SO much to say. Not sure where to start. I can say this, I have never been so surprised or out of my comfort zone before and it was a great exercise for me. Erin told me to not make plans for Monday or Tuesday and gave me no further details. When Monday arrived, I still had NO clue what we were doing except that I was to dress for a hike. I did that. We got in the car and started driving. I still had no idea where we were headed. Not east, not west. Didn’t know what roads we were going to take to get wherever we were going. For those that know me, you know that this is the most uncomfortable situation I could ever be in!! About an hour into the trip, I settled into the lack of control and decided to trust in my Wife and Navigator, Erin. This required a LOT of internal dialogue and discomfort. Suddenly, with some twists and turns, we were in Northwest Connecticut at a place called Steep Rock Preserve. This was our final destination…or was it?
We hiked into the park on a Horseback trail that meandered alongside a lazy river. Very nice and simple trail that was more of a road and not much of a challenge but was beautiful nonetheless. This area was originally purchased from a lumber company in 1889 by Ehrick Rossiter, a local Architect, in order to save it from being clear-cut for timber. Mr. Rossiter subsequently donated the land to a Trust and with many other land owners adding to that donation, the trust now operates over 2700 acres of Public use land. The trail we were on was originally an access road along the flats of the river. We came upon a fairly new and very cool suspension bridge across the river. After some obligatory selfies and some photo ops, we moved on to the other side. I love random art, in odd plces and we got some of that before heading into what turned out to be a solid 45 minute uphill hike to the summit. This was quite a challenge. Both Erin and Myself could be in better hiking shape and this hike was a slap in the face reminder of that fact! The summit was beautiful and we were greeted with a Hawk soaring at eye level on some thermals coming up the cliffs we were on top of. Outstanding view from up there and definitely worth the
The summit was beautiful and we were greeted with a Hawk soaring at eye level on some thermals coming up the cliffs we were on top of. Outstanding view from up there and definitely worth the huffing and puffing to get there. The trek back down was sketchy and took a while, as the trail narrowed and was washed out and steep in many spots. After some careful navigation and use of our hiking sticks, we made it back down to the other side of the mountain. We continued along the trail and eventually ended up back at the car. We were tired and potentially sore but exhilarated by the great hike and the peacefulness of being in the woods.
We left the Hiking area and traveled a few miles to the thriving metropolis of Washington Depot CT. Home to massive Hollywood productions and Fan Festivals. After some coffee and local color, we headed out of town to take a Tour of a nearby mansion. LIES!!! This mansion tour, this pack of lies and deception, this malarkey was, in reality, an unbelievably beautiful Bed and Breakfast that my amazing wife had booked for us to stay in for a Mini Vacation!!! I won’t get into all the details of the surprise and my stupidity, but I will say that this was one of the greatest things anyone has ever done for me. We had a lovely afternoon, followed by a great dinner and some much needed sleep.
The next morning I ventured out in search of Coffee and a tour of the countryside. I did both and then headed back to the B&B for a delicious breakfast prepared for us by the innkeeper Regine. We the set out on another hike, at a different location. The preserve we ended up at was very close to the B&B and was a great local spot with some challenging, moderate trails. We took a quick hike that ended up being about 2 hours and looped around this awesome preserve. This section is known as the Hidden Valley Preserve and is a part of the Steep Rock Association land trust. It was a great place and super close.
As far as exercise and activity is concerned, these 2 days of hiking were absolutely great. A perfect combination of moderate and strenuous hikes. Being in the woods was awesome as usual but being there with Erin made it that much better. It was so nice to be able to hike and chat and enjoy each other in such a beautiful setting. The cherry on top was the Bed and Breakfast and the surprise mini-vacation that I did not expect in any way, shape or form. The planning and support by Erin and my parents,without my knowledge, was great. It truly was a sublime and perfect 2 days.
Lots and Lots of Pics. enjoy!!