How Many Dog Miles Is That


If today’s weather in Connecticut was the norm, everyone from California would move here! We have spectacular beauty close at hand. It’s the most stunningly picturesque place I’ve ever lived.

This afternoon Helaine and I went to one of our favorite pretty spots, Sleeping Giant State Park. We brought our short legged child, Doppler, with us.

The Tower Trail is 1.6 miles long. How many dog miles is that? This is a tough hike for Doppler!

When we arrived, the mountain’s parking lot was mostly full. That’s normally reserved for weekends. Today was that nice.

The trail was pretty crowded. There were runners from Hamden High School, a woman pushing a stroller with a crying baby, couples, singles and loads of dogs… dogs of every shape and size.

We planned to walk around halfway up to a pretty overlook. It’s been a while. None of us are aerobically fit today. Doppler was especially grateful to turn around and head back down.

When I posted an ‘in-progress’ Sleeping Giant photo on Facebook a few people wondered if we’d miss the mountain when we leave? Absolutely. Sleeping Giant is one of the coolest benefits of living where we do.

What I won’t miss are the few scattered spots where the mountain still has snow on April 8!







The Giant Takes A Life

It’s easy to see how you could fall from The Chin. It’s a rocky outcropping with an uneven surface and little room for error.

Such sad news. A young man of 18 who’d fallen from Sleeping Giant yesterday has died of his injuries. The first reports said he’d been on the Tower Trail, the one Helaine and I walk, when he fell and plunged 200 feet.

It didn’t make sense. The Tower Trail is challenging because it’s 1.6 miles of incline. There is little danger on the trail itself.

Today came word he’d been on The Chin. The Chin is just off the trail near the Tower. It’s where the image at the top of this entry was taken.

As a place to take pictures or just stare out into Central Connecticut it’s alluring. I’ve been there many times and always think about my footing and where my next step will be. I’m always looking for a tree to hold onto.

It’s easy to see how you could fall from The Chin. It’s a rocky outcropping with an uneven surface and little room for error.

I feel awful for this young man’s family. How tragic it must be for them. There is nothing that will bring their son back.

I hope this terrible accident doesn’t change the mountain. Sometimes the beauty of nature is only appreciated when a site is left natural. Warnings signs, handholds and restrictions are not the answer to this horrible loss.

Sleeping Giant: Snakes On A Trail

There, sunning himself on a rock, was a copperhead snake!

May I start by saying I’m bushed? This was a very busy day. My Cousin Melissa is in from SoCal. Today was family entertainment day. I took the day off so she could see some Connecticut.

Actually this was going to be a day in New York City, but with the threat of rain we all agreed a “staycation” worked better.

From reading my blog entries Melissa knew about Sleeping Giant. We headed there early this afternoon. It was fairly deserted as we parked and headed up the Tower Trail.

Helaine and I haven’t walked The Giant in a while. I was worried whether I’d be too out-of-shape to make it to the top.

We stopped once at the midway point then continued to the top. I was sweaty, but none the worse for wear! Phew.

At one point we approached three young women also headed to the top. They were standing at the side of the trail pointing at a rock. I walked up to see what was holding their attention.

There, sunning himself on a rock, was a copperhead snake! Click the photo for a better look.

I grew up in Apartment 5E. We didn’t have snakes. I didn’t know I was supposed to be scared and moved closer to snap a picture. The snake held his ground until we walked away.

We reached the top under the kind of deep blue sky my California Cousin is used to. Ten minutes later it would be gone!

We spent a little time on the tower. Visibility was excellent and we easily saw the Connecticut Shoreline, Long Island Sound and Long Island.

The trip down wasn’t quite as eventful as the trip up. No snakes, though we did run into a few dogs including Doc.

Doc is a four month old Corgi with a soft coat and huge paws. He’s still growing. That’s a shame. At his current size and disposition Doc is as sweet and cute a dog as you’ll ever see!

I miss Sleeping Giant.

A Long Fall Foliage Hike On Sleeping Giant

It was the perfect day to take in the fall colors at Sleeping Giant State Park, which is what I did with my friend Harvey.


Whatever yesterday was weatherwise today was the opposite! It was sunny, dry and mild. The sky was the kind of blue you see in the desert. It was the perfect day to take in the fall colors at Sleeping Giant State Park, which is what I did with my friend Harvey.

sleeping giant foliage hike.jpgHarvey’s original thought was a leisurely pace up-and-down the Tower Trail taking lots of photos along the way. I had another idea. We’d take two cars, parking one in the main lot and the other on the opposite side of the mountain&#185.

In the abstract this was a great idea. Even while we hiked it seemed smart.

I came home exhausted… and still am even after a nap! On top of that my knees are sore–probably from the walk down where every rocky step was taken with meticulous care. On top of that I carried extra lenses and accessories in a backpack with a small tripod strapped to the bottom.

The mountain was jammed! Parking, normally $7 goes to $14 on October 1.

This is the state renting a parking space. I question whether it’s in our collective best interest to make this a family budget decision.

sleeping-giant-macro-leaf.jpgThe Tower Trail was as busy as I’d ever seen it. We took our time, stopping for lots of photos.

Mostly the colors were yellow and orange. Reds, usually associated with maple trees, were tough to find.

We made it to the tower at the top of the mountain, climbed some rocks for a beautiful view north toward Meriden and headed out on the Blue Square trail.

The Tower Trail is big enough for an SUV to drive to the top (I’ve only seen this once, carrying Channel 3’s Scot Haney and Mike Fisher). The trails we’d take down were more like meandering paths.

sleeping-giant-brook.jpgBefore long we heard the sound of running water. We turned left and picked up the Red Circle trail which parallels a normally dry stream bed.

Not so today! After yesterday’s downpours the stream was full and running strong. It’s never more than a foot or two wide (often less) but there are dozens of small cascades and little waterfalls.

sleeping-giant-brook-waterfall.jpgI took out my tripod and attempted to get some stream shots. With little direct sunlight under the canopy of trees these are tough shots to get right. It’s going to take some quality time with Photoshop to see what can be salvaged.

Harvey originally expected a few hours up-and-back. We ended up on the mountain for five hours!

Later tonight or tomorrow I’ll have some more shots to post. I hope it’s worth the wait.

&#185 – If you lve somewhere with ‘real’ mountains, forgive me. Sleeping Giant is about as close as we get even though the summit is less than 800 feet above sea level.

Up On The Giant

This spring I’ve gone bike riding, roller blading and hiking. I’m gonna make one good looking corpse!

Today, Helaine and I walked up the Tower Trail to the castle atop Sleeping Giant Mountain. It’s 1.6 miles in each direction. That’s not too bad.

There’s also a vertical climb of 700 feet, That is bad. Think 70 story building… no elevator.

The weather was interesting, to say the least. We had sunshine and clouds and even a few sprinkles. Temperatures were well below average for this time of year, topping out in the 50&#176s.

I’m not a fan of graffiti, but someone left a little message at the top of the castle I found intriguing. I wonder what was on Rachel’s mind?