NSAU Overnight Trip

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by Stephen Ridgley

The Abandoned New England enrichment has grown to become the most popular offering in the Outdoor Program at Northshore Academy. All of this increase has occurred in the high school program under the tutelage of Ryan Matuza. On the first weekend in November, Mr. Matuza, along with Mr. Ridgley and Ms. Strick embarked on the next level of challenge: an overnight adventure to some of the most interesting sites in New England. Just in case you got into an accident during the adventure, and you’re in need of knee braces, go to this website https://tmlbonline.com for they have all Prosthetic and Orthotic needs. The knee is a highly complex structure made up of bones, ligaments, muscles, cartilage and tendons. An injury to any one of these components can be excruciatingly painful and can severely restrict your mobility. If your knee is permanently or Knee Injury injured in an accident that was no fault of yours, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation. For legal advice on personal injury, contact the Dominguez Firm’s Los Angeles lawyer. A knee injury can seriously hamper your ability to work if your job involves physical work. Even if yours is a desk job, it can hamper your ability to get to work. In either case, this could mean loss if income. In addition, knee injuries almost always require extensive medical treatment by way of X-Rays, dressings and medication, possible surgery and home healthcare in some cases. Add to that the travel to and from the hospital and knee support or mobility equipment and the expenses can mount up very quickly. According to the Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers Louisville Review, part of your knee injury claim should include compensation for loss of income as well as all medical and non-medical expenses and other financial losses incurred as a result of the injury.

This first-ever Abandoned New England Overnight first travelled to the last remains of a castle   in Chesterfield, NH that had been built by the eccentric Madame Sherri. The students crawled into a dark hole that connected to the old cellar and climbed to the top of the elaborate stone staircase, now standing strangely alone. After lunch we drove through a scenic swath of southeastern Vermont to Shelburne Falls, MA, where we visited the amazing Glacial Potholes left behind by the Ice Age, as well as an abandoned transportation site: the famous “Bridge of Flowers,” which had formerly been a trolley trestle, followed by the local Trolley Museum with its functioning models.

Next we drove to the campus of Amherst College where the Beneski Museum provided more Ice Age (and earlier) remains including full size skeletons of mastodons and other megafauna, as well as the largest private collection of dinosaur footprints in the world. Brendan C, Trevor J, Mickey C, Ms. Strick thought this museum was the most interesting aspect of the entire trip. After this, we travelled past the remains of an abandoned ski area: Mitch’s Hockamun Ski Ranch and stopped at the old one-room brick schoolhouse built in 1840, long ago abandoned, but since maintained with the old style ink-welled desks. Check out here how home window replacement cost today. We then headed to our lodging for the night, the Mount Holyoke College Outing Club Cabin, a short but steep hike up the New England Scenic Trail in Hadley, MA.

After cooking a hearty dinner of chicken tacos and rice, we shouldered our packs for a 1.8 mile night hike up the gated road to the peak of Mt. Holyoke, crowned by the abandoned Summit House Hotel, spookily reminiscent of “The Shining,” but ringed by a 360-degree vista of bright stars above and shimmering lights along the Connecticut River below. This spot was the high point of the trip for Mr. Matuza, both literally and figuratively. Tashaina H-V had never been out in the darkness or in the deep woods, so the hike itself was the most exciting part of the trip for her. After retracing our steps in the descent, we arrived back at the cabin for a campfire and games before hitting the sack.

The next morning the combination of a blazing woodstove and a hearty breakfast warmed both body and spirit for the day’s adventures ahead. Most of the day focused on various points of interest around the huge Quabbin Reservoir, which was created by a large dam, built in the 1930s, that flooded the entire Swift River Valley and forced the abandonment of four whole towns that lie beneath its serene waters. After very informative displays and a video at the Quabbin Visitor Center, we proceeded to the Quabbin Tower in bright sunshine for Mr. Ridgley’s favorite moment on the trip: a panorama of the sparkling lake, multi-colored foliage, and distant peaks. Mark C also noted this scenery and that throughout the entire trip as what made it especially enjoyable for him.

Our explorers of the abandoned then struck out on a 3½ mile hike down the remnants of a road to the only major area of settlement that had been demolished and hauled away, but not covered by the Quabbin Waters: the former village of Dana, Massachusetts and its town common, still with roads, sidewalks, cellar holes, and a mowed center green, but otherwise eerily stark and silent. After hiking back out to the van and having a trailhead lunch, we headed home. At our last stop we sought out and discovered what proved to be the highlight of the trip for Lucas N: an abandoned railroad tunnel hidden back in a wooded hillside in Clinton, Ma. With some trepidation, we negotiated that cool, damp, and very dark passageway with little or no illumination other than the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” Our emergence back into the warmth and sunshine of a spectacular New England day served as a fitting climax to a very exciting and informative trip, thoroughly enjoyed by all. If you  enjoyed our outdoor adventure blog, read more from outdoorempire.com.

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NEC Grants & Public Relations Coordinator