Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ipswich River

We don't visit Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary as much as we'd like any more because we can't take Rhodie there. But today was a gorgeous fall day, so we decided to leave Rhodie at home and visit our old haunt.

We used to keep bird seed in the car for our visits but we were out. Fortunately there's a pet store right on the way near the sanctuary. I bet they sell a lot of bird seed.

The birds didn't disappoint. We got the usual torrent of chickadees. But today the nuthatches and the tufted titmice weren't as shy as they have been before and we got plenty of them to visit our hands, too.

People have been feeding the birds here out of their hands for a very long time. The bird population is very accustomed to it.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hub on Wheels

There's an annual bike ride every September in Boston called Hub on Wheels. The highlight is that Storrow Drive, a major roadway along the Charles River, is closed for the event and cyclists get to ride on a road that is usually closed to us.

Last year Audrey and I rode the 10-mile route - the Storrow Drive portion - together. At the point where the riders on the longer routes split off, Audrey toyed with the idea of riding farther.

Fortunately we didn't. She hadn't had any training, and she was tired after 10 miles, and sore the next day.

This summer I asked Audrey if she wanted to ride the longer route. I told her we would need to do some training rides to work up to the 40-mile length of this year's route. She was game.

So, several weekends in a row leading up to the event we rode. First a little under 10 miles. Then 20 miles a couple of times. And finally 30 miles on the Cape Cod Rail Trail while were visiting the Cape with friends. When Hub on Wheels rolled around, we were ready.

Oh, before the Cape ride I also bought a computer for Audrey's bike so she could see her own speed and distance.

We had to get up at 6am to go on the ride. Audrey wasn't too excited about that.

I had stocked up on energy foods and had them stashed in my jersey pocket. Good thing. Audrey needed boosts now and then throughout the ride. But she powered through and we finished! Just over 40 miles on our bike computers. I was very proud of her.

She was a little sore the next day but not too bad. We'll see if she's game again next year.

The age minimum is 12, so Charlotte has another year before she has to decide whether to give it a go.

Here's the route:

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cape Cod - September

For the fourth year in a row we joined our friends the Latta-Giulianas at their family cottage in Dennisport, Cape Cod, for the weekend after Labor Day.

We've established a bunch of traditions as part of this weekend:

This year Audrey and I added a 30-mile bike ride. Last year she and I rode the 10-mile route at Hub on Wheels. Audrey said she'd like to ride the longer route. So we've been going on training rides to work up to the 40-mile ride around Boston next weekend. We rode on the beautiful Cape Cod Rail Trail.

It was warm and a little humid this year. But we slept with the van side door and hatch wide open (we have screens), and the girls enjoyed the screened windows on three sides in the tent upstairs. It was delightful sleeping in warm temps and a breeze.

And now it's time for fall. After the 85 degree day we're going to have on Wednesday, that is.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Crane Beach (Aug 21)

We always try to get in a few good beach days in August before heading back to school. Last Sunday we spent seven hours at Crane Beach.

Carol and the girls also went to Plum Island in the middle of the week to spend the night at a beach house rented by one of Charlotte's friend's families.

And we're going to Crane Beach again tomorrow with friend!