Monday, October 21, 2013

Our continuing exploits in New England: Blue Hills Reservation Area

I've been wanting to go hiking around the New England area since we got here. The drive through Mass is very pretty in the summer (and also in the fall as the leaves turn) with all the trees and the rolling hills of the Appalachians. There's a trail through the Appalachians that cuts across 14 states that I'd love to tackle at least part of, but it's getting a bit late in the year for camping (I know, if we were hard core we could go out in the winter, but I don't think either of us would love the experience).

A (very) little Internet searching yields a plethora of options for places to go for short-term hikes in Mass, both throughout the state and closer to Boston. The hubby didn't want to do any extensive driving to find a location, so I limited my search closer to home. In the end, we dropped my suggestion of the Fells Reservation, and went to Blue Hills, which should have only been a 25 minute drive from our apartment. I think it took us closer to an hour, maybe more.

The initial wrong turn was my fault. I'm still not totally comfortable with driving around Boston. The lane lines, at times, seem arbitrary. Same with the speed limits. And a portion of the I-93 is underground, which I think also changes the driving experience. At any rate, I accidentally got off the interstate in the direction of the airport, which resulted in us getting lost. We don't have a GPS, and like most people, we just use our phones to navigate. On Saturday the mapping feature proved to be slow and caused the hubby to give me more than one erroneous direction. We weren't a happy couple. But, we haven't made it through 9 years of marriage (as of tomorrow) for nothing. After we ended up almost back to our apartment, I pulled over, Andrew took the driver's seat and on the third attempt we made it out to the Blue Hills Reservation.

Saturday was beautiful. Sunny, a very comfortable air temperature (maybe 18 or 20C). We found a place to park shortly after reaching the reservation and headed off. We hiked for a little over 2 hours, covering somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 kilometers (my phone battery drained before we got back to the car). The trails were a mix of flat, easy walking with a few roots, to the Skyline trail, which had lots of rocks, and several reasonably steep (for not being in the mountains) hills to ascend and descend.
A shot of one of the easy strolling trails. The mix of green, orange and red leaves was very pretty.
A brook we passed as we hiked.
After we finished our lunch, we went up a steep, rocky path to an observation tower. It was very popular, probably helped by the excellent view.
A shot of Boston from the observation tower.
My ruggedly handsome hubby, when we paused momentarily on our way back from the observation tower, along the Skyline trail.
Nothing like the challenge of the Jasper Park Skyline trial, the one in Blue Hills was still very pretty, and the rocks did make some of the descents a little tricky.
Next time, on our continuing exploits in New England, I'll write about what was hopefully my last visit to the RMV.



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