Walktober 2016

Saturday October 1st

Although Cody is an All-American bear he's interested in other people's culture, so he decided that, perhaps he would go to the Finnish-American Heritage Society craft Fair - event #37. He was a little upset that he couldn't go inside as it was pretty tight with a lot of vendors. But he got to talk with several people outside the hall.

FAHS table
Cody did some early holiday shopping
An ornament made of Birch bark
Cody made friends with the nice ladies at the FAHS table

Event #55 Ye Ancient Burial Grounds of Norwich given by Dave Oat was kind of scary for Cody, being a little bear. Mr. Oat talked alot about dead people, and the art - or lack of - on headstones and the people who carved them. Cody learned that some men were extremely talented in the art of stone carving and made elaborate headstones for those that could afford them. We discovered that Benedict Arnold's mother and father and siblings are buried in the Norwichtown Cemetery. Benedict is buried in England. Cody got to see the tomb of the First President of the United States - Samuel Huntington. Not George Washington who was actually the 11th president... George was the first president elected by eligible voters (Male landowners), while Samuel was elected by members of Congress.

Samuel Huntington Tomb
Cody and Mom at the First President's recently restored tomb
Norwich Visitor Center
Cody is always climbing
this time on the Visitor Center's sign
Hale House
Mr. Dave Oat gave a great talk on Graveyard Markers.
Cody even behaved

Sunday October 2nd

This was part of the foundation - perhaps the porch

Event #61 - Historic Ramsdell Walk was put on by the US Army Corps of Engineers at the West Thompson Dam. There was not much to see as the Corps had torn down all the buildings after the great flood of 1938, but you could still see Alice's home's foundation and a couple of pieces of farm machinery. Alice's father was a train buff and had bought Engine #9, a box and flat car. Cody loves to ride trains, though the only remains were the foundation of the little shed that housed the engine and a couple of railroad ties. Cody wishes he could have gone for a ride.

The Hale Homestead Landscape Tour event #65 was a long talk and tour of the farm and living in the 1700s and 1800s and the restoration of the farm. Cody particularly liked the stories about the last owner's horse and dog who are buried under an enormous mountain of rocks. He thought the corn crib was funny because cribs were for babies, not corn. One of the stops was near a small pond where the family may have used it as a ritten to make flax which was used to make linen. Cody wanted to go into the pond, but it was too cold and wet a day. Cody did get into trouble later though as he climbed the stone mountain when he wasn't supposed to.

Cody's Crib
Cody can hardly keep from laughing at the corn crib at Hale Farm
Cody in trouble
Cody - you are not supposed to climb up there!
cow path
You can just make out the cow path between the stone walls
Hale House
The Hale Farm House from the Norwich Road

Saturday October 8th

Norwich Harbor
The Norwich Harbor circa 1853
Walk #95 - The History of Downtown Transportation presented by Dale Plummer, Norwich City Historian. Cody learned a lot about the railroads that served Norwich as well a little about the steamships and the trolleys. Of course since Cody is a rail fan, he would have liked to ride the trolleys around town. There were even covered bridges.
Tree of Life
This tree saved the lives of 5 people during the Spaulding Pond Dam break in 1963
Walktober Group
The Walktober group that learned about the great Dam break of 1963
Roberta Vincent led Cody and the gang on walk #104, the Spaulding Pond Dam Flood. Roberta was one of the witnesses who saw the great wall of water come rushing down the playground on March 6, 1963 behind her house when the dam gave way. 6 people were killed - 5 in a factory and one mother, Margaret "Honey" Moody, who died saving her childrens' lives. The children, their father, and a neighbor made it safely to the Tree of Life and clung to the sapling which withstood the flood for over an hour before they were rescued. Being a bear, Cody has a special fondness for trees, which he loves to climb. Needless to say Cody and Honey might have been very good friends because - well you know, don't you?Monument dedicated to Honey Moody
This is the monument recently placed that documents the great dam break of March 6, 1963 and Margaret "Honey" Moody.

Sunday October 9th

The Blue Slope Country Museum hosted walk #115 - Cows to Cabot Cheese. Cody learned that you can make your very own cheese and it's not all that hard to do. People have been making cheese for thousands of years and there are lots of varieties that you can buy. The Cabot Cheese lady handed out some very good tasting cheese samples. Anne Staebner gave a presentation on how cheese is made.
Cabot Cheese Cow and Cody
Cody made friends with a Cabot Cheese cow and enjoyed munching on some cheesy samples. He even brought home some recipes.
Cheese making
Anne Staebner, of the Blue Slope Country Museum described and demonstrated a cheese curd cutter with sharp cutting strings about 1 inch apart.

Sunday October 16th

Cody went to the Cider & Pumpkins event at Devon Point Farm (#150). There he met some very nice people who gave him a cup of cider to taste. While Cody liked the cider, he really wanted the HONEY, which all bears really love. Though not much of a hike there was some fun things to do as you'll see in the pictures below.View of the whole Tree
This is a picture of the whole tree. When you go to the farm you'll see it in an open field on the right side of the driveway.
Cody Sits On Pumpkins
Cody got comfy on a pile of Pumpkins. It was fun being up in the air
Cody and Friend cat
Cody made friends with one of the farm cats. The cat wasn't too sure of Cody, Cody being so small and all - and a BEAR.
Cody In Tree Window
Cody looks out the window of a house very much like Winnie-the-Pooh's House.
Cody in the tree
Cody sits in a hole in the tree. The tree had been struck by lightning and was hollow on the inside.
The next walk #172 was a walk through the woods to see the damage done by a tornado in Southbridge MA when it went through the area in 2011. Many poor trees were knocked down and killed. Cody was sad to hear of the destruction, but the area is recovering nicely thanks to the good efforts of local people.
View of the whole Tree
This is a picture of the some of the damage done.
Cody in the tree
Cody climbed up and had a seat on one of trees that still blocks the path through the woods.

Saturday October 22nd

Today Cody went to the Camp JN Webster History Walk #40. He met some Boy Scout leaders and explored the massive 1200 acre camp. He enjoyed seeing a wide open field where they can do astronomy, but he especially liked the huge pond where he could go fishing and swimming. Cody loves his fish - almost as much as honey.

View of the Pond
This is a picture of the swimming and fishing pond that Cody loved.
Cody outside the Boy Scout history museum
Unfortunately Cody had to run to his next event so he only paused for a brief picture in front of the Boy Scout History Museum

The next walk #198 was a walk through the woods to see the Meteor Crater. Cody was especially interested in it since he enjoys meteor showers. He was a little disappointed when he found out it wasn't really a meteor crater. But he was amazed when he found out that it was a huge hole dug in the side of a hill that filled up with water to be used to fight fires. Cody gets tired after only a little digging, so he was quite impressed.

View of the crater
The hole is so deep!
Cody at the edge
Cody couldn't go into the crater because he was afraid he might not be able to climb back out.

Sunday October 23rd

Cody went to the UCONN extension center in Brooklyn, CT where he learned about the nasty insects that accidently kill trees - like the Emerald Ash Borer. Cody loves to climb trees so he gets kind of sad when he hears about the trees dying. He also got to see some research that UCONN is doing in geology and Computer Science. This was Walk #203

Cody at the UCONN extension enjoying some homemade ice cream

The next walk #210 Hatchet Hill Hike was quite a hike climbing up a steep slope. Cody was really interested in finding out about forest management and how careful foresters are to maintain the health of trees and plants and animals. This particular land has many different types of soil and trees on it and maintaining diversity while still being able to produce some income is important. Hull Forest Products seems to really care about the land they manage.

View at the top of the hill
After a steep climb the view is outstanding and worth the hike
A Giant Erratic
Cody laughed a lot when he learned that this giant rock is called an erratic. He was amazed that the giant rock had come here in the last ice age from Vermont - where he was born.
Cody in the forester truck
Cody loves to climb, and even after a hard weekend of walking still managed to climb up into the forestry truck.

Sunday October 30th

Cody's next adventure (hike #235) next took him to Camp Laurel a Girl Scout of Connecticut camp. This was a 2 mile hike through the back woods and trails. He learned about the history of the camp, saw some geodetic markers, saw a huge pond that has a dam to regulate the water height and flow and saw lots of trees, salamanders, toads. He didn't get to see any deer, probably because everyone was so noisy, oohing and awwing

View at the top of the hill
The downhill side of the dam has been clear cut in preparation for repairs to the dam
The Hikers
Even Lead Ranger Marcy from The Last Green Valley made this hike along with 36 other people
Cody on the Camp Sign
Yes, once again Cody climbed up on the Girl Scout sign.