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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont

I decided to have “Boys Time” with Kevin and go to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont on Saturday. For Kevin, “Boys Time” means father-son time away from his 3 sisters. The girls went to Camp Shiloh in Jefferson, NH Friday night with the Senior high. Pam wanted to go to Kennebunkport and relax for the day by herself. Our plan was to go 4 wheeling, do some shooting, and take foliage pictures.

I woke Kevin at 4:30AM (he wanted to get up at 4AM) and we were driving by 5AM. The local Wal-Mart was out of 30-30 cartridges and a big box of .22’s so I told Kevin we would stop in Tilton on the drive north. We pulled in right around 6:00AM. That Wal-Mart didn’t open until 7AM so we kept going.

It was quite foggy on the ride up. My plan was to take the back roads from Lyndonville north to the Canadian border. Because we left so early the sun didn’t come up and start to burn off the fog until we got to Lake Willoughby. It’s such a pretty lake but tough to take pictures with the fog. We continued on the back roads north to Derby. News Flash … there is no Wal-Mart in Derby. Mr. O’s is the only sporting goods store I know of in Derby so we stopped there. I bought what we needed so Kevin could shoot. Before we continued someone pulled up with a 150lb black bear in the back of their truck. It’s bow season.

Kevin wanted to shoot first so I thought we would head to Morgan and shoot at the old bus. Someone locked the gate on the trail to the top of Beachnut Ridge so we couldn't continue driving. Instead of walking I decided to shoot somewhere off the power line road. Kevin was disappointed as that meant waiting a bit longer. I stopped in Island Pond to gas up before we went off road.

We started driving the power lines towards the Canadian Boarder. I stopped so Kevin could shoot the 30-30 about 2/3 of the way to Brousseau Mountain. He enjoyed shooting. We continued with Kevin in the back of the truck. The next stop was to look at the cliff of Brousseau. We could also see Little Averell Pond. This winter picture is of Doug and Pam
at the top of the cliff. We hiked in 2 feet of snow years ago. We weren't prepared for the depth of the snow.

We reached the end of the power line road at the Canadian boarder and headed to the Hurricane Brook area for more 4 wheeling, etc. I went down many trails. I turned around on 2 of them because of deep mud. I wasn’t interested in getting stuck with no other trucks with me. I had a come along and a tow rope but it wasn’t worth the risk being so deep in the woods.

We heard shooting on the way out and decided to check it out. We came upon 10 guys shooting. They were shooting into a big open area on the side of a hill that made the perfect backdrop for shooting. They invited Kevin and I to join them.

You can never be to careful so I parked and watched them for a couple minutes to make sure they were safe. We took out the .22 pistol and the 30-30. They watched Kevin and I for a couple minutes to make sure we were safe.

All was good and everybody relaxed at that point. It was evident the group was very much aware of and practiced gun safety. It turns out Steve, one of the men we met, is an NRA Instructor, owns a gun shop in Vermont, etc. He helped Kevin with his shooting.

Before you know it they offered Kevin and I the opportunity to shoot all sorts of guns. Kevin ended up shooting an AK-47 (150 rounds), an AR-15 (100 rounds) a Cowboy Colt .45, and another .22 pistol, etc. I shot the AK-47, AR-15, and a 12 gauge at some clays. We had a great time. They were a great group of guys.

On a sad note, I wish Katelyn could have been there. She really likes to shoot too.

I talked to Kevin about his shooting experience. We both observed and appreciated the safety aspect of how these guys handled themselves. He loved it.

We started our drive home at 4:30PM taking the back roads looking at the foliage. The colors were good but we were really a week early for peak foliage. We stopped in Littleton, NH for dinner and arrived home at 9:20PM.

I know Kevin will remember this “Boys Time” weekend.

Search Blog Archive: October 2011 & October 2010 - for more Fall Foliage.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NASCAR - New Hampshire Motor Speedway

I took Kevin to NH Motor Speedway this weekend to watch the NASCAR races. We spent some time at the US Army set up before we went to the stands. Kevin also had a turn with a race simulator which was fun. We bought a Jeff Burton CAT t-shirt to match his hat.

We watched different groups qualify and do practice laps as well as the races. FYI ...I was a bit unprepared as it was loud ... I'm sorry, I can't hear you ... speak up ... IT WAS REALLY LOUD ... I had to buy ear plugs for both of us. Many fans had radio headsets you can buy or rent to dial in and listen to pit crew conversations, etc. That would be interesting! Maybe next time.

I bought general admission tickets so we could move around in the stands. Ron Silk, # 6, won the NASCAR Whelen Modified.

Kyle Bush, #51, won the HeluvaGood! 200 truck race. We watched the races from the Main Grandstand near the Start/Finish line and from the stands behind Turn 1.
On Sunday, Mark Martin, #5, won the Sylvania 300. Kevin is a CAT fan and Jeff Burton, #31, came in 16th. in the Caterpillar Chevrolet. I must say it was difficult taking pictures on the straight when we sat close to the track. The NASCAR cars are doing 155+ mph on the straight and 100 mph or so on the corners. It may not appear so fast on TV or when you sit far away. Up close ... it's fast. We had a great time and will have to go next year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Labor Day weekend 2009

It was a busy Labor Day weekend for us.

Friday afternoon we headed to Barrington, NH to visit with Anthony’s folks. The kids went boating and swimming. Toby and I went fishing early evening until it got dark. I caught this fish. (oh my) … There are some real big bass in the lake but we didn’t have much luck that night. We talked by the fire for a bit longer and headed for home around 9:30PM.

Mike had his annual Labor Day Cookout on Sunday afternoon. Katelyn and Courtney ended up needing to work so that altered our family plans. This would definitely change the lineup for the volleyball teams.

With this, Kevin and I made “Boys Time” plans to go to Vermont on Saturday. He wanted to camp so we got our gear ready and headed up late Saturday morning. The plan was to find a spot to pitch our tent. I didn’t want to camp to far from the truck since it would be just the two of us. Kevin wanted to camp somewhere off the Copper Mine Road (Class 4/5 road).

As soon as we finished setting up our tent we headed for Bethel, VT to the river. There is a place with large rocks and deep water where we can jump. We connected with 10 others at the rocks. After swimming for a bit we headed to Mike’s for dinner. I showed Kevin the pole on the way back.

At Mike’s Kevin found a skateboard with large off road wheels on it. The backyard goes down hill so Kevin sat on it and rode it down to the fence. Almost everyone tried the same thing with minimal to no success. Excuses from the adults ranged from “I’m much bigger … much heavier … center of gravity is much higher … etc. My thought was “lack of balance due to age …”. This was denied by my hunting buddies. Hehe

At 8:15PM Kevin and I headed for the tent so we could set up our cots, sleeping bags, etc. and get a fire going before it got too late. (I brought fire wood) It was pretty much a full moon and very clear.
Being so far away from houses and lights I brought my tripod so I could take night pictures of the stars. A great plan but the moon was so bright it washed out the stars. The fire and the moon lit up the area so well we didn’t need flashlights. We sat in our chairs by the fire. At 9:30PM Paul, Doug, Steven, and Mike showed up in Paul’s truck.
At 10:30PM they headed back to Mike’s place. Kevin said he wanted to stay up all night. I kept the fire going but he fell asleep in the chair about 11:10PM. At 11:30PM I woke him up to get him into the tent. I made sure the remaining fire was contained and we were in our sleeping bags by midnight. The temperature dropped to low 40’s. Kevin and I must have 50 degree bags as it was a bit cold. The tent we used had seen better days so it was retired. I will buy another tent and bags rated for colder weather.

We woke up Sunday morning at 6:30AM and walked around a bit. Kevin wanted to start shooting as we brought a couple guns but I told him it was too early. I wanted to break down camp as I wasn’t sure our plans for the day would include coming back to where we put our tent. We drove to the general store so I could get a cup of coffee but they didn’t open until 8:30AM. We headed over to Mike’s and had breakfast with everyone.

After breakfast Kevin wanted to shoot. I brought a .22 pistol, my .44 mag, and a .410 shotgun. My grandpa in Iowa owned this .410 and used it on the farm. Mike let Kevin shoot his 30-30 so he could see if he liked it. We set up cans and shot until we were out of ammunition. Kevin loved the 30-30.

We still had some time before the cookout so we hiked to one of the copper mine shafts. They are full of water now. The copper shavings and whatever they used to extract the copper has turned the water an interesting color. Don’t touch … don’t drink.

We headed back as the cookout started and many more people showed up. Great time of food and fellowship. The weather was great. Steven complained that most of his championship volleyball team (Courtney, Megan, Katelyn, and Pam) were not at the cookout.

Frank had a .243 and 30-30 that Kevin wanted to see before we left. A .243 would be a good round for Kevin. Frank said Kevin could use either for Youth Weekend coming up in October. The .243 was a bit heavy for Kevin so he opted for the 30-30. We left Mike’s at 4:15PM. On the way out we and stopped a “The VOB” so Kevin could shoot some of the 30-30 rounds Frank gave him.