Bucket List

Everyone knows what a “Bucket List” is, and I’ve heard dozens of people say, “Ooh, that’s definitely on my Bucket List”, when an extravagant topic such as world travel or sky diving comes up.  But I would be willing to bet money that for most of these people its just a dream that they are too scared to make come true.  Well, I refuse to let that happen to me.  I refuse to let my life pass me by and frantically have to try to fit everything in when I’m old, or heaven forbid, ill.

How am I planning on making this happen?  Me and Ben are making a 2012 Bucket List.  Now when we are looking for something fun to get into we can try something new that we forgot we wanted to try and have lots of fun adventures in 2012.  Life is all about living for today and making the most out all situations!  We hope to complete all of the things on our list below, and we will update the list with our experiences as we do them!

Bucket List:

  • Complete 50 Hikes in CT(Book was a gift to me from a good friend’s father).  This is a somewhat ambitious goal, but I think we will be able to do it no problem!
    1. Oak Grove, Manchester: 1 mile  4.15.12 Ben and I did this hike on a Sunday evening.  It was a little drizzly, so we didn’t lollygag too much.  We found a snake, which Ben caught (see picture below) and we also saw a ton of trees that are being chopped down by beavers!  I didn’t know this before, but Ben told me that the whole reason the beavers cut down the trees to to make sure that their teeth stay short enough.  They use the wood too, but they cut down trees instead of getting loose brush so that their teeth don’t get too long.  Oh, and we saw the filming of a lorno (see An R Rated Walk)

      Oak Grove Nature Center / Ben and the snake he caught!

    2. Great Pond, Tariffville:  2.5 miles 3.17.12 Although the book told us this hike was in Tarifville, it actually is in Simsbury.  This was a nice flat hike around “Great Pond”.  We thought it would be a fun place to roll around on our mountain bikes too, and are looking forward to trying that out on of these days.  While we were on our hike we saw an awesome tree frog (which is actually the frog in the picture at the top of my website.

      Great Pond

    3. Larsen Sanctuary, Redding: 6.2.12 Larsen Sactuary had tons of trails that were very clearly marked!  We really enjoyed this hike and would love to go back if ever in the area!  I would recommend this minimally technical hike to people with kids!  There are TONS of short trails, so you can make your walk as long or as short as you’d like.
    4. Mount Tom Tower,  New Preston:
    5. Gillette Castle, Deep River:
    6. Greenwich Audubon Sanctuary, Greenwich, CT: 6.2.12.  These trails were pretty easy to follow with the given map.  You can get maps either online or at the visitor center.  We didn’t see any birds at the Audubon Society, however we saw plenty of turtles and frogs!

      Greenwich Audubon Society

    7. Hurd State Park, Middle Haddam:
    8. Case Mountain, Manchester:  2.5 miles 4.13.12  Ben and I went mountain biking on a Friday Night!  We parked right off Birch Mountain Road in Manchester and went up the White Trail around the back of the mountain.  This trail is wide and fairly easy.  We went back down on a more technical trail – the pink trail.  I’m never going to be as good at is as Ben is, but I still have fun!

      Me and (part of) Ben at the top of Case Mountain

    9. Rocky Neck, Old Lyme/Niantic:
    10. Wadsworth Falls, Middletown
    11. Nayantaquit, Hamburg:
    12. Pine Knob Loop, Ellsworth:
    13. Day Pond Loop, Moodus:
    14. Sunny Valley, New Milford:
    15. Northwest Park, Windsor Locks:  4 miles 3.17.12 Ben and I hiked around Northwest park using the book as a guide…Turns out the book is a bit out of date and all of the trails have been re-routed since the book was written.  This explains why we got slightly lost multiple times! haha  Anyways, we had a great hike and saw some nice views of the Farmington River.  If you choose to do this hike yourself, I recommend staying off the Bog Trail, as a portion of it hugs a private dump.  Other than that, it was a fantastic day!  We had a picnic lunch, got to see the animals in the barn, and even purchased some maple syrup that was bottled right there for us in their Maple Shack!  (We had breakfast for dinner that night!)

      Northwest Park

    16. Newgate Prison, Windsor Locks:
    17. Chatfield Hollow, Clinton:
    18. Soapstone Mountain, Ellington:  2 miles 2.26.12 We did this hike with one of our best friends at the end of February.  Although I warned the boys ahead of time, I dont they believed me when I told them it was a very steep elevation incline.  We stopped about half way up the mountain to catch the view and then headed to the top.  I love that there is an observation tower at the top of the mountain.  On a clear day, you can see for miles and miles.   There’s tons of miles of trails you can take from the top of the mountain, but we were crunched for time on the day we went to we just headed back down to the base of the mountain.

      Ben carved our initials into the lookout tower at Soapstone Mountain

    19. Bluff Point, New London:
    20. White Memorial Foundation, Litchfield:
    21. Penwood, Bloomfield:  5 miles 4/14/12 The book lead us wrong with this one…again! haha.  The parking lot that was indicated in the book no longer exists.  But, if you know where Penwood is, it’s wicked easy to get to.  Penwood State Park is diagnolly across the street from Talcott Mountain on route 185 going from West Hartford into Simsbury.  The trails were difficult, but well marked.  We liked that there was actually maps available, and the views were spectacular!  I will DEFINITELY go back to Penwood!

      Penwood State Park

    22. Mount Misery, Voluntown:
    23. Gay City Sate Park, Hebron: 6.24.12- We had so much fun here!  we saw tons of little tadpoles!  This is definitely somewhere that would be fun to go for the full day with food, friends and dogs!  Tons of trails that are suitable for both hiking and biking, a nice pond for swimming and fishing, and lots of area for games and picnicing!
    24. Green Falls Point, Voluntown:
    25. Wolf Den, Danielson:
    26. Collis P Huntington State Park, Redding: 6.2.12   There were TONS of trails here!  We stayed mostly on the main fire trails because the smaller trails were very overgrown.  The trails were marked well in some areas, not so  much in others.  Either way, we loved it and definitely look forward to going back!
    27. McLean Game Refuge, Tariffville:
    28. Great Hill, Haddam:
    29. Mount Higby, Middletown: 5.28.12. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go as far on this  hike as we wanted to, but we did have a great time!  Though I was getting major anxiety as ben peered over the rock ledge, we both definitely enjoyed the beautiful views!  Can’t wait to go back!
    30. Northern Nipmunk, Westford:
    31. Natchaug, Hampton:
    32. Bullet and High Ledges, Voluntown:
    33. Westwoods, Guilford:
    34. Raggesd Mountain Loop, New Britain/Meriden:
    35. Devil’s Hopyard, Hamburg:
    36. Chauncy Peak and Mount Lamentation,  Meriden:
    37. Heublein Tower, Avon:
    38. People’s Forest, New Hartford:
    39. Macedonia Brook, Ellsworth:
    40. Bear Mountain Loop, Bashbish Falls:
    41. Windsor Locks Canal, Windsor Locks/Broad Brook: 9 miles 4.4.12  Me and Ben did this one this weekend!  Nice, flat, paved bike trail that runs along the windsor locks canal.  It’s a nice easy ride and a lot of fun!  We did the whole 9 miles in about 1 hour and then had a picnic lunch!  YUM!

      Us at the turnaround point at the Windsor Locks Canal. Peace!

    42. Seven Falls, Middle Haddam:
    43. Mansfield Hollow, Mansfield:
    44. Cockaponset, Haddam:
    45. Tunxis Ramble, Thomaston, Bristol, Torrington & Collinsville:
    46. Bolton Notch Railroad, Manchester to Bolton: 5.19.12.  We decided to do this one on wheels!  The Rails to trails are an old railway system that runs through CT.  The trails go on for miles and miles and miles.  Ben and I did only about 7 miles, but it was awesome. We started on Parker St. in manchester (next to Aamco), and finished at the painted rock in Bolton.  As you can see from the pics below, you can still see the remanence of the old rail road!  Cool!
    47. West Peak and Castle Crag, Meriden:
    48. Housatonic Range, New Milford:
    49. Sleeping Giant, Willingford, Mount Carmel:
    50. Ratlum Mountain and Indian Caves, New Hartford:
  • Go to York, Maine.
  • Go to Miami.
  • Get a tattoo.
  • Try out the new Lepri’s.
  • Do a puzzle:  This wasn’t a great thing to put on the bucket list because we do puzzles all the time.  And by “we” I mean “me”, but Ben usually adds in a few pieces!  Between January and March I’ve already gotten 5 puzzles under my belt!
  • Make Jello Shots:  We made some delicious jello shots using citris vodka and lemon rinds (instead of cups).  I guess technically I made Jello Shots, but in response to that, its really only a one man process.  Ben absolutly did his part in eating the Jello Shots!

    Jell-O Shot!

  • Go mountain biking.
  • Go to a flee market
  • Go zip lining.
  • Get Ben to try out bootcamp.
  • Try out the Ropes Course
  • Color Easter Eggs:  I haven’t done this in years and I really wanted to ge tback into doing fun holiday things so i decided to just go ahead and do it.

    My Beautiful Dyed Eggs!!

  • Ride on Ben’s Bike
  • Go Apple Picking
  • Go Blueberry Picking
  • Go camping
  • Go Strawberry Picking
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Go parasailing

There could be more to be added to this list…but for now, this is our “ToDo”.  We are going to be BUSY!!

  1. When you do any of the hikes near me, give me a call. I am always up for a tramp thru the woods….


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