i woke up as soon as the sun came out. what i really wanted to do was to get dressed and go exploring the nearby trail, but instead i tried to get a few more hours of sleep, not leaving my tent until 8:00. after breakfast and a few visits to the bathroom, we finally made our way to the trailhead of the CCC trail, a 3 mile loop through coolidge state park.
scenic-wise, there isn't a lot to see on the trail. for the most part we were in deciduous forests with some pines the higher up we got. it was just half a mile on the CCC trail to the open picnic area (including a large picnic lodge) before the trail becomes the slack hill trail. a mile into the forest to the underwhelming scenic vista, then another 1.5 miles back to the campsite. the trail itself is pretty easy with a mild elevation and impossible to get lost, unlike the misleading and rock scrambling trails at the groton state park. for my money, i still prefer groton, with it's lake, picturesque summits, and hidden bog. coolidge is just too much forest, not enough variety.
my nature kick this season are ferns, and there were many species i don't often see in massachusetts woods:
all the best mushrooms i've encountered have all been in vermont, so it didn't surprise me to find a lot of variety at coolidge state park:
besides the ferns, and the mushrooms, there are also the rocks. one interesting thing about the trail is the amount of talc and quartz you can find:
random spruce tree:
unlike groton, there are also no blueberries on the trail. we did manage to forage from some wild raspberries though.
the ranger estimated it'd take 2 hours to walk the whole trail, but it actually took us longer than that, 3.5 hours, and we didn't make it back to our campsite until 1:30. with so many people gone during the day, the bathrooms were all empty so it was the perfect time to take a shower. 3 quarters bought me more than 7 minutes of hot water but i was done in under 3 minutes, spending my remaining minutes soaking. when i got back we had hot dogs for lunch.
we went to rutland in the afternoon, about a 30 minute drive. my parents knew somebody who was opening a chinese restaurant there and wanted to check out the property. i wanted to go there because i knew there was a CVS and a walgreens, two possible places where i might be able to find my beloved maple candy. they didn't carry them, but i did manage to buy a box from a nearby vermont gift store on our way back to plymouth. we also drove though the lean-to loop to see what all the fuss was about with these prime lean-tos, and took some back roads through coolidge state park, coming across a large property for sale that my father wishfully wanted to buy.
it was 6:00 by the time we made it back to our campsite. unlike the day before, we had plenty of daylight left to work with and weren't rushed. my father built a fire and my mother started preparing dinner. we had barbecued corn and instant noodles (sprinkled with dried seaweed).
i didn't feel like setting up the black light trap again. instead i waited for the salamanders to crawl out of the fireplace and got a few snapshots with the flash.