Buddy isn’t really supposed to be doing too long of a walk until he is a year old. To give his body time to mature and not over-stress his joints. I’m trying to honor that. We’ve gotten ourselves into a couple of longer walks, but for the most part, they are very manageable.
We go for a walk every morning. EVERY morning. I think we missed once for driving rain and another I abandoned because it was so windy and I was worried about tree branches falling on our heads. But we’ve gone in the cold – I still remember our coldest walk with wind chill – and in drizzle. Then there are the afternoons.
The afternoons are flexible. We may take a walk. We may play some. We may do a little bit of training. We may do errands, with me taking Buddy either into a store or sitting in front of one and watching the people going by. Instead of racking my brain trying to figure out where to walk each day, and to keep things interesting for me, too, I decided about a month ago to explore the backroads of Princeton. I’m avoiding the main thoroughfares because I make Buddy sit every time a car goes by. And he is still learning to be a good walker and part of this is just allowing him to explore a bit, too. I’d have to keep a very tight leash on the main roads. Plus, I really don’t relax alongside speeding cars. I got hit by a car when I was 5. That could be part of it.
We’ve lived in Princeton since 1987. And have driven down many a street. But not all of them. And walking down a street is a whole different experience from driving down one. You notice so much more when you are walking.
I thought maybe I’d write up each street as a post. But that really isn’t practical because I would have to write every day and I’ve been busy with other priorities. So I will post when I can, and talk about more than one road in a post.
This is the road that goes from the Princeton Tennis Club to Wachusett Wildlife Sanctuary. It turned out to be a longer walk than I anticipated. We went a little ways past the Beaver Pond but not up to the parking area. Dogs are not allowed in the sanctuary, so we stayed on the road. (Do you see the snowmen playing tennis?)
I’m pretty sure this road used to go all the way down to the reservoir. But we got to a gate that said no trespassing because of the watershed. They just put a sign up in our own neighborhood for the same purpose of protecting the Worcester water supply. I’m not sure I really get how hiking would contaminate the water supply, but whatever.
Lovers Lane has all the homes on the right side of the street. On the other side is water. There is a person selling eggs, I took a photo because the stand looked similar to the one we made a few years back. There was a fun cairn-type stone structure, and the end of the road with it’s iron gate looked enticing to explore, but I’m a rules-based gal, so we turned around and went back to the car.
Old Brooks Station Road
I drive by this road all the time. But had never been on it. It wasn’t what I expected. I thought it was a short little road. It wasn’t, and I actually drove to the end to park and walked it in reverse. There were a lot of pretty homes on that road, but the best part was going by the house that is on the corner and seeing their horses. Buddy sat and stared. I spoke to them, and they slowly came closer. Eventually they got too close for Buddy’s comfort, he turned away and came to me, then seemed to remember he was a guard dog and turned back around and barked at them. So we left and walked back up to the car.
I was driving home from errands and figured I should take Buddy on a sideroad walk. But I couldn’t make up my mind and passed by a first, then a second. Then I decided to pull into Parker Road. Tracey, I believe it was, used to know someone who lived on the corner. I pulled over to the side of the road where there was a nice wide place to park. We got out of the car and started walking and right beyond our car was Parker II Cemetery. Made me wonder where Parker I cemetery is. (I looked it up, it’s on Beaman Road.) I never knew there was a cemetery on this road. Or at least I didn’t remember there was. We continued on, but turns out there are only a few homes on this road and we quickly reached the end. So we walked into the cemetery. It is a small one. I had a time of contemplation of all the souls who rested there.
Connor Lane / Radford Road / Allen Hill Road
We walked these three streets on a very windy day. I spent time looking at what was above us when gusts of wind blew. I have this fear of nature’s pruning happening while walking underneath a tree. But, we stayed safe. We parked on Connor Lane – there are signs that dogs are not allowed in the cemetery on that road (Woodland cemetery), so we didn’t explore. Then we journeyed up Radford Road and ran across route 62 after making sure no cars were coming. That intersection is the worse, and I’ve had cars come flying over the hill after I thought the coast was clear. At least when you are walking, you have the added sense of hearing when deciding if it’s okay to cross. Then, up Allen Hill, where I really noticed more things about the houses I like looking at when driving up that road. Turned around and walked back to the car. Met Terry who lives on Radford Road out at his car and had a quick chat. These two photos are from the start of Radford Road (at Brooks Station Road, you can see Connor Lane across the street) and at the top of Allen Hill Road, where it meets Mountain Road.
This is a nice neighborhood that runs behind Post Office Place. It also has a path down to a fire pond. Buddy and I walked down there.
North Calamint Hill Road
This is a nice paved road, now. It used to be so bumpy you couldn’t travel from one end to the other. (I tried once. It was brutal.) We walked this over three different days with a friend. I won’t be walking this road with Buddy again because we ran into an unleashed dog who came out into the road after us. But he stayed back a bit and waited until we had gone by so I think it was more of a “and don’t come back here, again!” kind of a vibe, but I’m not taking any chances on his bark being worse than his bite.
South Calamint Hill Road
This is a road I typically walk with my friend. It has nice hills, and it’s a good length.
Sharon Drive / Havenwood Drive / Redwood Drive / Pinewood Drive
I saved this one until the end because this was the most emotional. We used to live on Sharon Drive. We spent our first decade in Princeton in that house. I walked around the block oh-so-many times with my kids and pets (mostly Pepper, our dog, but also Cosby, our cat, until the day he was treed and I couldn’t help him. He had to wait for all the dogs to leave and he came home later.) We walked past the kids’ babysitters’ house. Their friends’ houses, and down the big hill where Alex lost the brakes on his bike and crashed into the curb and flipped over the handlebars (but landed on grass, thankfully). We stood for awhile at our old house, taking in the sameness and the changes. Then we walked by the big rock that the kids loved climbing on. I got pretty teary walking around that block.