Today, after weeks of prodding, I finally got Kristin out of the cave (our hotel) and got her to go on a hike with me. We get out sometimes, but it's been tough to get here out into nature ever since our run in with ticks at the beach. We went to a really great state park called "Devil's Hopyard" about thirty minutes outside of Waterford, CT. The park is known for a really beautiful waterfall and several unnaturally large potholes indented into the large granite boulders covering the landscape. You're probably wondering where the name for the state park came from. It certainly is unusual and there are two theories about its origin.
|The waterfalls from above|
The second theory is told as follows: Many, many years ago (probably around 1692), the Devil - complete with horns, cloven hooves, and that ugly balding tail - emerged from a large molten fissure in the Connecticut hillside. You see, He intended to come up near Salem, Massachusetts to check in on his newly recruited witch clan but missed his mark. This meant for a pretty long walk, one he hadn't planned for, so he was already pretty pissed. He started heading in the direction of Salem when he stumbled upon the large waterfall that marks today's state park. As the devil tried to cross over the falls, he lost his footing and dipped his tail into the clean, cold, Connecticut water. Now in case you didn't know, the devil hates getting wet. Hates getting wet! He was furious. Smoke started coming out his ears, his horns started glowing red, and he proceeded to have a full-on devil tantrum. With his massive cloven hooves, he stomped all over the Connecticut countryside leaving unnaturally large hoof prints, and when his anger peaked, he hopped from boulder to boulder indenting the rocks with his rage, forming the potholes we see today, and hence the name "Devil's Hopyard."
It's pretty obvious that the second theory is probably correct, but there will always be skeptics. Either way, these days the park is a really great place to spend an afternoon. I've been lucky enough to visit in both early spring and summer and both times, the scenery has been astounding. I only wish I could see it during the turning of the leaves. Kristin was a really great sport during the whole trip even though the state park wasn't immune to the tick epidemic that seems to plague Connecticut this time of year. We spent about two hours hiking the trails and snapping some nice forest pictures.
|Here's a nice mushroom ball.|
|"Devil's Oven" - either where the devil cooks his soul pizza's or where emerged from.|
|Flower we found and picked (sorry bees)|
|Quiet stream - the cherry on top|