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Trails Little Compton

Walking Little Compton: Visualizing Future Needs and Opportunities

For many of us, the abrupt onset of the Covid-19 era in early 2020 altered our relationship with both the physical space in which we lived and the patterns of time to which we had become accustomed. The world has not been the same since then, as each of us has learned in different ways.…Continue readingWalking Little Compton: Visualizing Future Needs and Opportunities

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Trails Benton MacKaye Landscapes

Concentric Cartography

NOTE: “Peculiar Work,” the title of this blog, is borrowed from an article written by Massachusetts surveyor and cartographer Edward G. Chamberlain a century ago. He was describing his unique avocation, the rewards of which could only be measured by his own rigorous standards. The following essay about Chamberlain is included in my 2012 book,…Continue readingConcentric Cartography

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Trails Bay Circuit Trail

Walking through Lowell with Jack Kerouac

I walked the Bay Circuit Trail in a series of day hikes during 2013 and 2014, starting at the ocean north of Boston and finishing at the ocean in Duxbury south of Boston. The trail is an estimated 230 miles long, but I covered almost twice that distance as I walked back to my starting…Continue readingWalking through Lowell with Jack Kerouac

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Trails Benton MacKaye Appalachian Trail Bay Circuit Trail

Community and “the Care of the Countryside”: Benton MacKaye’s Original Conception of the Appalachian Trail

In April 2021, I helped organize an on-line “virtual symposium” with a small group to discuss a theme we described as “Civic Responsibility and the Conservationist.” The event was instigated by Alan French, a Massachusetts businessman (now retired) and activist (still very active), who spearheaded the completion of the Bay Circuit Trail, a 230-mile walking…Continue readingCommunity and “the Care of the Countryside”: Benton MacKaye’s Original Conception of the Appalachian Trail