One of our reasons for relocating to Minnesota was to be nearer (but not too near) to family on the East Coast. We are now in a position to visit them via a direct flight (rather than via 2 or 3 connecting flights). So we made Christmas travel plans. Then Storm-a-Geddon came roaring at us from the west. 🥺

But, despite the start of heavy snow, our plane being late, and time spent deicing, we managed to head east two hours before the storm briefly ground stopped Minneapolis. Whew! 😄 Not everyone was so lucky and, having spent time attempting to sleeping in airports, we felt for them. 😥

The LovedOne’s sister and brother-in-law live in Connecticut, where we arrived about 24 hours ahead of Storm-a-Geddon. So we decided to do a hike in one of the many small preserves near their house before the storm reached us.

The Upper Three Mile River Preserve is a 157 acre (63.5 ha) parcel administered by the Old Lyme Land Trust. It protects remote woodlands and seasonal brooks in a landscape of abandoned farmland and woodlots. An inordinate number of stone walls criss-cross the area, marking the boundaries of these long gone farms. The amount of time devoted to wall building back in the day must have been impressive. 🙄

Sunny 😎 and not too cold
Heading into the preserve
One of the many old stone walls
On through the forest in winter
One of the seasonal brooks in the preserve
A tree conforms to a boulder left by glaciers
Another seasonal brook
Leaves I
Yep. Sure looks like a rock to me.
Water floods the trail
Stone walls from the Denison Farm (c1800)
Leaves II
Once more the brook

This pretty little family (non-epic) hike through interestingly complex terrain (with stone walls) came to just 2.7 miles (4.3 km) with a cumulative gain of only 260 feet (79 m). We were back at their house well before any storm appeared.

The big storm worry out here wasn’t snow but power outages due to high winds. No power, no pump, no well water. So, after the hike, we spent some time filling buckets and a bathtub with water in anticipation of no pump. 😏

Then we had a good lunch at The Black Sheep in Niantic. 🍺🍔😋