mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
To accompany the photos and video on Facebook, I decided to blog about our experience walking through the woods to go grocery shopping.

We packed Ian's stroller with water and a snack for him, the usual baby stuff, my purse, and a folding shopping buggy that we have, covered the stroller with a bug net, and set out toward the schools. We knew there was a way into Langdon Park from there that would get us almost immediately onto the Heritage Trail, which leads right up to Hatch Plaza along the Baker River, across the river from Tenney Mountain Highway. It was a beautiful day for a walk and we had plenty of time to walk the woods and determine if it was even a possibility with the three of us and a stroller.

Walking to the schools was easy, since they are a block away and the road is paved until the beginning of school grounds. We walked the dirt service road through the athletic fields and past the old ski jump until we got to the trail by the ball field that led down to the field where we could get to the Heritage Trail. Until the field we were entirely on trails and roads.

Once at the field we found we had to walk along the edge of the field where a "path" had been more recently mowed and wasn't as tall as the rest of the grass. I found myself glad I was wearing long pants and long sleeves! We followed the edge of the field until we reached the trail that was clearly marked with the brown Heritage Trail marker.

The beginning of the trail was wide and well maintained. It was very easy walking and we enjoyed the relative obfuscation of the forest and the sights and smells of nature even if accompanied by the sounds of the highway across the river from us. A little while in we came to a chain link fence with an opening wide enough for pedestrians and bicycles to pass but not much larger. The stroller fit through with no trouble, though it was a bit muddy. As we progressed further and further along the trail, the path became narrower and narrower until it was a thin line through high ferns and grass. On the narrowest of the path we had a little trouble with the stroller but it wasn't impassable. Eventually we came out at Hatch Plaza and went on our way shopping.

We had a very light lunch and drinks before leaving Hatch Plaza and heading home via the streets, mainly Highland Street. For those unfamiliar with Plymouth, Highland Street is one of the main roads in town that goes up a huge hill and then back down it. It connects downtown at Main Street (US Route 3) with the businesses on Tenney Mountain Highway (US Routes 3A & 25) and was once itself US Route 25 many, many years ago before the state built the section that runs along the Baker River up to Highland Street.

We walked up the hill, but instead of going back down Highland Street to where it intersects with ours, we went down the road leading to the schools so we could cross through and come out a block away from our home on the other end of our street. We stopped at the high school to sit at a picnic table and rest since the hill was a bit tiring. We enjoyed the company of some nuthatches in the tree next to us and then we continued on to home. For the trip back, we had bought a block of ice to keep the perishables cold.

The trip by road was 1.6 miles according to Google Maps. Looking at the map and eyeballing the trail we took, I suspect the trail was probably around 1.25 - 1.5 miles. Either way took us about an hour to walk, but we did stop to rest on the way home. I know I've walked the roads to just before Hatch Plaza in about half an hour by myself at a steady clip. The woods didn't have the hill, since it followed the river around the base of the hill. We had some downhill first getting to the trail, but not much, and then a little uphill at the Hatch Plaza end. While the roads were certainly not overgrown with vegetation, I think with some care to the trails the woods could prove a far more enjoyable walk to Hatch Plaza without the bother of walking uphill only to go back downhill.

We only walked for a small amount of groceries, so walking was fine. If we were shopping for more, I would certainly want to bike Route 3 to Tenney Mountain Highway and then along the highway to Hatch Plaza. I've done that bike route many times and, with a couple of bikes and a bike trailer, I think we could all go shopping together with the speed and convenience of biking over walking while still not using fossil fuels, which saves us money and reduces our carbon footprint. In the winter I see the trail being a better option if we wanted to snowshoe to get groceries no matter the amount because we could just load them onto a sled and drag it. The challenge would be to find a way to safely bring Ian with us.
mandysee_mandydo: (Weekend Update)
Yesterday I walked a mile in her shoes. The weather wasn't so great for it, but it started to clear up. I don't mind a little drizzle anyway. I got there early with a pair of heels prepared to walk in them in spite of my hesitation due to the weather and there still being a lot of snow on the ground (not knowing of course that the walk was actually to take place in the streets). I saw almost everyone else there was wearing walking shoes, so after registration I walked back to the truck and left my heels there. I got to chat with some folks I knew there until the walk started. Then we all lined up behind the police escort and proceeded to march down the middle of High Street, down Main Street, up Highland Street, up Emerson Street and then down High Street to return to the HUB on campus where we started. The police sirens drew a lot of people out to see what was going on. The good side of this march was that a lot of people showed up to march in protest of violence against women and a lot of people took notice of the march. The bad side is that I didn't really see any signs or anything really saying what it was we were marching for or why it was so significant. Also I was a bit disappointed that none of the men bothered to wear heels, but that's minor. I think they should have gotten into it more, but just being there for the cause was a good thing.

After the walk I met up with [profile] painted_wolf at the university library. We both decided we needed caffiene to wake us up so we headed to Cafe Monte Alto. She got a big cup of coffee with a shot of banana flavoring because they were out of coconut. Banana + coffee = fail. It doesn't work well with coffee at all, which is in contrast to how great it tastes with hot chocolate. I got a small spice chai with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Mmmmmm. I really needed a good cup of chai after that past two dreadful chai experiences at other local establishments. We also shared a bar of German dark chocolate and it was the really amazingly delicious stuff.

We walked around downtown for a bit, stopping in the book store and then the art gallery. After a while of walking around we decided we were hungry enough to have lunch and went to Junkyard Dawgs. PW just had a soup. I ended up having far more than I really should have, but it was very tasty. We took advantage of the WiFi and hopped online to make plans to hang out with [profile] ciliandis.

We got right in the truck from there and headed down to visit with her. The drive was nice and the weather had really cleared up by then, so we had the windows partially down. We got to her place and Lucy (the dog) went all hyperspaz-happy to see us, although at first she was cautious after her recent bear-chasing experience. We went inside, gave Lucy some attention and then played with Jupe (the bird) for a while. Deciding it was too nice outside to stay inside, we went out to do stuff.

First we stopped at Lowe's because we wanted to dream over the kitchen displays and just in general look around at all the stuff. We found this kitchen display that could only be described as the Venture kitchen because it was filled with gadget factor. It was actually quite neat with all of its modern gadgetry, yet still having a bit of a retro feel to it. We eventually wandered out into the gardening section and had lots of conversation and commentary on the suburbia mindset and building fences.

Next we went to the outlets in Tilton and wandered the shop there. We realized we were hitting the same side as we usually hit so we made a point before the shops closed to head across to the other side. Before that we went into the toy store and played with all kinds of stuff. We also discovered the dancing turtles, including the one that dances the Macarena. O.o DO NOT WANT! The first stop on the other end was the chocolate shop. *drool* We each ended up getting chocolate truffles and sampled them as we wandered about the remaining shops (thank you [profile] ciliandis!). Our last stop was Old Navy, where we bought little toys from the giant bubble vending machine in the kids section just before we were disturbed by the VERY skimpy clothing they were selling for young girls. Seriously. Little girls do not need to be dressing provocatively like they should flaunt what they've got. I'm all for teaching children they shouldn't be ashamed of their bodies, but we should also teach children modesty. I just don't get why people would think that's fine for little girls. Grown women? Sure. Fine. Go for it.

To end the night we went in search of dinner. We arrived at the Chinese buffet in Laconia just as they were closing up, so instead we went to Friendly's. We each ordered a different burger and started with an order of loaded waffle fries. The food was actually quite good! Afterward we each got our free sundaes that came with the meals. I hadn't had black raspberry ice cream in years (my mom and I share that as our favorite flavor) so I got that with blueberry sauce topping. PW got forbidden chocolate topped with swiss chocolate. [profile] ciliandis got the most interesting sundae of the night. We noticed in the dessert menu a PBJ sundae, which was just black raspberry ice cream topped with peanut butter sauce. So she basically ordered that. We each sampled a taste and it did taste amazingly like PBJ without bread! There was much texting of [personal profile] risingfire to taunt her for not having ice cream and extolling the simultaneous delectability and wonderment of the PBJ sundae.

Today is a rather lazy day, though I still intend to go for a walk. I skipped church this morning because I absolutely needed the sleep. It looked like a really interesting sermon on how as a society we need to slow down and not rush about so much (and the dangers of rushing around so much), so I think in fact my momentary apathy is a bit ironic, if not apropos. PW has a meeting for work tonight so I'll probably do the grocery shopping while she's there. Otherwise we'll be watching more of The Avengers this afternoon and just in general lazing on a Sunday afternoon. Freddie Mercury eat your heart out.
mandysee_mandydo: (Forget Regret)
I just went for one of the most exhilarating walks I've had in a long time. Today was such a beautiful day and I was feeling pretty blissful after the April Fool's service and getting to be myself today that I just couldn't stay inside. I needed to get out, even if I was still all dressed up from fellowship.

While at times I may be annoyed that the Campton side of our road is unmaintained this winter, this time I was thrilled. There was no one on the road: no drivers, no snowmobilers, no hikers/walkers. It was just before sunset and I was able to enjoy the crisp air, walking down a road surrounded by nothing but national forest for miles and no sound but those of the birds, the running water and the snow crunching with each step I took into the wilderness. It was nice to just be out there alone, feeling happy and relaxed, taking in nature and for once just feeling truly alive.
mandysee_mandydo: (romana)
In spite of some work that needed doing, today was a most exellent day!

After taking care of a couple small things in the office, [profile] painted_wolf and I first went to Riverside Park to enjoy some quiet outdoors time. When we arrived we discovered that half eleven is the time when adolescent boys play loud metal on their boomboxes and dry hump trees in Riverside Park. This discovery led us to the conclusion that downtown lunch traffic was a more appealing sensory stimulus than half eleven at the park.

We had a wonderful time sitting in the common and eating lemon pepper unsalted potato chips and wheat-free raspberry fig bars. [profile] painted_wolf did some reading and I did some sitting and then a stick fight broke out. She started it by throwing bits of twig at me. I threw them back. It ended in flailing and exclamations like "Not in the face!"

After an hour or so of that we went to Subway and split a footlong sub for lunch. Then it was off to therapy and after that another short visit to my office for a program swap.

Next we visited the used book store where I picked up two books and a new bookmark. The books were Male/Female Roles: Opposing Viewpoints and Talking From 9 to 5: Women and Men in the Workplace by Deborah Tannen. I'm hoping the latter will help me pick up some pointers on how to communicate more effectively at work, among other things. The bookmark has this beautiful text on it:
"... and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin
hope
It also had a drawing of a butterfly. I really felt this was appropriate to my life as it is now and as it will be in the near future. It was meant to be.

Next we decided to go shopping for dinner at the supermarket and the farm stand. When we got to the plaza, we decided to shop around Marshalls first. We ended up getting two blouses for [profile] painted_wolf and I bought this splendid metal picture frame with the word "love" engraved on the lower third. I have the perfect picture of [profile] painted_wolf and me to put in it. I just need to make a reduced copy that will fit the 4"x6" picture window. After that we boutght food and went home.

We started counting out our change since the jar was full and wrapping it in rollers for deposit in the morning. All told it was just over $60 when we stopped. We couldn't wrap it all since we ran out of penny wrappers and the rest of the change didn't make complete rolls. Sadly in the process I put the glass change jar down too hard and it shattered. It was an old green wine bottle that had macramé and wooden beads around it in decoration. My grandmother gave it to me years ago and she had it for years before giving it to me.

We also spent some time visiting with Seeker and Lonewolf. We watched Police Academy 5 together and it was decent. I think the first two were the best. I had stopped watching the series of movies after 4.

Tomorrow we drive to Londonderry so I can go to a brief meeting and then we're visiting my parents in Nashua and spending the night. We may even go for a walk in Mine Falls Park, depending on what happens with our Wednesday plans.

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Jamie Amana Capach

September 2016

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