Noanet Woodlands (not pictured), Nashua River Trail (not pictured), and World’s End (very pictured)

Saturday the heat finally broke a little.

[I say “finally” as if this were one of the summers of my midwestern childhood, and we’ve had a solid month above 100 with no rain in sight. Absurd! We had two whole days above 90, and I spent the bulk of them shivering in my office. I grow soft in my old age.]

It was still rather muggy (and, as we discovered, buggy), but a hike seemed reasonable. We stopped off in West Roxbury (of all places) for some bánh mì. We agreed that they can use a little work on how they grill their meat, but aside from that, we give this new place thumbs up. Yen, ever the purist, will remain loyal to Banh Mi Ba Le in Dorchester.

Anyway, there are two bridges out between West Roxbury and Noanet Peak, so I strongly suggest you take a GPS along for this journey. We enjoyed the wandering journey we took through trees and homes we’ll never be able to afford, but it was confusing as hell. When we finally arrived, we were still baffled. It turns out that to hike in Noanet Woodlands, you have to park in Caryl Park. And you can’t see any Noanet Woodlands signs until you’re well into the parking lot. Don’t lose hope, though. It’s a good hike once you arrive.

We took the red trail to the yellow, which leads up to the top of the peak. It’s a very nice, easy climb over a variety of terrains, but you’ll never end up out of breath (unless you stand at the bottom of the hill trying to kill mosquitoes, then give up and go racing to the top as Yen did). The view of Boston from the top is very nice, and we’re looking forward to heading back in the Fall – with a camera this time, I think. I was very surprised when Yen didn’t bring his along, and he spent the hike telling me what he would have taken photos of if he’d had it.

Follow the yellow trail down to the mill pond and check out the little dam there. We finished up the red loop and headed back to the car – it’s only three miles in total. Next time we will continue on the blue and orange loops to complete the whole property.

Next morning, we needed a bike ride. We loaded the bikes (Yen got this cool little bar that allows my girly bike to go right onto the rack just like a man’s bike), and got in the car and drove out to Ayer. From there, we set out on the Nashua River Rail Trail, which gets two enthusiastic thumbs up. It’s a relatively flat trail all the way up to Nashua, with lots of swamps and trees all along the way – about 24 miles in total, according to Yen’s GPS watch. There’s even a nice spot to sit on a log by the river and have a picnic. It was fairly crowded on the ends because it was such a nice day, but the middle bit had some good deserted parts. As much as I love my little bike, I am definitely coming to the limits of it in terms of speed. I’m riding the poor thing as fast as it can go, but it’s time, I think, to graduate to something faster. I don’t know whether my big butt can handle a road bike, but I think we’re going to rent one some weekend and find out. If you’d like to buy an adorable, gently used Linus, call me up.

After some lounging and showering, we got it together to take Yen’s mom, aunt, and sister out to World’s End for a nice sunset walk. This time Yen brought his camera along, which meant we didn’t spend much of the walk in his company. I know I’ve blogged World’s End a hundred times before, so I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.