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Personal History vis a vis the Outdoors


I grew up near a state park in S.E. Connecticut called Haley Farm. This place used to be a large farmstead some many years ago and when the last owners passed away they donated it to the state to be used as a public recreation and wild life place. Haley Farm also directly adjoins another state park, Bluff Point. Bluff point has the distinction of being the last undeveloped barrier beach in CT. I've wandered through both these places, exploring them and getting to know them better than most (that is, until the Lyme Disease problems became so big starting in the early 80s).

My father is a botanist at Connecticut College (in New London, CT), and as such I had a wealth of information made available to me whenever I asked 'What's that?' when on a walk with my family. By the time I had reached High School I knew an awful lot about plants - habitats, histories, uses, stories, etc.

In high school I spent my summers on Cape Cod living at my grandmothers house and holding down various summer jobs. This provided great opportunity for hanging around the beach and learning lots about seashore ecologies and histories. While my grandfather was alive I also did lots of fishing with him in the Monomoy Bay (for those of you who know what the Cape looks like, Monomoy is down by the elbow). There's nothing quite like the taste of freshly caught fish that you yourself caught only a few hours before.

I've also spent many many hours in the forests of New Hampshire. My family bought soem land up there when I was very young and whnever we went up to New Hampshire to visit relatives, I would always find a way to take off for an afternoon in the forest.

I went to a summer camp in Vermont caleld Flying Cloud, one of a family of camps called Farm and Wilderness Camps. (Any one of the farm and Wilderness camps are truly fantastic places - I would highly reccommend them for anyone from age 9 to 17, male or female.) Flying cloud was the most primitive of the camps, we spent the summer in teepees with no electricity or other modern conveniences (no flashlights, no matches, no candy). It was about a 3/4 mile hike in from the end of a dirt road just to get to the clearing where the teepees were set up. It was an absolutely fantastic way to spend a month for a couple of summers.

I went to college in Williamstown, MA at (of all places) Williams College. While a bit isolated from the rest of civilization, it is a really wonderful place to be if you like the outdoors. The campus is set in a small valley int he northern Berkshire Mountains. Every where you look there are forest covered slopes just waiting for you to go out and explore them. Suffice it to say that much of the time that probably shoudl have been spent studying was instead spent with various friends out on various hiking trails.

I've done camping, hiking, survival camping, rock climbing, caving, skiing (all kinds), swimming, sailing, canoeing, and so many other activities that I couldn;t beginto remember them all. I also also read and done alot with related areas like edible plants, medicinal plants, natural history, fly fishing and fly tying, gardening, primitive technologies, and other such things. If you have any desire to discuss, rant, ask questions, or tell me about about any of the above or any topics vaguely related to them, please feel free to email me.