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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Kinsman Lodge (the best bed and breakfast) - Franconia, New Hampshire


Every year, as summer fades to Autumn and the end of September rolls around, I jump in my car and head north. I usually head to Vermont to mountain bike and hike around the Kingdom but with COVID-19 and the travel restrictions in Vermont, we decided to change things up a bit and head to the Granite State instead.  We booked a last-minute AirBnB with a credit we had, a little discouraged at first to see the limited dog-friendly options near the Whites.  I had Adam expand the search to a two-night stay and suddenly, the most perfect place showed up in our browser.  

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Lobster Shack - East Haven - Lobster Roll Tour Stop #6

It took me a few summers to finish my lobster roll tour.  For starters, tasting lobster rolls is an expensive hobby.  Lobster rolls generally cost anywhere from $18 to $20 (usually without sides) and while insanely delicious, aren't always filling.  Geographic location also made it a little more time consuming as we sample lobster rolls as far east and Noank and as far west as East Haven.  If there was ever a time to eat lobster rolls - now is it.  The crowds are gone after Labor Day, COVID-19 has forced us to dine al fresco, and it just felt like the perfect time to spend a Friday night chowing down lobster rolls along the water (and head to IKEA when it is least busy).  

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Chauncey Peak Loop Hike (Giuffrida Park) - Meriden, CT


Lately, I have been feeling insanely lucky for the luxury of being able to hike on a Tuesday morning.  You see, I spent my whole life working at least one job (often two, sometimes three).  I did my duty working weekends, working two jobs a day, working through graduate school, so on and so forth.  I always had the goal of starting my own company and making my own hours.  You've heard the saying, you are either working hard to make your dreams work or making someone else's.  My plan was to gain my Licensed Environmental Professional certification and then start my own Phase I company.  When the coronavirus struck and my work from home priveledges were revoked, for my safety and my sanity, I decided going back to the office was not an option and it was now or never to start that company.  And so, my little environmental consulting firm was born and so was my ability to make my own schedule.  It's been slow to start which makes me even more thankful for this hard-working husband of mine who works long hours to help pick up the slack.  With my newfound freedom and flexibility, I was able to dedicate more time to Katie Wanders an even better, more time for tackling busier Connecticut hikes during the week.  

Thursday, September 17, 2020

CT/NY border to Tenmile River Shelter (AT Backpacking)


Backpacking is something I wish I got into earlier in life.  There's something romantic about carrying everything you need on your back to spend the night in the woods.  Once you escape the campgrounds or roadside camping areas, it's hard to go back to the noise and the crowds.  When you commit to carrying everything you need on your back, you weed out a lot of the people.  It's not as simple as going out for a hike, you do need to invest in some staples that allow you to sleep under the stars comfortably and safely.  Like all of my hobbies, they are uniquely my own, skills and interests acquired and invested into throughout my adult life.  My family wasn't the backpacking type and their idea of camping involves a large RV at a developed campground.  I had to do a lot of research, save up, invest in gear, and find some likeminded friends to hike with.  When you do invest in the gear and find your tribe, there's nothing like setting up your camp somewhere in the woods far from any road or roaring generators.  While I love an epic adventure deep into the Whites of New Hampshire, it doesn't always have to be 30 miles into the wilderness, 3 miles into the woods was plenty for us.  

Monday, September 14, 2020

Pine Knob Loop Hike - Sharon, Connecticut

Pine Knob Loop is a hiking trail in the northwest corner of CT that I kept hearing about.  I heard it was short, sweet, and scenic and Adam had hiked it several times.  We planned a weekend up in the northwest corner of Connecticut and I added this quick hike into our plans. 

f i r s t    i m p r e s s i o n s 

All in all, I thought it was a nice hike along a pretty section of woods and a stream with a nice viewpoint.  I liked that it was short and sweet and something that would be family-friendly or something easy to tackle with other plans in your day.  My only gripe was in an area of so many amazing hikes, this wouldn't be my first choice.