October 25, 2020: Abandoned Zoos, Castle Views, and Cemetery Blues in Connecticut

This is how I do cemeteries these days...running around trying to
keep the toddler from falling and 
braining herself on a death marker
while Lindsey blithely wanders with her camera.

Halloween Die-ary #19

Today was our last road trip of the Halloween Season. The past three weeks we had ventured to central Vermont, humped up to northern New Hampshire, and motored our way through western Massachusetts. That left Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut as options. Technically, we were following the foliage, but at this point it didn’t matter. I think we’ve seen more autumn-drenched vistas than we have any other year. Even our backyard looks more exceptionally vibrant for some reason. As to our options, Maine, that’s a summer go-to for me (I know, I know, it’s the embodiment of winter to everyone else). When I want a rocky ocean beach, though, I booty-call Maine. Rhode Island, he’s like my sometimes-hang-out-with friend. I like him a lot, but I only hang out when he calls me up. That left Connecticut.

Since it was our last trek into Autumn-Land, we broke the pattern of the last three jaunts where it was only me, Lindsey, and our youngest. We took our two oldest with us this time. We ended up regretting this decision regularly over the trip, as we knew we would, but that wasn’t the point. To compensate for our larger, more volatile crew, we slept in and left later than usual and only put three pins on our itinerary.

Oh, but what pins.

We took off under gorgeous gray sky that stayed with us all day and only rained on us once, while we were at Stop #1, in a forest in Farmington at a 90-year-old abandoned zoo. I have been itching to get to this oddity for a while, and it didn’t disappoint. But I’m only teasing it here because I took footage and will edit together a video about this place in the next few days.

Next was Castle Craig, a three-story, 120-year-old tower built atop East Peak in the Hanging Hills. Like Mount Greylock the week before, it was unfortunately a tourist stop, but not to the mall parking lots in before-time Decembers that Greylock was. There, we blinded our mortal eyes with another amazing autumn-dressed horizon. The tower is located in Hubbard Park in Meriden, and we’re definitely coming back at some point…because we learned after the fact that there are fossilized dinosaur tracks in the park.


Finally we hit the obligatory graveyard, Old Durham Cemetery in Durham. Lindsey found this one, not me, and it is one of the more unique that I’ve ever seen in New England. The cemetery is on a hill, is full of sandstone markers, all carved with elaborate figures of crowned royalty. It also had Revolutionary War soldiers and QR codes by the more historic graves. Again, I’m just going to tease it here because Lindsey took some amazing photos that I want to gather together into a standalone post this week.

And that was it. The last time our tires touch autumn road. The rest of our Halloween Season will be cozy at home, outside by the firepit, inside in front of a horror movie, around the neighborhood for candy, maybe a local trek to see some decorations. Although it’s pretty dangerous out there. Christmas lies in wait around every corner.