A combination MTB and running excursion in Dana
. The running part is the northern loop. Bikes are allowed only on paved roads in Quabbin, although I did go up one overgrown trail that they neglected to post. The spot where I started running was at a sign reading "No bikes allowed beyond this point". What are they worried about? It was a smooth dirt road that I could comfortably have driven on with my car at 40 mph. Are bikes going to hurt it more than the heavy logging equipment that they apparently allow up there from time to time to do selective clearcuts? Grumble. Anyway, I found the benchmark on top of Whitney Hill, which was nice. The woods up there were pretty pleasant, though on the next hill north they were quite thick, and it was variable on the way out to Skinner Hill. Generally kind of bland forest, but it might be nice for a Rogaine. Better to pick a time of year when the ferns aren't so lush, though. AOWN of the finest kind: while taking a stroll out on the point at Graves Landing, I caught a whiff of a familiar aroma — blueberries! Picked and ate a few, but most weren't ripe yet, and the ones that were didn't taste like much. But I'm not complaining.
FDFs:5, J-J:several dozen, hair:16, hat:total carnage
This was a white painter's hat that seems to have come from some NEOC meet (because it has a troll printed on it), with blue painter's tape all over the back, secured with a strip of ductape along the lower edge, and tanglefoot. Most of the ones that I swatted were hitchhiking on my shoulders, suggesting that the "blue vest" approach may also be worth investigating, a strip or two of blue ductape across the back of the shirt with tanglefoot. I went to Dana specifically because it was the site of the nastiest FDF experience I've ever had, a couple of years ago. The first one on the hat today wasted no time, he alighted just as I was finishing spreading the tanglefoot, before I even put the hat on my head. I encountered a couple of people also on bikes early on, and the woman was swatting at the FDFs orbiting her head, so I pointed out the clever hat I was wearing, and her husband seemed intrigued. I guess I already had three or four by then. I could tell there were a lot of them around, but they weren't particularly bothersome. When I got back to the car, holey moley. I hung the hat on my windshield wiper and contemplated it while I sat inside and had a snack. I also realized that there were some caught in my hair in the back, which I extricated. Don't know whether they just crawled in there looking for something to bite, or if they bumped the tanglefoot just enough to get a little sticky, and then wound up getting stuck to my hair. I think I have more hair than any of the Blue Hat People except for Barb, and I think I need to tuck it up under the hat next time. The hat wasn't out of room, but it was getting pretty crowded, with FDFs on top of other FDFs in a few places. I tried to count them, but I just couldn't do it. I was up in the 60s when I was roughly 1/3 of the way across the hat, so I'll call it something in the neighborhood of 200. I took some pictures, but I don't know about posting them, they're just too gross. Hard to imagine what this trip would have been like without the sticky blue hat.