free.

“Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go Outdoors."



Saturday, December 15, 2018

2018 ORFS Christmas Caroling and Pageant at Bittersweet and Lyon Brook


Our Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS)  Christmas and caroling pageant started 20 years ago and has developed into the "extravaganza" it is today! It remains an annual creative endeavor which warms the residents and our hearts every year.



Once again, ORFS will be nudging each other to step out of their comfort zones and become a "character" for two hours. Our leader, Kathy, asks us to TRUST, go WITH THE FLOW, and HAVE FUN! We first visit the Bittersweet Residence, and then the Lyon Brook Condominium, both located in New London, NH.

Al will be on keyboard, Barb on violin, and Ron on guitar.

The first scene is the entrance Caroling parade and we enter holding garlands and jingling bells. Of course, we have Santa, Rudolph and Frosty and Christmas songs.

The second scene is the Senior Pageant of the Christmas story with appropriate songs and costumes. And masked mischievous animals

See if you can tell the main characters of our pageant: Mary, Joseph, Star of Bethlehem, Rudolph, Santa, Frosty, 3 angels. 3 kings, Camel 🐪, black sheep, white sheep, Cow, Bull and Donkey.

After singing is over at Bittersweet Residence, we socialize with the residents over goodies making sure we wish every resident a very merry Christmas.

We then depart to Lyon Brook Condominium Community for a repeat performance, a dinner, and famous Yankee Swap.


Special thanks go to Kathy for coordination of this gala event and for her costumes, props, etc., Al (piano), Barb (violin), and Ron (guitar), Rosemary (dinner) and Joy (Yankee Swap).  Great leaders like you make ORFS fun and inspirational.

MERRY CHRISTMAS. MAY GOD BLESS US EVERYONE!

ORFS give the gifts of themselves and it is much appreciated by the audiences. Below we share the fun of belonging to ORFS.


The ORFS are part of the Chapin Council on Aging, New London, NH.

Who are the 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 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.
  
" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
++++++++++++++++
Steve's 5th book is now available. Outdoor Play: Fun 4 4 Seasons has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle .




Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hiking Eagle Pond, NH with Poet Laureate Donald Hall


I was particularly interested in Eagle Pond because the pond is across the street from the home of former United States Poet Laureate Donald Hall, a poet of the rural life. I became interested in Mr Hall’s work a few years ago when a good friend read some verses from one of his books. The words were absorbing and graphic to me as I felt in the moment and lived the poem.

When the Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) had Eagle Pond on their list of Tuesday hikes, I could not wait to experience the same bucolic scenes that Mr Hall had seen, walked, and wrote about.

Mr Hall wrote many books with “Eagle Pond” in the title. My wife and I have read his 2016 book titled, “On Eagle Pond”.


Hiking around Eagle Pond was very personal to me.



Our hike was 3.5 miles and took just over 1 and a half hours. We went in a clockwise direction. It had been raining prior to starting our hike, but mysteriously the rain stopped until we finished our hike. 

1. We began our Eagle Pond hike at Eagle Pond Road where it intersects with Route 4.

2. We hiked approximately 1.5 miles took a right on Jack Wells Road.

3. Jack Wells Road is .7 miles and ends on Route 4, and just before Route 4 we took a right onto the Rail Trail for 1.3 miles.

4. The Rail Trail returned to our Start.



Now, I never have to say, “I wish I had hiked around Eagle Pond with Poet Laureate Donald Hall”

Who are the 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 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.


References

" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
++++++++++++++++
Steve's 5th book is now available. Outdoor Play: Fun 4 4 Seasons has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle .




Saturday, October 27, 2018

Stinson Mountain Trail: White Mountain National Forest


On Monday three friends, my son Tim, and I hiked 2,900 foot Stinson Mountain located in Rumney, NH. The day before we hiked Mt Cardigan, a 3,155 footer in Orange, NH.



Stinson Mountain Trail is the only maintained trail up to the summit. The trailhead is located off Doetown Road in Rumney, NH. The Trail is a low incline trail with no rock ledges or scrambles. The summit is all bare rock with 180 degree views and once home to a fire tower. Only the four footings remain of the tower… and as you will see in the video the footings make great tables and chairs for tired hikers and snowmobilers.





From the trailhead we hiked the Stinson Mountain Trail for 1.1 miles until we reached a vee (junction) with a snowmobile trail. We could continue left up the snowmobile trail to reach the summit, or veer right onto the "hiking trail" as signed. Each way is 0.7 miles to the summit... we went right on the hiking trail.

The trail does not have many direction markers, other than the trailhead sign and a hiking/snowmobile sign at the vee. We hiked in the fall season with leaves on the ground, and there were a few times we had to pause to locate the trail direction.  For the novice hiker leaves this time of year cover the trail and the trail sometimes blends into the forest and may be more challenging to follow.  On the positive side, the trail is very well maintained as noted by new wooden planks for bridges used by snowmobilers and hikers.

We ascended the 1.8 mile trail to the summit in one hour and 37 minutes … and came back to the trailhead more quickly via the snowmobile trail.

The snowmobile trail is wide and steep ... and slippery. It appeared to be groomed this summer, as the slope had boot-deep mud from fresh loam, fresh seeded green grass, and slivers of hoar frost

protruding from crystalline deposits of frozen water vapor formed over the new grass


Over the Hill Hikers: 52 with a View

Stinson Mountain is on the 52 With a View list (also known as the Over the Hill Hikers) of fifty-two mountains with elevations under 4,000 feet having incredible views.

The 52 With a View list came about through a group of friends hiking in New Hampshire. The older members of the hiking group suggested a new hiking list (getting tired of only hiking the NH 4,000 Footers?) called 52 with a View. A list of mountains shorter than the NH48, but all with amazing views!


Now I never have to say, "I wish I had hiked the Stinson Mountain Trail".

References

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

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

Steve's 5th book is now available. Outdoor Play: Fun 4 4 Seasons has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tim demonstrates his boating skills.

Winter is approaching in New Hampshire, and ice will soon be forming on Perkins Pond.  Today is the day to take our pontoon boat out of the water.  Tim demonstrates his boating skills in loading the boat onto the trailer. 


Cold & Windy Fall Hike to Summit of Mt Cardigan, New Hampshire


Was it cold! What a surprise. Three friends and I decided to Hike Mt Cardigan. Mount Cardigan is a prominent stripped-rock summit in the towns of Orange and Alexandria in western New Hampshire. While its peak is only 3,155 feet above sea level, it has extensive areas of bare granite ledges and alpine scrub, giving it the feel to hikers of a much higher mountain. Most of the summit area was exposed by devastating forest fires in 1855 and did not revegetate.  The fire tower on its summit quickly identifies Mt Cardigan throughout the area.




We pulled into the Orange, NH parking lot from Cardigan Mountain Road. T
he weather was in the low 30’s with high winds, and surprisingly we weren't the only ones willing to take on the elements ... the parking area already had a multitude of cars.

The first hour up the moderately difficult rock bound-West Ridge Trail was uneventful. However, once we reached bare granite ledges above treeline, things changed dramatically.

We faced below freezing temperatures, spitting snow, and extreme high and bone-chilling wind as we made our way over the baren ledges to the summit's firetower.  We stopped twice in alpine scrub to block the wind, catch our balance, as our faces briefly enjoyed the warmth and shelter. 

I removed my gloves each time I took a picture or video, and my right hand felt the frostbitten pain. The deafening noise in the videos you hear, once we entered the barren granite ledges, is the roaring of the summit’s disrespectful winds.

The trip to the summit from the West Ridge Trail took an hour and 15 minutes. Due to the extensive freezing cold and dangerous 50 – 60 mph hour winds, we stayed on the summit less than ten minutes.


Our original plan was to hike to the summit via the 1.5-mile West Ridge Trail, and then return to the parking lot by the South Ridge Trail. This plan changed immediately once we reached the tree line of the summit and faced the treacherous winds and freezing temperatures.



West Ridge Trail
The WRT is marked with orange strips. These orange markers are assurance we are on the right trail.

Cairns
Cairns are vertical piles of rock.  Cairns are another means of staying on trail.  It is against New Hampshire law to remove or change a cairn.  I can tell you from personal experience, that they can be a life-saving direction in fog or low light conditions.

Directions
These are driving directions to the West Ridge Trail parking area
Take exit 17 from I-93 North to get on Route 4 West. Turn right onto Route 4 West / Hoit Road. Drive 1.2 miles and continue straight through the traffic circle to stay on Route 4 West. Drive 2.5 miles and turn slight left to stay on Route 4 West. Drive 15.2 miles and turn right to stay on Route 4 West. Drive 20.9 miles and turn sharply right onto Parker Street / Route 118. Drive 0.6 miles and turn right onto Cardigan Mountain Road. When you get the Burnt Hill Road, turn left to stay on Cardigan Mountain Road. (You will see a Cardigan Mountain State Forest sign here) Drive until you come to the parking lot.


If you have a GPS, you can put in Cardigan Mountain Road in Orange, NH and look for the parking area on the road. 

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Cardigan.
OutdoorSteve.com

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

+++++++++++++++++
Steve's 5th book is now available. Outdoor Play: Fun 4 4 Seasons has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

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






Friday, October 12, 2018

ORFS Hike Northern Rail Trail from Potter Place Depot to Andover’s Softball field.

The Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) hiked the Andover Rail Trail from Potter Place Depot to Andover’s Blackwater Park ballfield. The ballfield has a regulation diamond where some ORFS played softball while other ORFS  cheered them on.



Seven miles past Danbury you pass Andover’s Potter Place Railroad Station, restored to look as it did in 1874. The Depot’s museum, caboose, and nearby freight house are operated by the Andover Historical Society. In 1 mile, the trail crosses the Blackwater River next to the 1882 Keniston Covered Bridge. Andover stretches along US 4/Main Street roughly between Eagle Pond and Highland Lake. 

The Northern RailTrail includes portions of the Sunapee Kearsarge Ragged Greenway (SKRG)Trail. The 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.



Directions:
Take Route 11 east out of New London towards Andover.  After the Route 4 sign, take Route 4 east and turn right down to the Potter Place Park ‘n Ride area. Bring ball equipment if you wish and a sense of humor!

Who are the 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 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.

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

Steve's 5th book is now available. 
Outdoor Play: Fun 4 4 Seasons has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivates friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

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







Thursday, October 11, 2018

Rowing in Peak Foliage Season on Perkins Pond, Sunapee, NH


Friends ask, “When is Peak Foliage Season in the Sunapee/Dartmouth region of New Hampshire?”

Yesterday, October 10th, I looked out my window in early morning sunlight. The Pond was like clear ice, AND the trees around the Pond screamed of red, yellow, orange, and green fall colors. And these same rainbow colors reflected identical images on the window glass-like water. I was enthralled with living here in New Hampshire.

Now was the perfect time to get my rowing scull moving ... picture-perfect calm water with Michelangelo painted views of the foliage, cloudless blue sky and Mount Sunapee rising in majesty above the Pond.

My rowing scull and I slowly entered the water, seeking a comfortable oar rowing rhythm around the Pond … and relishing this magnificent sacred moment.

My usual early morning row is three times around the perimeter twice-a-week … usually these times are close to an hour. I go clock-wise one day, and counter-clock-wise the next.

I passed my friend’s dock and heard her call asking if she could take a video this gorgeous day. “Yes, thank you”.

Her video is a “Wow” moment for me. See the peak rainbow colors on the mountains surrounding the Pond. The reflections on the water are captivating and are equally spell binding.

And in the middle of this creation of mountains, forests, multicolored leaves and water ... I blend as a rower.

I pass by my house and see the rewards of a life-time of saving.

Peak Foliage Season in the Sunapee/Dartmouth region of New Hampshire is NOW. 


I never have to say, "I wish I had rowed in Perkins Pond in Peak Foliage Season"

Enjoy.





Rowing Blog Posts by OutdoorSteve
" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

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

Steve's 5th book is now available. Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

Steve’s books are also available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle .








Monday, October 8, 2018

Hiking Mt Kearsarge via Rollins Trail on a Wet Foggy Day


Mount Kearsarge is a 2,937 foot mountain located in the towns of Wilmot and Warner, New Hampshire. 
Mount Kearsarge has multiple trails and a bare rockbound summit with an observation fire tower and a cell phone tower. The summit can be reached by either Rollins State Park or Winslow State Park. Our ascent to the summit today starts at the Rollins State Park parking area. 

From the summit on a clear day lies a spectacular view of the White Mountains and Mt. Cardigan in the north, the Green Mountains and Mt. Sunapee in the west and the Monadnock Region and the Merrimack Valley in the south. The summit with its towers are a distinctive landmark and is easily seen from its surrounding communities.

As you will see here and in the video below, today's fog confined our views to less than a few hundred feet.

We chose to summit from Rollins State Park with the option of two trails. We chose the Rollins Trail beginning at the Park’s parking area. This trail is rock-bound and climbs for a 1/2 mile (1,100 vertical feet) and reaches the top over a bare granite ledge. The second trail, the Lincoln Trail, is more difficult than the Rollins Trail and we will keep this choice for another day.


The Rollins Trail, marked with white blazers, begins at the picnic area above the parking lot and follows what is described in the Park's literature below as "follows the route of the old carriage road for 1/2 mile (300 feet) to the summit". Do not let the description fool you as this is a very rock bound trail and climb.  Sturdy walking shoes are needed along with drinking water and an extra jacket.

The rain, fog, and moss-covered rocks made today's Rollins Trail quite slippery, so caution was utmost in our mind.

Nevertheless, our 
challendging 40+ minute hike up, 1/2 hour on the summit, and 30 minute descent, was a fun day on Mt Kearsarge for Pops (John), Kaitlin (Mom), Riley (8 years), his brother Braydon (6 years), and yours truly.  

A serendipitous encounter while hiking up was meeting a group of remote/radio control (RC) model truck enthusiasts and their battery-powered model trucks using specialized transmitters or
remotes. This was my first experience seeing this type of sport. The club members enthusiastically and readily answered our questions. 

Never say, “I wished I had taken my family to climb Mt Kearsarge".



Directions to the Rollins Park: 

From New London, New Hampshire, take Route 89 South to Exit 9, Right at end of exit ramp onto Rte. 103 east towards Warner for about 1 mile. Pass straight through a small roundabout on the way. Take left on Kearsarge Mountain Rd, marked by sign for Rollins State Park and Indian museum. Go up 5 miles to park entrance, then turn 3 ½ more miles to parking lot to begin hike. The moderate ½ mile trail goes to the summit, starting left of portapotties. Take same trail down. Trail involves some hiking on exposed rock and some steepness.

References
For a map and more information on Mt Kearsarge go to:  

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

Steve's 5th book is now available. Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle .

 


Friday, September 14, 2018

An Endurance Swim "Race for the Ages"


Experience vs Youth.

Once a year, 74-year-old fitness enthusiast, Skip Hause, challenges a fellow swimmer to a half mile swim.  This year he invited 14-year-old, Vera Rivard.  The race was held on Friday September 7, 2018 at Lake Sunapee, NH from Skip’s Sunapee harbor home across the Lake to Dewey Beach.  

Skip will have a 14-minute head start.

Proceeds for this event go to benefit Vera’s invitation to travel to the Cork Swim Week camp in July 2019 in Sandycove Island, Ireland, a tiny island off the south coast of Ireland.  The camp focuses on training the invited swimmers to swim the English Channel.




Skip’s Bio. He is 74 years young and a lifetime Fitness Guru and Hogan Member at Coby-Sawyer College in New London, NH.  He has 5 years of Mitt boxing training.  He is an accomplished Open Water swimmer, years of pool swimming, a runner, and skier.

Vera’s bio is equally impressive. She is 14 years old and a Hogan member.  She swims for the Upper Valley Aquatic Club (UVAC), and is on the Kearsarge High School swim team. She has completed in many open water endurance events, and her accomplishments include a second place in the July 2018 25 mile (16 hours) Lake Memphremagog swim.

Outdoor Steve’s Involvement

Skip called and ask if I would document and produce a video of this event. I clarified to Skip that my videos on my Outdoor Enthusiast Blog https://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com are produced to motivate individuals and families to get outdoors.  Skip had viewed many of my blog posts and assured me he wanted me to do a video with interviews to share the experience of this fun happening.

As an amateur triathlete I certainly have some insights to endurance swimming and training, and I would bring this perspective for interviews with the two athletes in this challenge. I interviewed Skip, Vera, Darcie (Vera’s Mom), and Kevin (Vera's Dad).

Will experience win the day?  Will youth prevail?

The first video is 30 minutes and introduces you to Skip, Vera and Vera's family through interviews and learning of Vera's cold water endurance swims.  Feel the friendly competition race as seen from my kayak. Learn of Vera's July 2019 "invitation only" to the Cork Distance Week camp fund raiser, and Vera's vision of swimming the English Channel.


The Second video is 7 minutes and is a summary of the swim with minimal detail.


Cork Distance Week Camp

It is the toughest amateur marathon swim training in the world – with the fewest “frills”. By invitation only… References below provide more insight to the Cork Distance Week Camp.

Send Donations to benefit Vera’s Cork Swim Week Travel Fund
Make checks payable to Vera Rivard. 

Vera Rivard
PO Box 413
Springfield, NH 03284

Documented Marathon Swims by Vera Rivard
Support Vera in her Never say, "I wish I had ... trained to swim the English Channel".


References

Sandycove Island Web Book
https://sandycovewebbook.wordpress.com/cork-distance-week/

Dangerous When Wet: Learning to Survive Open Water Swimming
https://www.outsideonline.com/1916336/dangerous-when-wet-learning-survive-open-water-swimming?page=1

Documented Marathon Swims by Vera Rivard
https://db.marathonswimmers.org/p/vera-rivard/

List of successful English Channel Swimmers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_successful_English_Channel_swimmers

OutdoorSteve.com
OutdoorSteve.com

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

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

Steve's 5th book is now available. Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

Steve’s books are also available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle .