Endless Summer...A Beach Boys Tribute LbNA # 17052 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Aug 2 2005|
This hike is about 4 1/2 miles long.
DIRECTIONS: From I-384, take exit 3. Turn onto route 83 south and head towards Glastonbury. You will pass Lutz Children's Museum on the left. From there, drive 1.7 miles until you come to a spot where route 83 makes a sharp right turn. Once you get here, turn left onto Mountain Road. Drive 0.8 miles uphill until the road ends by a silver gate. As you get out of your car, notice a sign on a tree that says "#30." Signs such as this mark trailheads or intersections.
NOTE: The trails that you will be following in this series, while not too steep, can be challenging. At a couple of places, hikers will need to cross streams on very sketchy bridges. Be careful of your footing. I don't recommend this hike in wet or icy conditions. Some areas farther out along the trail are probably not suitable for young children.
This letterbox series is a tribute to one of America's greatest bands, the Beach Boys. From their beginnings in the early 60's to the present day, the Beach Boys represent summer and the California surfing sound. After parking, pass under the gate and follow the wide trail through the woods until you come to some powerlines. Walk under them. Continue straight past an intersection and back into the woods. The trail heads downhill gradually, passing several large rocks on both sides. Keep your eyes open! Watch for a distinctive 5-foot high rock on the right side of the trail that is balancing on a smaller stone. It is about 8 feet off of the trail. Just behind and to the side is a 3 foot high blocklike stone. Look low in front of it for letterbox #1: "Surfin' Safari".
FUN FACT: The Beach Boys were formed in Hawthorne, California by Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson along with their cousin Mike Love. "Surfin' Safari", recorded in 1962, was the Beach Boys first top 40 hit song. It got as high as #14 on the charts. In 1981 the song reached a new generation when it was sampled as part of a special Beach Boy Medley. By the way, only 1 member of the Beach Boys actually surfed: Dennis Wilson, the drummer.
Continue on the trail for about 33 steps until you come to intersection #29. For now, turn right. (You will see this junction again later on.) You will be hiking on this trail for about 20 minutes. Early on, you should spot an area on the left where there had been much digging. Then you will come to what appears to be a fork. However, the two trails reunite in about 50 yards. Farther on, you will walk over a concrete pipe as you cross a stream. Finally, you should start to notice a vast grassy wetland on the right. Eventually you will see two cement jersey barriers ahead of you. They mark a steel beam bridge. (This is what I was referring to earlier.) Stop here. With your back to the first cement barrier, take 50 steps back the way you came. To your right you should see a fallen dead tree with its branches around a healthy tree. Under a flat rock near the 2 trees is letterbox #2: "Surfin' USA".
FUN FACT: "Surfin' USA" hit the radio airwaves in April of 1963. It became the Beach Boys' first top ten hit song. It later resurfaced on the music charts in 1974. Over the years, the Beach Boys have amassed an amazing 15 top 10 hits!
Now it is time to make a decision. Crossing the bridge requires care. If you choose to stop here, return the way you came back to intersection # 29. Once there, look at the clues for the last couple of letterboxes in this series.
If you decide to "go for it", once you cross the bridge you should see a small beach on the right just before the trail begins to climb a bit. Soon you will come to a "T" intersection, labelled #42. From here, take the trail at 40 degrees. Step over a creek. As the trail begins to gradually climb, watch for an 8 foot high potato-shaped rock on the left. After a short while the trail begins to follow an old stone wall on the right. When you come to intersection #41, which features an ancient maple tree on the corner, stop! Turn right and follow the trail 44 steps to an old stone foundation on the right. Then continue a short way until you come to a spot where the trail crosses a stone wall.. Stop here. Standing on a large flat stone on the trail, walk 17 steps at 25 degrees to find letterbox #3: "Fun Fun Fun" in the wall.
FUN FACT: Over the years, several people have come and gone from the Beach Boys. In fact, Glen Campbell was in the band back in 1964, long before he sang "Wichita Lineman" and "Rhinestone Cowboy." Also, Daryl Dragon (later of the duo "Captain and Tennille") performed with them.
After stamping in, take the trail back, past the stone foundation (now on your left) to intersection #41. Standing once again near the ancient maple tree, choose the trail that goes north down a hill to another jersey barrier bridge. Here I decided to cross the stream by balancing on stones rather than using the bridge. (You'll understand when you see it.) Once across, you'll discover that you are in an interesting spot. With your back to the stream that you just crossed, look to the right. You will see the remains of an old stone dam. If you were to continue on the trail you are on, it would lead to the blue Shenipsit Trail. HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT PART OF TODAY'S ADVENTURE. Are you ready to continue? With your back to the jersey barrier, look left. About 10 feet away is a stone next to a narrow trail. This is where you want to go. Follow the trail as it heads west. After walking for a couple of minutes you will pass through a stone wall. Soon after that, you will come to a large stone on the left...then a large stone on the right...and then finally to a MASSIVE BOULDER on the right. It has got to be 20 feet high! Stop and enjoy, then standing with your back to the large mossfilled crack, take 22 steps at 333 degrees. Look behind a stone for letterbox #4: "Good Vibrations".
FUN FACT: "Good Vibrations" was a #1 smash in 1966. It features the use of a theremin, an electronic device that was the precursor of the moog synthesizer. Theremins were often used for special effects in 1950's sci-fi and monster movies. The Beach Boys used it to create a psychodelic sound.
Return to the trail and continue on. Pass intersection #35. As you walk you'll see numerous rocks and perhaps an old pail hanging from a tree. After a bit you will come to a mucky area. Cross using 2 wooden ladderlike bridges. The trail begins to climb a bit. Watch for trail intersection #33. Continue straight. Within 5 minutes you will come upon a pair of 2 sister birch trees on the right side of the trail. One has the initials PM and CC carved into it at eye level. To the right of the second set of twins is a flat stone. Look under it to find letterbox #5: "Good Timin' ".
FUN FACT: During the disco era, hit songs were hard to come by for rock bands such as the Beach Boys. "Good Timin' ", a number 40 pop hit in 1979, was their first hit in 3 years. This ballad continues to be popular today and is often used in wedding receptions.
Continue on. After a few minutes, you will come to intersection #32. Go straight, towards the west. At about this point you may start to notice some faded white blazes on trees from time to time. After a short distance you will need to go stone hopping to cross a stream. A few minutes more and you come to a familiar spot: intersection # 29! Turn right here and head towards the power lines. Just before you come to the first power line, turn left on a dusty trail/access road. Walk 40 steps to find a large flat rock on the left. Look underneath for letterbox #6: "Kokomo".
FUN FACT: Cowritten by "Papa" John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, "Kokomo" was featured on the soundtrack for the 1988 Tom Cruise movie, "Cocktails". The song was a total smash, becoming the Beach Boys' 4th #1 hit. Here's another odd fact: It was later rerecorded by the Muppets!
After rehiding the box, walk back 40 steps to the main trail, turn left and head back to your car. I hope you enjoyed today's music celebration and a visit to forgotten (and remote!) areas of Glastonbury.
Josef (Hello...from Joe!)