July 2002 (pg.2)

Family Week.

Mom drove up from Florida, my brother John flew in from Houston. A gathering of the clan was in order at the house. Kurt and Tina arrived with Erin, Kelsey and Joe. And Peter's parents came from Leominster. And hooray, the weather was beautiful. The kids hadn't seen Uncle John in two years, but picked right up where they left off with kidding and games. A good time was had by all.

More pictures are here, and Kelsey's story about Grandma Ruth is here.

Touring, cont.

John was interested in seeing the Valley — no arm-twisting on my part needed. First stop was Millville, for a hike Peter & I had done the week before. This was a good one with two highlights: the Millville Lock and the Triad Bridge (another growing obsession).

The Lock is great — it's the best one remaining, and is deep. How did they move the huge stones into place? It's in a pretty, wooded area, and next to a broad expanse of the river.

Continuing on the path past the lock, we came to the Triad Bridge again. This time from the opposite direction and from on high. The top of the unused bridge was at ground level on this side; the path we'd walked was once where the tracks ran. From this vantage point, we could see the Providence-Worcester rail/bridge below, and out in the Blackstone River, stone columns that must have supported the last of the three bridges.

Continuing into Blackstone, we stopped at the Gorge and Rolling Dam. John was casting about — always looking for fish. No luck here however, the water was too shallow and rocky. But we did find a stone marker that I hadn't seen before: it was the state border. MASS was carved on one side, RI on the other. Something we're always fascinated by and get a kick out of ... straddling borders of places.

Still going strong, we headed north to Uxbridge to see the Canal towpath, Lookout Rock and the Goat Hill Lock. John caught a small bass in the canal. In all, we logged a few miles of hiking, got a good feel for the Valley, and I had some quality time with my brother.   

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