Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween HIKE, September 29th

Drew, Paul, and Joan. A lovely hike in the woods.
Our last minute decision to go for a hike instead of a bike ride was a great success, (with apologies to everyone for the late notice). Sheldon, Fran, Paul, Joan, Tam and -- OMG, surprise (!!) -- LITTLE DAVE, met at Hayward's Restaurant for breakfast. It's a tiny place, with booths, not tables, and although the hostess kindly arranged for us to sit together, we did have to split up. (The restaurant being tiny, it was hardly noticeable.) It was fun to see everyone and the food and service was great. We'd visit again!

After breakfast, Drew, Joan, Paul and Tam left for Lynn Woods less than a mile down the road. (Alas, Brenda and Kathy couldn't join us there as they'd hoped.) The weather was damp and cool, but we hardly noticed it while we were hiking. Our first stop was climbing Burrill Hill to get to the Stone Tower. As we walked the trail, the colors of fall foliage was barely present -- until we climbed to the top of Stone Tower and looked across the tree tops towards Boston and the Atlantic. The view from atop Stone Tower is beautiful, even on an overcast day. So lovely.

Joan admires the foliage from atop Stone Tower
The just-past-peak foliage from atop stone tower.

The Boston skyline
We then continued on into the woods towards Dungeon Rock, as Tam relayed the legend for which Dungeon Rock is noted for -- of mid-1600's pirate, Thomas Veale, who became buried inside the natural rock cave following an earthquake, along with his treasure; and of the spiritualist Hiram Marble who believed Thomas Veale spoke to him from the dead, telling him where the treasure was located -- and then spent his lifetime digging into the rock to unearth it, to no avail. It's a fascinating story, appropriate for Halloween.

Inside Dungeon Rock, we did not go down. (Creepy!)
We had a great hike -- 3.5 miles -- and only felt we were lost once or twice. Even with a map, you can often feel lost in Lynn Woods. There's much more to explore there!

With cooler weather approaching, and our biking days dwindling, a hike may be more welcome to many this fall. In addition to Lynn Woods, the trails at Bradley Palmer, Willowdale, Beverly Commons, and the fascinating Dogtown Commons in Gloucester are a few options. (Dogtown is a bit of a distance to travel, but only 40 minutes from Salem, and has an amazing history.) Walden Woods would be a fun trip as well. It's easier to bundle up warm and cozy for a hike than it is for a bike ride... so we'll keep that option open.

Next week: Our season-ending breakfast has been postponed to November 12th, so we'll try and get in one more ride next weekend if the weather cooperates. Happy Halloween!

A selfie from Stone Tower

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