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A woodland playground refound

The decade of the 1990's delivered the warmest weather in recorded history, following on the tail of the 1980's and the '70's. The changes will occur in our lifetime and will impact everything from tourism to transportation and flood control to home heating. We may actually be living in a time that will be known as "the good old days."

Such thoughts were on my mind last week, as I snowshoed through a mixed hardwood forest on my way to visit some old familiar, childhood haunts located on Cobble Hill in Elizabethtown. Elizabeth Lee, a local guide, naturalist and outdoor writer from Westport accompanied me on the trip.

The purpose of the trek, beyond the simple pleasures of enjoying the winter woods, was to revisit the site of the many boyhood adventures I had experienced in a wild, boulder strewn, landscape located at the base of Cobble Hill's sheer cliffs.

Although it is considered just a mere hill, Cobble dominates the local landscape and looms large over the village, in the valley below. In the eyes of the local kids, it was huge. It was our Mount Marcy and every climb was an adventure. Wood Hill, set on the opposite side of town, was by comparison, a pipsqueak.

Although snowshoes weren't necessary to navigate the limited snow cover in the lower elevations of the Boquet Valley, the 'shoes proved beneficial the higher we went. The climb was short but steep and we were at the base of the cliffs in less than an hour's time.

Memories from boyhood days bounced around in my noggin as we crested a small rise overlooking the village of Elizabethtown and the Pleasant Valley beyond.

I winced with the realization that my last visit had occurred when my daughter was just six years old and it was hard to swallow the fact that she'll soon be graduating college in the spring.

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