Sleeping Giant

Reading this week:

  • The Elusive Quest for Growth by William Easterly

This weekend we went to Sleeping Giant State Park here in Connecticut. The “we” here, as is now typical, is my super amazing girlfriend and I, because it is pandemic times and doing adventurous socialization with anyone but each other is somewhat irresponsible. Because it is vaguely related, I would like to take a pause for a meme I just made:

Anyways, Sleeping Giant is not too terribly far from New Haven, where we live and go to school and stuff, but it is outside of the town and outside of walking distance which makes the whole expedition seem like an adventure. The main source of entertainment in Sleeping Giant is walking around looking at stuff, aka hiking, and we came dressed to hike. My super amazing girlfriend was wearing like a technical sorta jacket, and I was wearing my safari jacket, along with some new pants I have recently bought. After navigating the annoyingly complicated system of paying for parking online, we set off to go hike and stuff!

Here we ran into trouble. All paths in Sleeping Giant more or less lead to this cool castle thing they got at the peak of one of the hills, so we were a bit agnostic about which trail we took. Not that the map clues you into such important information as the fact that some of the trails have really kinda steep rock scrambles which look not amazing on a good day but are even worse when it is somewhat wet out and neither of us were wearing particularly good hiking shoes, despite saying just in the last paragraph that we were dressed to hike. So we decided to turn around and head back to the trailhead to take another stab at it.

From there, we tried to follow a different trail which looked somewhat more promising, based solely on trying to divine the nature of the various trails from the map which provided the nature of the trails and little else. This trail was a bit better, but got progressively steeper and steeper until we were more or less scrambling over rocks again, until we reached the very upper lip of this portion of trail to find ourselves on an unpaved road which was perfectly pleasant to walk along.

And walk we did! We had a great time. The park was relatively crowded, and that was a bit uncomfortable at first (I wonder how long it will be until I face the world, find people in it, and don’t recoil in fear and trepidation), but then again the park has acres and acres and you could probably fit a whole lot of people in it and still stay socially distanced. It was also about this time that I tried to engage in a philosophical conversation about the nature of leaf peeping. The super amazing girlfriend, being super amazing, was pretty game for this conversation, but turns out there’s just not a whole lot of depth there. I briefly tried to wonder if going to aquariums shouldn’t be called “fish peeping,” but that’s about as far as it all got.

At the top we got to the castle thing, which was pretty cool. It’s an historic structure, in that it was built some time ago, but it has always just been a cool kinda thing you can climb up to the top of. It’s not like, a defensive fortification or a former home or anything. But the views get progressively nicer as you go up and we spent some time admiring all the leaves, like you do. Earlier on in the hike, I had struck a pose for a picture, which the super amazing girlfriend commented on as being my go-to pose, which is fair because it is, but for my picture at the top I made sure to exaggerate it as much as possible:

After poking around at the top, there was nowhere to go but down, so down we went. It was much like the hike to the top, except no rock scrambles, which was an improvement. There also appeared to be even more dogs on the way down than on the way up, and we got to admire all of them. There was a particular French bulldog that we followed behind for quite some time, and he was very popular with everyone and that was cute to see. At one point he came across an even smaller French bulldog and this was borderline too much. Eventually we got back to the car and drove off into the sunset, or whatever. It was a fantastic day out and it was nice to see the world before it got too bitterly cold for such things.