By Beth Sullivan
It is time to hit the trails for a purpose, and if you can’t get out to do it, you can support a team or support the effort.
A short trail may have a reward at the end.
The trek begins
This weekend marked the beginning of the Trail Trek fund raiser for Avalonia. The organization has never done this kind of an event, and the plans were hatched before we found ourselves in the depth of a pandemic. So, not only are we trying something new, but we have to punt. Make lemonade! Or whatever metaphor you want to use to describe making the very best of a less than perfect situation. But, you know, this is turning out to be quite wonderful. Maybe even better than a bunch of big group hikes. This way we all spread out our energies and intentions and cover Southeast Connecticut with our members and friends, to spread the word of the work Avalonia is doing to preserve the beautiful open spaces that have kept many of us, especially me, sane over these past months.
I myself have never actively participated in a walk/bike/run for any cause. Some people find it easier to simply make a donation. Of course, you can still do that (thank you!). But how much more fun it is going to be to have a purpose, a goal, to do something I love anyway. I may not cover as much ground as the runners. I can’t climb the Tri-Town mountain like the real hikers. But I am pretty sure I will really look at things along the way. I take time; I dawdle when I walk. I have to stop to look up so I don’t trip on something, and I need my bifocals to look at things really closely. I always wander with my camera, or most frequently with my phone that seems to be quite satisfactory in its quality and detail in photos. I often have binoculars hanging around my neck as well. This is a great time to look for migrant birds, both those passing through and those who are arriving here for the winter.
It's never too soon to start trekking.
|Bridges can be part of the fun.|
|For some the challenge will be vertical.|
|This fall I don't think we have to worry about too much water on the trails.|
Don’t forget your phone
I don’t carry bird books anymore because the phone apps are so wonderful for birds and plants and all sorts of things. I often take photos of things and then look them up at home. Being able to do that gets me moving a little faster.
I also tend to wander off the trails. There always seems to be something pretty interesting around a corner, over a hill, or across the lot. I won’t admit to becoming lost, but I do get turned around pretty easily. For that reason I really love the ArcGIS Explorer app. The app is free. A dedicated volunteer has loaded all the Avalonia properties, trailed and untrailed, into a file of Avalonia online maps. You can easily locate yourself on any preserve, on or off the trail. I have not become lost even once while exploring off trail since I installed the app.
It seems that I depend a lot on the smartphone technology. I guess I do. I am not a very tech savvy person, but I recognize how we can enrich ourselves in our hiking experiences by tapping into the great resources available at our fingertips. We developed Hike and Seek specifically with that in mind. If you are lucky enough to be able to trek with kids, check out the Hike and Seek program on the Avalonia website and get even more out of your hike.
I may not cover a lot of ground myself being so distracted, but I hope my Sullivans and Friends group will. We will walk, stroll, hike and bike. Please check out the web page: https://www.pledgereg.com/great-avalonia-trail-trek. The main event will be happening all week, but donations and team support will be welcome into November. If you have the ability to support Avalonia with a small donation, you will be helping us keep our many paths open so you can Trek any time you choose.
Be well; hope to see you on the trails. And please be sure to send or post your photos of places you have trekked.
You may have choices to make.
|Sometimes you have to stop and notice the little things.|
|You might have to take a break from the walk and view the trail from above.|
Photographs by Beth Sullivan.