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Adventures of the Hiking Historian



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 4th, 2006, 01:52 AM posted to alt.support.diet
The Historian
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 750
Default Adventures of the Hiking Historian

"My father, in his desire of proving my friend through life, gave me
what Americans call a beautiful "plantation," refreshed during the
summer heat by the waters of the Schuylkill River, and traversed by a
creek named Perkioming [Perkiomen]. Its fine woodlands, its extensive
acres, its fields crowned with evergreens, offered many subjects to my
pencil. It was there that I commenced my simple and agreeable studies,
with as little concern about the future as if the world had been made
for me."

"While young, I had a plantation that lay on the sloping declivities of
a creek....I was extremely fond of rambling along its rocky banks..."
- John James Audubon

For my first "official" hike, I chose Mill Grove, first home in America
of painter and naturalist John James Audubon. It was a fitting place to
start for many reasons. First, the park surrounding the Audubon home is
small, and the trails are relatively short. Secondly, it is close to
where I currently live. Thirdly, Mill Grove was holding its "Holiday
Tree-ditions" open house today, with extended hours. And I couldn't
resist the connections of the "firsts"; it was here, in 1803, Audubon
discovered the American wilderness. It was here he began to study
American birds, and to paint them. It was here he experimented with
bird-banding to track migration. And it was nearby, 160 years after the
young Frenchman left Mill Grove in 1806, that a little boy named Neil
began growing up in a town bearing Audubon's name. So for these
reasons, it seemed an apt place for an older and not so little Neil to
begin his hiking journey.

The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, to use its full name, has
somewhere between 5 and 7 miles of trails over 175 acres of land. This
includes the paved bike and walking path, the Audubon Loop, that
connects with the Perkiomen Trail across the creek. I arrived before
12:30. The Center didn't open until 1, and no maps of the trails were
available, so I simply followed the signs into the woods. Trails signs
were spray-painted on trees. So I had no difficulty in hiking from the
house to the far end of the park on Egypt Road. Most of the hiking was
through the woods, although towards the road I had no choice but to
take the paved Audubon Loop. I did hike along an unmarked trail in the
park, bringing me to a feeder stream of the Perkiomen Creek. Meanwhile
the marked trail was over 100 feet above me, rambling above the creek's
rocky banks.

Even though I was foolhardy, or foolish, enough to hike without a trail
map, I did try to follow the advice I picked up on ASD; I brought
water, and drank before I was thirsty; I walked at a steady pace; I
wore my good-fitting boots; and I enjoyed myself. As a result, I hiked
somewhere between 3.5 and 4 miles in 2 hours, and still had the energy
to tour the Mill Grove "plantation." The house is a small three story
building dating to 1764, and stuffed with Audubon prints, preserved
birds and animals, first editions of his books, including a volume of
the first printing of Birds of America (the so-called "double elephant
portfolio"), and relics of Audubon and his family. Mill Grove is
administered by Montgomery County, and the Center is run by the
National Audubon Society

http://pa.audubon.org/centers_mill_grove.html

For more on John James Audubon:
http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/herita...&pp=12&n=1#Bio

Growing up, I knew about Mill Grove. In fact, I'd even been there once
or twice. But I was well on my way to 385 pounds, so I never went any
further than touring the Audubon house. While it was nice to see the
man's home, hiking through his woods was seeing the man's world, so to
speak. Unfortunately the woods I hiked in wasn't the same woods that
Audubon rambled through. Audubon, PA, is a typically noisy
overdeveloped suburb. Much of the surrounding woods have been cut down.
There are far fewer birds today than in Audubon's, and some of them,
such as the passenger pigeon, exist only in a glass case in Mill Grove
and in Audubon's art. The Perkiomen isn't fit to swim in. Still, I'll
glory in what's left of nature. And I am glad that by losing weight I
am being given a second chance to do so. Who says you can't go home
again?

Neil
385/280/220

  #2  
Old December 4th, 2006, 02:32 AM posted to alt.support.diet
Chris Braun
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 512
Default Adventures of the Hiking Historian

Cool! Sounds like a great hike, and I enjoyed looking at the web site
for the park.

Maybe you'd like to see the web site for Bull Run Mountain
Conservancy, where I hike once a month or so. Since I've just signed
on as a volunteer with them, I'm feeling proprietary ;-). If you're
interested, it's www.fobr.org.


Chris
262/130s/130s
started dieting July 2002, maintaining since June 2004
  #3  
Old December 4th, 2006, 02:35 AM posted to alt.support.diet
The Historian
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 750
Default Adventures of the Hiking Historian


Chris Braun wrote:
Cool! Sounds like a great hike, and I enjoyed looking at the web site
for the park.

Maybe you'd like to see the web site for Bull Run Mountain
Conservancy, where I hike once a month or so. Since I've just signed
on as a volunteer with them, I'm feeling proprietary ;-). If you're
interested, it's www.fobr.org.


Chris
262/130s/130s
started dieting July 2002, maintaining since June 2004


I suppose as a "Yankee" I shouldn't look at Bull Run. :-)

Neil
385/280/220

  #4  
Old December 4th, 2006, 03:47 AM posted to alt.support.diet
Beverly
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 460
Default Adventures of the Hiking Historian

Your hike sounds wonderful, Neil. You have so many historical places to
visit in your area. I'll have to visit some on my next trip to the Philly
area.

Beverly
177/141/~140 since 1996






The Historian wrote:
"My father, in his desire of proving my friend through life, gave me
what Americans call a beautiful "plantation," refreshed during the
summer heat by the waters of the Schuylkill River, and traversed by a
creek named Perkioming [Perkiomen]. Its fine woodlands, its extensive
acres, its fields crowned with evergreens, offered many subjects to my
pencil. It was there that I commenced my simple and agreeable studies,
with as little concern about the future as if the world had been made
for me."

"While young, I had a plantation that lay on the sloping declivities of
a creek....I was extremely fond of rambling along its rocky banks..."
- John James Audubon

For my first "official" hike, I chose Mill Grove, first home in America
of painter and naturalist John James Audubon. It was a fitting place to
start for many reasons. First, the park surrounding the Audubon home is
small, and the trails are relatively short. Secondly, it is close to
where I currently live. Thirdly, Mill Grove was holding its "Holiday
Tree-ditions" open house today, with extended hours. And I couldn't
resist the connections of the "firsts"; it was here, in 1803, Audubon
discovered the American wilderness. It was here he began to study
American birds, and to paint them. It was here he experimented with
bird-banding to track migration. And it was nearby, 160 years after the
young Frenchman left Mill Grove in 1806, that a little boy named Neil
began growing up in a town bearing Audubon's name. So for these
reasons, it seemed an apt place for an older and not so little Neil to
begin his hiking journey.

The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, to use its full name, has
somewhere between 5 and 7 miles of trails over 175 acres of land. This
includes the paved bike and walking path, the Audubon Loop, that
connects with the Perkiomen Trail across the creek. I arrived before
12:30. The Center didn't open until 1, and no maps of the trails were
available, so I simply followed the signs into the woods. Trails signs
were spray-painted on trees. So I had no difficulty in hiking from the
house to the far end of the park on Egypt Road. Most of the hiking was
through the woods, although towards the road I had no choice but to
take the paved Audubon Loop. I did hike along an unmarked trail in the
park, bringing me to a feeder stream of the Perkiomen Creek. Meanwhile
the marked trail was over 100 feet above me, rambling above the creek's
rocky banks.

Even though I was foolhardy, or foolish, enough to hike without a trail
map, I did try to follow the advice I picked up on ASD; I brought
water, and drank before I was thirsty; I walked at a steady pace; I
wore my good-fitting boots; and I enjoyed myself. As a result, I hiked
somewhere between 3.5 and 4 miles in 2 hours, and still had the energy
to tour the Mill Grove "plantation." The house is a small three story
building dating to 1764, and stuffed with Audubon prints, preserved
birds and animals, first editions of his books, including a volume of
the first printing of Birds of America (the so-called "double elephant
portfolio"), and relics of Audubon and his family. Mill Grove is
administered by Montgomery County, and the Center is run by the
National Audubon Society

http://pa.audubon.org/centers_mill_grove.html

For more on John James Audubon:

http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/herita...&pp=12&n=1#Bio

Growing up, I knew about Mill Grove. In fact, I'd even been there once
or twice. But I was well on my way to 385 pounds, so I never went any
further than touring the Audubon house. While it was nice to see the
man's home, hiking through his woods was seeing the man's world, so to
speak. Unfortunately the woods I hiked in wasn't the same woods that
Audubon rambled through. Audubon, PA, is a typically noisy
overdeveloped suburb. Much of the surrounding woods have been cut down.
There are far fewer birds today than in Audubon's, and some of them,
such as the passenger pigeon, exist only in a glass case in Mill Grove
and in Audubon's art. The Perkiomen isn't fit to swim in. Still, I'll
glory in what's left of nature. And I am glad that by losing weight I
am being given a second chance to do so. Who says you can't go home
again?

Neil
385/280/220



  #5  
Old December 4th, 2006, 04:00 AM posted to alt.support.diet
Chris Braun
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 512
Default Adventures of the Hiking Historian

On Mon, 04 Dec 2006 02:47:02 GMT, "Beverly"
wrote:

Your hike sounds wonderful, Neil. You have so many historical places to
visit in your area. I'll have to visit some on my next trip to the Philly
area.

Perhaps I can come up and hike with you next time you're out this way.
I was thinking, reading Neil's post, that I'd like to go up there
sometime.

Chris
262/130s/130s
started dieting July 2002, maintaining since June 2004
  #6  
Old December 4th, 2006, 02:39 PM posted to alt.support.diet
Beverly
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 15
Default Adventures of the Hiking Historian


Chris Braun wrote:
On Mon, 04 Dec 2006 02:47:02 GMT, "Beverly"
wrote:

Your hike sounds wonderful, Neil. You have so many historical places to
visit in your area. I'll have to visit some on my next trip to the Philly
area.

Perhaps I can come up and hike with you next time you're out this way.
I was thinking, reading Neil's post, that I'd like to go up there
sometime.

Chris
262/130s/130s
started dieting July 2002, maintaining since June 2004


That sounds like a great idea.

I'm still considering doing the Livestrong Ride again next year even
though that was a very hilly rideg I'm currently making plans to do
a couple bike tours next summer.

http://www.outdoor-pursuits.org/xoba/
http://www.lmb.org/pages/Events/ShorelineTours.htm

Beverly

  #7  
Old December 5th, 2006, 04:50 PM posted to alt.support.diet
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 95
Default Adventures of the Hiking Historian

The Historian wrote:
"My father, in his desire of proving my friend through life, gave me
what Americans call a beautiful "plantation," refreshed during the
summer heat by the waters of the Schuylkill River, and traversed by a
creek named Perkioming [Perkiomen]. Its fine woodlands, its extensive
acres, its fields crowned with evergreens, offered many subjects to my
pencil. It was there that I commenced my simple and agreeable studies,
with as little concern about the future as if the world had been made
for me."


wore my good-fitting boots; and I enjoyed myself. As a result, I hiked
somewhere between 3.5 and 4 miles in 2 hours, and still had the energy
to tour the Mill Grove "plantation."


Nice write-up. It's cool that you're out and hiking.

I've taken a couple this week:
http://www.bahiker.com/southbayhikes/phleger.html
http://tera.teralink.com/rayk/gallery/20060816

They don't have the rich history of your spot, but they're still fun.
:-)

 




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