Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Family Adventures: Underhill State Park

Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of hiking season in Vermont.  Our first trek of the year was at Underhill State Park.  My Wife has a full write up at her blog:

Hike #11 - Underhill State Park

This was our first hike at a state park.  One thing I really like about the state park system is that they grade their hikes by difficulty.  The Green Mountain Club, the fine organization which maintains the Long Trail and many other hiking trails in Vermont, isn't so good about that.  In their many publications, only the trail map offers any indication as to easy, moderate and difficult hikes.  My Wife argues that all of the Long Trail hikes are difficult but I still contend that they're not all equally difficult.  A frame of reference is very useful for planning.

It was a beautiful day for hiking.  On the way back down the hill, I was walking a bit behind the ladies and had a very funny encounter.  As a group of 20-somethings was coming my way, one of them was whistling "Yellow Submarine."  I couldn't resist belting out "And we live beneath the waves..."  He laughed.  "I'll have that stuck in my head all day now," I said.

"That is how it came to us," he replied, "and that is how we pass it on to you."

Inspired by the idea, every time we came upon other hikers on the trail from that point on, I whistled the song, trying to plant the song in their heads.  No observable reactions but maybe I can get this going all summer.  Care to join me?  Need a refresher on the song?  Here you go:

On the way home, we stopped off at the Underhill Country Store for sandwiches and creemies: orange and vanilla on offer.  I love creamcicles so that's always a winning combination.

Monday marked the beginning of kickball season.  That's right, adults can play kickball, too, and there might very well be a league in your area.  Check out the WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) site for details.  I hadn't played since the fourth grade but a contingent from the broomball team played the spring season with an eye to getting a jump on the summer.  There are 16 teams in the league with approximately 18 players each.  The league champion goes to Vegas for Nationals. 

For my first game, I did...okay.  I went 1-for-2 at the plate but felt lost in the field.  I'm sure that will improve with time.  Just as with broomball, some organization is required for our team to succeed, I think.   I say Mock is the man for the job!

The atmosphere is far more relaxed than the broomball league - plenty of beer on hand, too (perhaps not coincidental).  I felt a little out of my element as the first-timer.  This group is bigger than the broomball team and includes many more people whom I don't know.  Yes, yes, a stranger is a friend you haven't met yet.  Yadda, yadda...  I can already see that it will be a nice excuse to see friends regularly over the summer. 

Oh right, we lost 4-1.  It was really just one bad inning that made the difference.  I think once we get our act together, we'll be respectable.  The team finished second out of four in the spring season. 


  1. If only I could whistle....

    Perhaps we could propose some kickball ideas together?

    1. Naturally, I do have ideas. Just riffing here...

      Pack the infield with your most experienced players. Then go by who has the longest throw to first. Strongest, most accurate arm should be at third, then short, then catcher, then second, finally first. Let them play the whole game unless they want a break. Rotate the outfielders in and out.

      Front load the kicking order because you want to be sure your best kickers have the most opportunities. Otherwise, just think baseball: fastest player first, reliable contact kicker second, best kicker third, then load for power.

      Bunting - the sabermetrician in me thinks bunting to get on base is good but bunting to sacrifice is bad. Maybe playing small ball is okay if it's the bottom of the fifth and you only need one run. Otherwise, get people on base and keep them moving.

      Team captain (or otherwise designated manager type) should discuss strategy with upcoming kickers.

      All else being equal, it's best to kick to the third base side because that means the longer throw to first.

  2. Was passing over blog posts a bit idly last night while talking to Mom and Dad -- am visiting them with my daughter now school is out. I began to whistle, 'The Yellow Submarine' on the couch with my parents and my dad picked it up and started to whistle it, too. He then told me a story of a club, now shuttered, of the same name. Thought you might like that.

    A lovely Family Adventures post, Squid.