Fall Day trip in Vermont

Do you keep a list of places you want to visit? I do, it makes planning our vacations or day trips a lot easier. This past weekend I was able to cross two things off that list as we spent the day exploring the eastern part of Vermont.

We started the morning out by taking a foliage train ride out of Chester through the Green Mountain Railroad. You need to buy tickets online ahead of time to ensure your seats. The train cars are from the 1930’s so they are older, not super comfortable and not a lot of room. If the train is full they do expect you to sit two to a seat. It was kind of fun to feel like you were back in early 1900’s. There were some decent views of a river, two covered bridges, a gorge and some hill sides.

public.jpg

I was hoping for more views of the landscape than we had. There were bathrooms and a snack and drink bar, but we did not visit either. One of the staff members did give some information as we were going along which was nice so we knew what we were looking at. I’m glad we did the train ride, but if I were to do it again I would pick a different location.

Our next stop was for lunch at Harpoon Brewery in Windsor. They were having an Octoberfest with various venders, beers and activities. The good thing was that the restaurant was not too busy so we did not have to wait. My husband enjoyed the beer selection. The food was fresh and flavorful. We enjoyed walking around the grounds and enjoying the festivities.

public.jpeg

After lunch we headed to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee. This summer when we were heading up to Lake Willoboughby I saw a sign for the institute. When I did some research I saw that they were opening a Forest Canopy in the fall so I put it on my to do list. Fortunately the Forest Canopy opened up this weekend and we were able to go explore it. It opened Columbus Day weekend 2019. There is a fee to get in, but it was worth the admission cost. The institute has a lot to offer and you can spend a few hours exploring the grounds. There are walking paths throughout the forest.

public.jpeg

Several raptor enclosures and programs, with some pretty cool birds.

public.jpeg

There are various outdoor playgrounds, and the best part is their new Forest Canopy .

public.jpeg

There are various with outlooks along the canopy.

public.jpeg

Our ten year old thought the best part was the human spider web which is several feet off the ground and could hold several thousand pounds. All ages could climb around on it.

public.jpeg

They had staff members throughout the canopy answering questions. I overhead them say that there is not another tree canopy like this in New England. If you are in the area I highly recommend you checking it out.

Vermont has become one of our favorite states to visit. This day trip just added to the reasons we love Vermont. So much outdoor fun to be explored.

Hiking Monadnock with my Daughter

Hiking Monadnock with my Daughter

Mt. Monadnock in Jaffrey, New Hampshire is supposedly the second most climbed mountain in the world. We are fortunate to have it just a few miles from our home. My husband and I have hiked the mountain a few times since living in the area, but we had not hiked it with our daughter. I have been a little hesitant because sometimes hiking with kids is not always fun. The last few months or so she has been asking about hiking a 4,ooo footer or Mt. Katahdin, but we have told her that she has to hike Mt. Monadnock before hiking the others.

When Your Reason for Hiking Changes

When Your Reason for Hiking Changes

Do you ever feel stuck in your life. Not sure what direction to go, or feeling like you are missing something?About three to four years ago I was feeling stuck in my professional career. I was starting to contemplate if I really wanted to be a social worker for the rest of my professional life. When you have invested several thousands dollars into your education and licensure it is really hard to walk away from your career. I did not hate my career. I have been able to have rewarding moments and have worked with some amazing people. With that being said a social worker has many challenging aspects of the job that can make it frustrating.

Weekend at Moose Hillock Campground

Weekend at Moose Hillock Campground

It is the end of the school year and we are continuing our tradition of going on a family camping trip. My daughter has been asking to go to Moose Hillock Campground in Warner, NH and we finally make it. The campground is locate literally in the middle of now where. It’s about 30 minutes from Lincoln and 45 minutes from Plymouth, NH. This has been one of our most favorite camping spots. Below is highlighted why.

Disney Trip

Disney Trip

This is not my typical blog post about our adventures in the outdoors, but I wanted to share our recent trip with my followers. In the beginning of May my family and I took our first big family vacation. A trip to Disney World in Florida. I have been to Disney World several times in my childhood and young adult years. With that being said the last time I visited was about 11 years ago, as you can imagine a lot has changed since then. This past year we have been planning our trip and I could not do it without the help of an amazing Travel Agent, Rachel with Middle of The Magic Travel . She booked everything for us except our flight, gave us great suggestions and was able to change reservations and assist even during our vacation. Below are some highlights from our trip.

Leading a Girls Hiking Group

Leading a Girls Hiking Group

My daughters school does a six week after school program twice a year. Once in the Fall and once in the Spring. My daughter has done some pretty fun clubs such as arts and crafts, photography, dreamcatchers and legos. When the flyer went home this winter for the spring session they were asking for volunteers. My daughter said to me, “Mom they will let you do a hiking club, you should do it.” The first thing I thought was, that sounds like tons of fun, a way to get outside more and encourage the younger generation to love hiking as much as I do. Then I thought, ugh another thing added to my plate, because let’s not lie we all think that from time to time. After my internal struggle and my daughter begging me to do it I reminded myself that this is why I work less hours, so I can do more activities with my daughter. I reached out to a fellow teacher friend who agreed to do it with me.

Ways to Keep Kids Interested in Being Outside

Ways to Keep Kids Interested in Being Outside

Recently, I have been seeing many blog posts, studies and reading material about how kids are not getting enough time outside. I have seen the recommended time at a minimum of three hours up to six hours a day. This had me thinking, “we are an outdoorsy family, I’m sure we meet this requirement.” I thought about my nine year old daughters’ typical school day during this month of March. In the morning she goes to a before school program that focuses on kids being outside. She is usually outside 30 minutes prior to the bus picking her up. Then she goes to school. After lunch she has recess, which is about 30 minutes. I pick her up from school, she comes home and does her homework. If she does not have basketball then we go for a 30 minute walk. That is it for outside time. An average day she is outside for only about 90 minutes, which is way below the recommended time. I guess we aren’t as outdoorsy as I thought. Our weekends are different as we have more time and there is usually at least one outdoor activity a day planned that is a couple hours, but that is only two days out of the week.

Using the Outdoors as My Own Therapy

Using the Outdoors as My Own Therapy

We all have our reasons for hiking and being outdoors. I have talked about some of mine, such as it being a good family activity, it usually does not cost money and I love how I feel when I am out on the trail. There is another reason that I have mentioned a couple times, but do not talk about a lot. I hike because I am a Social Worker. I like to keep my personal and my professional life separate. With March being National Social Work Month I thought it would be a good time for me to break out of that shell.

A Day of Tubing and Hiking

A Day of Tubing and Hiking

I recently wrote a blog post about How the Outdoors has Helped Me Live a Simple Life. Not an easy post talking about our struggles, but an important lesson for us. I thought I should give my wonderful readers an example of a day trip or activities that we do to keep ourselves entertained without breaking the bank.

When having a child involved in extracurricular activities, sometimes your weekend time is taken up by their commitments. The last couple months our daughter has had basketball every Saturday. I love watching her and her friends on the court, but I was starting to itch for a day trip. We are in the process of saving money for a big trip in May so I am being overly cautious of our spending. With finally having a Saturday free and it being the start of vacation week I wanted to do something fun.

How the Outdoors has Helped Me Live a Simple Life

How the Outdoors has Helped Me Live a Simple Life

What if I live a simple life?  Have you seen the various blogs posts or memes talking about wanting to live a minimalist lifestyle? Then you see ads about the next new car, the bigger house, what we should be wearing or doing. Basically how to keep up with Jones.  The struggle is literally real between wanting a simple life and keeping up with the Jones.  

Growing up I lived a comfortable life.  We had a nice house and nice cars. Due to my parents work I was lucky enough to have a summer home and our main home.  We traveled around the country frequently, had many adventures around New England and I was able to go to Spain in High School with my Spanish Club.  My friends and I grew up boating, snowmobiling, spending time at various friends camps as well as participating in various activities. 

Raising an Outdoor Child

Parenthood is not easy, there are so many parenting books, websites, blogs, social media posts all telling us how we should and should not parent.  Are they right or are they wrong?  This is a question that will be asked forever as new scientific studies come out and opinions change over time.  The one thing that is consistent is that we want to raise well rounded, happy children.  How do you do that?  If someone finds out please let me know. 

Challenging myself with the 365 Mile Challenge

At the beginning of the year I was looking for a new way to challenge myself. With the help of Hike Like a Woman I learned of the 365 Mile Challenge. When reading the requirements of this challenge I thought it would be easy to get in 365 miles within the year. I walk and hike a lot, and when we have snow I cross country ski. The requirements of the challenge is do to 365 self propelled miles either walking, hiking, running, bike riding, paddling, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. My daughter, eight at the time, wanted join the challenge with me. We printed off two of the tracking sheets and off we went.

Top Outdoor Gifts for Kids

It is Christmas time which means we are looking for that perfect gift. The gift that won’t break a few hours after playing with it or won’t be thrown in the corner a couple days after Christmas. I am getting to the point that when I look for gifts for my daughter I want to try to make sure it is something that she will truly enjoy or use. Below are some of my daughter and my favorite kids gifts.

A Day Trip to Gaines Farm

Fall is here, one of my favorite times to explore New England, with the crispness in the air and beautiful colors starting to pop, it is hard to resist a day drink. Even though we had a 1001 chores to do around the house, I did not want to pass up on the beautiful fall day. After soccer we jumped into the the truck and took a ride to Vermont. Our goal was to initially hit the larges corn maze in Vermont, but when we realized it was over two hours away we had to change direction.

All About Me

Being in the outdoors has always come natural to me. When I was just a couple days old I went from the hospital in Presque Isle Maine, into the woods of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway where my parents worked. I live about 60 miles from town until it was time for me to start school. I was fortunate to spend 16 summers and a few winters on the Allagash. Here is where I learned to swim, canoe on lakes and white water, primitive camp, hike, read a compass, snowshoe, cross country ski, snowmobile, live in a cabin without electricy or the modern conveniences of home and overall survive in the wilderness.