One Year in the Books

February marks one full year of running this site, though it has only come together in the last few months.

I am officially in the ‘humble beginnings’ of this site, with a handful of visitors each day. This blog actually seems to be one of the most popular pages, probably because it’s the least daunting place to start. I’ve received some feedback that the blue clusters on the map can be a bit overwhelming, to which I say, good! The scaled view of anything usually looks a bit complex, but zooming in on where you are or where you want to go focuses and hopefully creates new discoveries.

I hiked five new locations in January. A northern section of the Airline Trail, Sugarbrook Wildlife Management AreaMaples Farm ParkHopemead State Park, and Whitney Forest. I’ve passed by most of these a number of times and didn’t even know they existed.  Hiking in winter doesn’t provide the best opportunities for photography, but hiking these locations in the quiet winter months was worth the experience.  Of the group, Sugar Brook had the best hiking and I’m looking forward to going back to Maples Farm Park to mountain bike the Bull Run trail.

I also posted my Year in Adventure: 2017. While it features many locations outside CT, I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. I realized I forgot to include a few clips including exploring Pachaug and a burned out car and a couple other locations.

January was spent doing research and prep for the Gillette Castle episode of Explore CT Season 1.  The book, Gillette Castle: A History by Erik Ofgang, was a great read and will provide many useful insights.  Did you know that the curved pipe, hunting cap, and “Elementary, my dear Watson” of Sherlock Holmes can be attributed to Gillette’s portrayal?  I was also able to dig up an old Popular Mechanics issue that describes the train that Gillette built on the property and found a clip of the train in operation.

I also picked up a couple books from the DEEP Store’s closeout sale on natural resource topics.  I’ve only had time to skim them, but I hope they will teach me a few things about areas I’m weak in.

News around the State
The Connecticut Forest and Park Association released their Conservation Agenda 2018 Priorities which aims, among other things, to amend the CT constitution to protect public lands, allow towns to collect fees to support open space acquisition, and push for federal policy to strengthen the New England Scenic Trail. The CFPA is holding about 19 events on topics ranging from vegetable gardening, black bears, or apiaries. There are a few guided hikes by land trusts throughout the state including a Valentine for Volunteers by Joshua’s Trust.

I’ve been thinking about an events calendar for hiking and educational opportunities, but am wary of biting off more than I can chew.

Until next time!