Congratulations to the graduates!
A 252-year tradition.
A 252-year tradition.
Last week I had the opportunity to strap on skates and take a few minutes for a spin around the ice on the Dartmouth Green. Like last year, Dartmouth set up a small temporary ice rink, with free rentals and hot chocolate, to encourage the Dartmouth and surrounding community to ’embrace winter’. The weather has been cold, and the ice smooth. Here, President Hanlon and I take a few laps.
A lovely outing in late-fall conditions.
Today I went out with a friend for a short hike in the hills on the eastern side of Hanover. It was a warm afternoon, but we were surprised to see an inch of fresh snow on the leaf-covered forest floor, with melting snow dripping from the fir trees overhead. It rained hard here last night – down along the Connecticut River – but only a few hundred feet higher it had apparently snowed.
It was nonetheless a lovely hike through the forest along a set of trails managed by the Hanover Conservancy, culminating in a series of rocky overlooks on the ledges of the ridge that extends south from Moose Mountain.
We wore bright-orange vests, because this weekend is the first big weekend of deer season, and we could frequently hear the report of rifle shots in the valley to the east. The sight of snow – as much as an inch of heavy, wet snow in some areas – reminds me of how quickly winter is coming.
Map: see red route below. (The green route refers to my prior visit)
My outing for today was to re-visit Balch Hill, a bald round-topped hill in the middle of Hanover. I’d been there only once before, when the kids and I followed the mysterious Valley Quest instructions to find a hidden quest box near the summit. Today, a blustery and gray November day, I was the only person on the hill, it seemed. The lone maple tree that proudly guards the hill-top meadow seemed silent in its leafless state, awaiting a proper blanket of snow. Although I ascended by the Maple Trail (1.0 mile from car to summit) I found a map and decided to loop down via the Hemlock Trail and some residential streets. The summit kiosk mentioned a huge old oak tree to be seen along that path, and how they’d left in place the massive branch that “lost its battle with gravity”.
Indeed, the trail now passes under the natural arch formed by this decaying branch, adding a little novelty to today’s walk in the woods.
’tis the season.
I happened to be walking along the Green in Hanover at the moment when Dartmouth was raising its annual Christmas tree. This year’s tree was selected from a tree farm in Wallingford, VT. Soon it will be decorated with lights and adding cheer to this quiet campus!
The event was also covered by the Valley News.