We switched our AIAO Outing Club days to Sundays and are glad that we did. This past Sunday, we had 11 people join us for an eastern Holyoke Range traverse. The day was quite chilly and the trails were icy.  Max & Luna, two canine friends, joined us as well. They made fast friends and their perpetual play was a joy to watch.

We paused along the way at the Norwottuck overlook, the Horse Caves and Rattlesnake Knob to enjoy snacks, tea and each other’s company.  Some of us were focused at times on the natural history of the area, quizzing each other on tree i.d., exploring a porcupine den, scat on the trail, slug trails on birch, hickory nuts fed on by squirrel, and pileated woodpecker scat full of the exoskeletons of dozens of ants.

As the snow thaws, we have plans to visit local caves, get out on the river and bike the newly opened dirt roads in the Quabbin for some mountain biking. We look forward to further fun and exploration together, as we continue to build the AIAO community.

Happy Trails!  James McNaughton

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