Posts Tagged children

Non-union builders

Found a couple of non-union builders hard at work in my backyard.   Or more likely, only one built, and the other was the foreman.    At any rate, the primary structure consisted of a 12″ wide (rotting??) board, broken off an agility teeter, resting atop a 6″ wide, thin, plank from an obedience jump.

After noticing the inherent instability of this structure, side support and a safety “catch chair” were added.   Their stated purpose was “in case James falls.”

Finally, someone from The Council came out to inspect, after complaints of misuse of dog training equipment without proper permits pulled.

Counsel determined that they were indeed in violation of “Proper use of dog training equipment” and full dismantling of the structure was required by Herself.   Proper instruction on building codes, permits and assemblage of dynamic structures will begin soon!


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Hiking Wachusett aka the “*I* do it!!!” hike

Being a gorgeous day today with lovely dry air, we headed west to the town of Princeton and hiked up to the summit of Mt Wachusett.   The summit is 2006 feet, and our ascent was 1.4 miles, rising 750 feet.   For the trip up, James rode on my back in the Kelty backpack.   I suspect the days of him riding are soon coming to an end.   We decided we’d let him try hiking down, and created a monster in doing so.  He will absolutely NOT accept any help, even if it means tumbling down rocks, over tree roots and being laid out many times.  Slow is not in James’ vocabulary.    There was one section where the Jack Frost trail joins the High Meadow trail where footing is precipitous, and the trail barely a body-width.   James was carried, under great protest.  My sincere apologies to those of Central MA who must surely have heard all his exclamations this afternoon!

This is the trail map.  We went up the red line (Harrington trail) and down via the yellow line (Mtn House, Jack Frost, High Meadow and Echo lake trails).

Trail map

At the start, we headed up a long hill to the Princeton Light & Water company’s new windfarm, updated in May of 2010.   Later, we’ll see these windmills again from an overlook, and get a perspective of how far we’d hiked.   This one was spinning nicely, wish I’d used a slow shutter speed to show it.


Heading up the Harrington trail, footing is pretty decent.   This leads into a wetter area where the bugs significantly increased, though no mosquitos.

Harrington trail

And yeah, I’m not kidding.  It’s starting already.  Things are so incredibly dry!!  We saw many trees already starting to turn along the roads.  Hopefully a good season for color!

Early color

Things start heading uphill, and footing gets more interesting, especially when wearing 34lbs of wiggly James.  Every time we saw a set of markers, he would excitedly yell in my ear “Another one!!!!!!!”   🙂

Heading to the steeps

Em and George (and yes, that’s the trail just below them)

Em and George

Gymnastics has it’s advantages, and Em scrambled up the mountain like a mountain goat born to do so!

Emilie the mountain goat

The view from an overlook (no, not the summit) , showing us just how far we’d come.   The car is parked just down at the base of the hill below those windmills.   This was about an hour into our hike.   Only  10 more minutes to the summit!

View from an overlook

We got to the summit in an hour and 10 minutes (trail is prescribed as 1:30), not bad with 2 kids along.   After walking and looking around (and being able to see Boston!), we sat down and had lunch in the shade of a tree.   The kids greatly enjoyed the fish pond, loaded with hundreds of goldfish (they looked too small to be koi).

After lunch, we started our descent and decided to give James his legs and see how he did.   We created a monster!  He wanted to go as fast as possible, and had no respect for rocks, tree roots or large boulders.   Any time assistance was offered, he’d indignantly refuse, loudly stating ” I do it!!!”    Every time he fell, he’d quickly pick himself up, quickly assure us  “I’m fine!” and then be off again.   There were sections of the trail where such behavior simply wasn’t safe, and he protested VERY loudly when he had to be put back in the pack for about 5 minutes.

Off goes James!

I'm free!

George withdrawing an offer of help which was refused with great indignity!  James wanted to jump/run off of every rock.

No help Daddy!

A really cool bright orange and yellow shelf fungus that we passed.

Orange shelf fungus

The boy who loved to find trail markers!

Another one!!

In the final stretch, jockying for who is first.

The crew

The terrain changed frequently with elevation, ranging from rocky & rooted to smooth and peaceful, like this hemlock forest.

Hemlock forest

James??  No, he’s not with us, he’s on his own course.

Where IS James going??

Just about done!

Coming through the wall

At the end, we found the pond FULL of frogs!  Never having hiked here this late in the season, we never knew how plentiful they were.   We easily saw 20, if not 30!  This was very exciting to both kids, and Emilie was particularly amazed at how they swim.

Frogs in the pond

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