Mountains in the Mist

Spring warmth was teasing the leaves out into the open, and after days of rain we were ready for some fresh air. It was the first Saturday in a very long time I didn’t have to work, and we had a friend nearby ready to hang out.

We decided to hike in our backyard rather than on Mount Greylock as initially planned. Snowboarding down a slope uses very different muscles from hiking up a slope, and the first incline immediately reminded me of how out of shape I was. But the views were so great we just couldn’t stop. I don’t mean just views of the valleys. I mean the simple, nearby views. Animals getting spring busy and snow melting and amazing layers of rock. Those sorts of views.

Hiking at Jiminy Peak,
View from the hill
Cool rock layers

As we went higher up, we crossed into the fog zone. That was fun. Usually I get off the lift and board through that then break out of it as I go lower. It was wild doing that in reverse.

Since it was so foggy, I didn’t get a shot of the Zephyr – my favorite windmill. But Chris did find a little salamander (we actually saw two, but I just photographed one).

Little orange salamander

We reached the top and headed down. This was the tough part for me. A bunch of years ago I hurt my knees and have had trouble going down hills since. Not gonna lie, it was pretty excruciating. I walked backwards down the final quarter-ish of the hill, which helped a lot.

After I got back to my home later I was researching options. Next time, I think I will try walking sticks. I also learned that contrary to instinct I should lean forward when feeling the pain and try to walk faster (but not so fast my nose kisses the ground ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I slowed down and leaned back. Wrong move. Ah well.

Of course, I had to get an image of a mini waterfall for Aunt Anne.

small waterfall

And for me — I got a picture of my favorite flower.

dandelions

All in all, we walked a bit over 3 miles, and it took 2. 5 hrs. We wrapped up the day with one of my favorite games by the pool.

card games by the pool

See what I mean? A perfect. day!

Thankful for Games

I just discovered a new game, and I adore it. The game is called Iota, and it’s box is smaller than my hand ๐Ÿ™‚ So yeah. Easy storage. But tons of fun. We played it with the young adults in our world over Thanksgiving, and it became even more fun.

Mollie, Hudi, Chris (and me) playing Iota.
Mollie, Hudi, Chris (and me) playing Iota. 

Iota is kind of a cross between Scrabble and Dominoes. When played with adult rules, it’s surprisingly tricky. But it can be played with little kids, too. With rule variations.

Last time Chris and I played alone, it took almost an hour. You have to think of colors, numbers and shapes. Can’t have more than four in a line, and each card has to either be all the same in those arenas or all different.

We actually had a bit of a hard time with the rules at first, but Mollie is an expert Googler, and found help. I am pretty sure this is the site she found with great instructions. We also used a spreadsheet on the computer for keeping score. 

Iota card game in action.
Make sure each set of four is all the same or all different. Surprisingly tricky.

Playing games is really fun. But it’s difficult to find one everybody appreciates, and one that can be played in a short period of time or a long one. So far, Iota seems to be a winner.