Tag Archives: hiking

Halloween 2009

Maggie and I spent Halloween 2009 in & around New Haven.  The day was highlighted with 70 degree weather, a hike at Sleeping Giant State Park, and a costume party with some of Maggie’s PA friends.  Here are some pics from the day:

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What we’ve been up to since arriving in New Haven

Our New Home (we have the whole first floor)

Our New Home (we have the whole first floor)

We cruised into New Haven, CT last Tuesday evening and got the keys to our apartment and immediately began unpacking our moving truck and cars which were loaded to the brim!  We spent most the night moving boxes in and finding a place for them to sit until we could unpack them.  The toughest part was getting my large couch in the front door, it took us about an hour of maneuvering but we finally pulled it off.

Our stuff all packed up (this isn't even all of it).

Our stuff all packed up (this isn't even all of it).

After sleeping in, we spent most of Wednesday unpacking and situating things.  By the evening we were ready to get out of the house so we took in the new movie “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, which is based on a book that Maggie and I both had read.  The movie was good, but as is usually the case, the book was better.

Thursday was spent doing some more unpacking and organizing things and working with the cable guy to get our cable box working.  The house is set up with AT&T U-Verse for Cable and Internet and it seems to be pretty decent, although our landlord said he has had to work with them a few times to iron out issues.

In the afternoon Maggie and I took a bike ride to discover more of New Haven and to see how well it would work for her to ride her bike to Yale when school starts.  We concluded the 10 minute ride probably would work at least until winter comes.  On the way back to our house after the ride we stopped at Dairy Queen for a Blizzard; there’s no better treat on a hot muggy day than good old DQ!

Our goal for Friday was to check out the beaches nearby.  We found that pretty much all of West Haven (which is about a mile from our house) that borders the ocean is public beach, which is awesome!  We swam in the ocean and worked on our tan for a few hours before heading back to the house for dinner.

The Ocean

The Ocean

Friday night we decided to go out on the town and check out a dueling piano bar we heard about called “Keys to the City”.  We had a few drinks and had fun singing along to a few songs and watching people do silly things on stage.  The service was great, we even were able to score a couple chairs in the full bar with some help from the owner who was extremely helpful.  We had fun but I think as far as piano bars go, I think Shout House in Minneapolis had better performers, at least as far as I can remember.

Saturday we decided to do some hiking at Sleeping Giant State Park just north of New Haven.  The State of Connecticut website describes it as “Two miles of mountaintop resembling a sleeping giant give this park its name, and make it a distinguishing feature on Connecticut’s skyline.”  There are a bunch of hiking trails, but to start we chose the “easy” on that would take us up to the Tower.  It wasn’t exactly easy as we worked up a good sweat during our ascent. Once at the top, the tower offered some nice views of the surrounding area.

The Tower

The Tower

Maggie and I at the top

Maggie and I at the top

On our hike down we took a more adventuresome and rocky trail where we saw some cool roots that were exposed by erosion:

Cool root system

Cool root system

Finally, today (Sunday) we took our towels and headed to the beach again.  Even though it was cloudier, it was still warm and a good opportunity to check out the beach again before we get busier with school and work.

This coming week I go back to work, only this time I will be telecommuting to work for Patterson as opposed to driving into the office.  It will be interesting to see how well I like working from home.

Maggie starts Orientation Week at Yale on Tuesday where the new PA students get to meet their professors and fellow classmates and do a bunch of introductory stuff before classes start next Monday.  I think we’re both looking forward to getting back into a routine after the all the events of moving/unpacking this past week!

Taking the NerdHerders Geocaching

Since I started geocaching nearly a year ago I’ve told many people about the game and how it works and how much fun it is, but my friends Justin and Kristen (mainly Kristen) were the only ones to ask us to take them with us and show them how it works.  I was excited that they wanted to check out this geeky hobby of mine, but when they asked about it, it was the dead of winter and I myself wasn’t even geocaching that much, so we mutually decided to wait for spring and nicer weather to introduce them to the hobby.  We scheduled an outing for this past Saturday and luckily the weather cooperated, in fact it probably couldn’t have been any better for geocaching!

Their first ever find was a tricky one that involved using a large stick to hoist it out of the tree trunk it was hidden in. A perfect way to start the day!

The NerdHerders first cache find!

The NerdHerders first cache find!

I circled the cache in the pic above, otherwise you’d probably never find it, since the camo is so good!

After the first cache we headed on to the next one on the map.  It turned out to be a micro, hidden in the woods.  How curel!  Amazingly the rookie NerdHerders (the name Justin and Kristen chose to log their finds under) made the find before Maggie and I were able to.  Kristen gets props for finding it first.  I was embarrased (only a little) to be the last one to find it, with a couple clues.

From there we headed down the trail to find a few other caches in Lebanon Hills Regional Park where we spent the day caching.

The geocaching crew

The geocaching crew

Justin had a little trouble finding one of them that the other three of us found quickly:

Justin's looking hard...

Justin's looking hard...

But when he finally came up with the find we all had a good laugh…

Justin with the unique cache!

Justin with the unique cache!

As it turns out, this cache and the next one we would find (see below) are a part of a special series of Halloween related caches placed by a local geocacher.  I knew this going in to the day, so I could explain this odd container to the newbies.

Sword Fight!

Sword Fight!

We finished out the hike with Maggie leading the way to a few more geocaches, including another micro that took us a while to find, bringing our total up to 7 for the day.

Maggie leading the way

Maggie leading the way

We had a great time geocaching and it was fun to show some newbies “the ropes”.  I was surprised though how many times they came up with the find before Maggie or I (experienced geocachers) did!  I guess maybe it helps not having any pre-conceived notion of what exactly you’re looking for.  I chalk it up to beginner’s luck!  Hopefully the NerdHerders had fun and will take up the hobby and log many more cache finds in the future!