Hiking and History

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Today Annie and I hiked through Spencer and Charlton. At one point, we entered a historic district of Charlton. That was pretty cool. I think this hike had us on the most roads of any of our hikes so far, but they were mostly rural – except for crossing over the Mass Pike (bridge) and under route 20 (cow tunnel).

We hiked around 10 miles and missed a couple of pieces of the trail, which has been re-routed and doesn’t exactly match the guide we had. At one point we missed walking through an orchard, which would have been nice, but the guide actually mentioned a sign we saw BEYOND the orchard, so we were really thoroughly confused. The lady working at the orchard didn’t know anything about the mid-state trail, but the girl across the street at an antique store told us an alternate way to get back to the trail. I think we decided next time we hike the trail we’ll go south to north (in reverse of our current direction) and see if the trail is easier to follow. Annie mentioned also bringing some yellow markers, a hammer, and nails, to make things clearer for the next hikers! (Doubt if we’ll do that, but…tempting.)

I continue to be amused that the trail guide says to watch carefully for markers. Okay….

But, that’s what makes this an adventure!

Here are the photos from today’s hike. Lots of them because there were lots of interesting spots along the way!

Hunting area:

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Lots of signs along the way, many of them talking about re-routing the trail.

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I think this was the point of the trail that Annie mentioned the movie Deliverance…

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Not a lot of places to stop for a snack. We did here, standing up.

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We hiked along gas pipelines too much on this hike. Totally bummed me out. Sun, water, and wind energy, for the win! No more of this fossil fuel stuff.

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Fun cairn. There was supposed to be another one, according to the map, but we totally missed that one on a confusing part of the trail.

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Theme of the day. And I took this picture so we could refer back to it if we got lost. Which we did!

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Really, even most of the roads were pretty. (But, when we headed back into the woods for the final stretch of the trail we were happy to be back hiking instead of walking.)

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We crossed over a railroad bridge….

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And then we heard a train coming, so I ran back and snapped this photo!

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If you look closely, you can see the wakes of some geese on this pond.

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This place was pretty cool, especially as we came to it from the back side and were trying to figure out what it was. Many, many outbuildings and all with crosses. The place is called “Holy Virgin Mary Spiritual Vineyard.”

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And right beyond it was a cemetery.

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And beyond that, this interestingly decorated home. That’s a human skeleton walking two skeleton dogs….

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Another cemetery.

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And NOW we enter the historic district. I’m afraid I snapped a lot of photos this walk. There are only so many “in the forest” photos you can take. But when you are walking by other landmarks on roads, well, it’s a whole other world of photography (even if it’s only iphone photography).

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This is the apple orchard where we missed the trail.

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And Charlton public lands across the street.

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And this historical sign, which was in the trail guide.

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As was this tavern.

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And beyond it, where the trail comes out of the orchard. The part we missed. Because the trail guide is CONFUSING!

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More history in the historical district.

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This was a battlefield.

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The view looking back towards the tavern, just to give context of where we were.

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And a schoolhouse, with an outhouse. (Poor Annie, I was slowing us down a bit I was taking so many pictures!)

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Crossing over the Mass Pike.

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Yay, entering the woods again! I thought the red fire hydrant in front of the historical and trail signs was an interesting juxtaposition of elements.

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Oh boy, now I was on a picture-taking roll and even started taking more in-the-woods photos.

Here’s a neat brook. Further on we had a challenging brook crossing (could we get across without getting wet? – we did – but I didn’t get a photo of that).

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It was surprising seeing so much green in this one spot, since most of the world right now is autumn colors.

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Old, interesting, trees…

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An abandoned factory. In the middle of the woods. Kind-of strange place to find a factory.

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And now, the end of our hike, a cow path under route 20 and up the hill to our car on the other side! A few pictures….

Looking at the approach up to the cow path.

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You can see both the entrance AND the exit.

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Here we are in the entrance.

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Heading towards the exit.

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Annie caught me taking my last shot of the day! PS, in these blog posts, some of the photos are Annie’s!

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And, we’re out!

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Another great hike!