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The parking on the ground floor is accessed through the back of the LOB garage. I have always thought that the LOB and Capitol are great places for kids, with lots of things to see and plenty of space to run around. But you have guns, flags, ship models, bells, statues, fountains, the people mover, tours, a large park, a carousel and the Bushnell Theater nearby. At the right time there are plenty and there are always some — maps, information, tours, ConneCT Kids bookmarks… etc.

There are often trade and nonprofit groups that set up in the walkway between the LOB and the Capitol that hand out many free items. Maybe there were none there when you went. Reiki and paranormal, silly? My we will have lots to discuss over a good ale later this month, my friend: Perhaps the ghost that comes to our home often, will be around to greet you and as for the reiki..

Perhaps its human contact, maybe sharing of energy- who knows. Something is happening for certain. Soothing a soul, maybe. As a former resident of Wethersfield Griswaldville section.. Historic sites all over the country use them in their heritage gardens because their history is so well documented. I posted a similar diatribe I say diatribe in a good way on my blog, yes the one I never post to. I was there a few months ago, my friend who goes there way too often comped us a bunch of rooms to celebrate his divorce. I gave the Pequots some money, but not as much as some others in my group.

Casinos are depressing, Las Vegas is the worst city in the US, IMHO, and legal gambling causes more problems than any revenue that may come in and go towards social programs. I think the biggest casino is now in Macau. You can read this New Yorker article on the dirty dealing, huge Republican backing, war mongerer who made his billions there.

Shame on you, you passed up the best winery in Connecticut! They have the best wine hands down!!!! For the record, they are a part of the wine trail because I visited 2 weeks ago and got my passport stamped. Never did I think I would see someone blogging the Metacomet Trail! I pieced together the trail all the way to Mount Monadnock in the s when I was a teenager in Tolland.

What I remember best was the poor trail marking, often being lost, breaks in the route when a landowner decided to put up No Trespassing signs, and the sounds of lawnmowers and dogs barking in the back yards that you look down on from the foot high trap rock ridge. I did this section in February—I faintly recall finding a west facing ledge to cower under near the castle to enjoy the concentrated late afternoon rays. Looks nicer in the summer. We took this ferry last year just for the heck of it!

Now that would be old… This however is just the longest continuous river crossing service. Then again continuous is sort of a misleader since they are closed several months during the year. That could ruin the holiday spirit. Not that I have done that… no not me.. How would I have known that a fish would get caught on the prop and break it, then shut down the ferry for weeks? Next time I will try fly fishing. That should be much better. It is a combination of two cylinders with three ball bearings inside the middle one , which would grab a rope or wire which was shoved inside holding it secure.

What is it for? Thanks for your time Harriet. Park on Sheldon Street, across from the intersection of Andrews and Carey. The small stretch on the south side of Sheldon is in regular use look for the cleared brush. From there, walk north on Andrews for about yards, past the last of about 4 houses on the east side of the street, and look for the obvious trailhead. The trail crosses a small stream, passes the south side of Hart Pond, and then heads up to the Main Cliff. That is the only approved parking and access from the Southington side. Glad you enjoyed I think the brick schoolhouse. It must be mentioned I did correctly spell it a couple other times!

There is no more Stafford Press, and we are all aging! Thanks for the history of the lake… Enjoyed reading it, and I do remember the infamaous Milli Vanilli…lol But still liked the song…lol. Always love the Damian pics — the llama face is my fav of this batch. The Karate Kid Dad — very funny. Glad you guys made it the famous Flamig Farm! Thought you might also be interested that a few years ago the farmer began making his own biodiesel refined used cooking grease from local restaurants and runs all the farm equipment on it.

My husband and I like to take trips to the various CT wine vineyards around the state and we have noticed that there are no books that go into detail about the history behind these vineyards. WE would like to start writing and compiling a book together about all of the CT vineyards not just the ones that give enough money. Do you have any suggestions as to who we should contact in relation to this? When I taught English in Southington 9th grade we would not study a book like the Bridge of San Luis Rey in isolation, but as part of a set of works — fiction, nonfiction including current events , poetry, art — that all dealt with themes either overlapping or complementary to the main work.

I would certainly look at this work of fiction in terms of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. I am certain that you other readers could suggest other works. Control is an illusion. Our lives are ruled by sequences of random events that include our own decisions — shall I stop for coffee or get some at work. Look back at your life and map the major turning points, especially those that might have brought you to The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Just visited and can attest to the fact that this is a great place to bring the kids — or just go yourself as I did.

There is a great exhibit of all the old schoolhouses in Coventry, many of which I recognized, having driven by them frequently but never knew of their original use. Well, that was a nice little adventure — I started out at the school house, visiting the town I used to visit as a kid — my aunt and uncle had a nice little house in Granby, with a fence, a big back yard and everything.

I still have fond memories! As I read, I had to venture over to the Coolest Tree, from which I had to detour onto the Pinchot and the Linn-Baker Trees a good laugh there, my husband is still wondering what that was all about , then circle back to the school house. But… On the New Britain side there is ample and approved parking on West Road with a giant sign and all that good stuff. Criminals usually stay home in snow. My husband and I are avid hikers, backpackers, and nature-lovers.

But yes, we also like to ride our ATVs on occasion. The problem is that as other commenters here pointed out — unlike the accommodations made for mountain bikes, horses, and other trail uses — there an NONE made in CT for people who want to enjoy the outdoors using OHV. Legally, this state was supposed to create spaces for this form of recreation and they have not done so. This will reduce the impact on the environment and still allow people to recreate in the outdoors however they want to do so — be it hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, riding horses, or riding ATVs.

When I hike, I pick up the very little litter I come across. To undo the ATV damage in some of the pictures above would take, literally, about 20 years or more. With two incredibly loving and supportive parents, Damian is in the best place he can possibly be! Bubbers is in good hands with you and Hoangers. Just knowing what good people you are individually, and better exponentially as parents together, Boy-Damian will no doubt flourish as you guide him forward through the coming years, not to mention every hole-in-the-wall museum in the nation.

I was just on this trail 2 weeks ago! It is a little hard to tell from your picture with the reflections on the glass, but it looks like an angler fish, named so because it dangles a small bit if skin artificial bait attached to the end of a spine sticking out over its mouth to attract small fish that it then sucks into that wide mouth. I could do better with trout any day! Steve, This is great!

I have been to Hammonasset so many times and have never even seen this. I will stop by the next time I am there. Thanks for the article. Glad you enjoyed the farm, come way out west to western Nebraska, and see a real farm.. Cool blog here I liked it.. Great article on one of my favorite places in Connecticut! You have a beautiful family! SMS is not something any of us would choose for our families. And along the way, we have met great friends. And though we do not all have exactly the same circumstances across the board with our children. We all still have an unspoken understanding of each other.

Shannon, Ken, Taylor and Blake. What a gorgeous little boy Damian is! Our daughter, Sienna, is 2 years and 4 mos and she also has SMS. Life is challenging, but it does go on.

Sienna was our first-born, also and we have a one-year old little boy. It sounds like little Damian is in good hands. You certainly have the right attitude about it all. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are just looking to reach out. I hope that you and Hoang continue to find the strength necessary to cope with the most challenging times. There is also one near the high school in Trumbull- or at least it was there a few years ago. I just stumbled across your site and review of the Berlin museum while doing some research on, you guessed it, tin.

It was great to see the place through the eyes of a non-native. What a beautiful window into your life and the blessing you have been given in Damian. God has entrusted in you and Hoang a rare opportunity to look at life from a different perspective and find joy in many events the rest of us get to take for granted. Your ability to paint the picture of your CTMQ experiences and bring to life sites and stories is a new discovery for me and something I am enjoying immensely.

I can only imagine the ways in which you are able to put those skills to use in helping Damian succeed in his quests. But alas, it is some French general or other. We love the Nature Center and always take our kids there on our yearly excursion to Hammonasset. I have added your trails subpages to my blog. If you follow the trail that goes deeper into the woods near frog rock you can find some old building foundations. Old rusted tools litter the ground. Interesting to see if you are into that sort of thing. Scott especially liked your making fun of me continuously.

I learned more about the musuem reading it from you then from being there. That was a great day. We had a lot of fun and look forward to being returning characters. About Suffield homeowners face bills from Southwick, Mass. The money will pay for police patrols on the lake. Massachusetts gained part of the area, which dips into the otherwise uniform border, in to compensate for losing several towns to Connecticut in the s and s. Five days after my adventure, the dispute arises again! And yet… yes, I was far more scared of the dog.

Of course, dogs can be aggressive and bears are merely defensive, so it really does make sense. Like anything else, there is usually another side to the story………. First off, when you do unethical things, like polluting, mis-managing, and squandering money there are usually concequences.

Loans have terms like you are expected to pay them back , and usually have collateral sometimes, trucks. They usually have a time frame in which they are supposed to be payed back. Do you really think he would let 7. That is absolutely ridiculous! Hey, my mom was raised in Jewett City. She never, ever admits it to anyone! You are obviously a stand up guy. The cider press was powered by a horse. It was the most delicious cider I have ever tasted. Perhaps it is the fond memory of the past but I have yet to taste a cider that compared.

If you looked at the state of the apples that were used to make the cider, you might not have tasted it. The zing from those over-ripe apples mixed with some good Macs and maybe a crab apple or two gave it that distinctive flavor. I have fond memories of working in the Dickerson Witch Hazel plant as a young man in I work on a conveyor belt that put labels on bottles. Coming from the South, it was quite an experience to be in a New England red brick factory.

Fresh air, I remember was an anathema; therefore all the windows remained closed.

I remember falling asleep on the conveyor belt after my lunch break. I remember being told that seaweed was used as insolation when the plant was built. I left my emplyment there the day Kennedy was assasinated. I grew up in Higganum a section of Haddam which no one, not even people in CT, have heard of, so I was so happy to see that you went and that you enjoyed it! I think the last time I was in the Thankful Arnold House I was probably in elementary school, but I remember having a good time. I sat in at your session at NEMA which is how I knew about your website, and given your interest in house museums, I was hoping you had been to the Thankful Arnold House.

Keep up the good work! Thank you for putting together this very exciting and useful website! It is a thrill to read about all of the fantastic museums in Connecticut. Our regional history exhibit is brand new with many interactive features that engage all ages in the joy of learning. If you decide to visit us let me know that you are coming, it would be a pleasure to meet you and your family. My parents and my brother used to stop here and have a picnic lunch on our way back from Springfield, Mass. I was about and my brother was just 2 or 3.

Sometimes my grandparents would follow us and have lunch and then go back. Those were great times! Ah yes, the telephone thing. It is or was at the time a distinct LATA , one of the very smallest. Mitch, There are no grave stone markers there only the one memorial stone stating the date of the prison. It is partially enclosed by a stone wall that is flush to the ground.

The Hartford Ave side of the fence is now mostly covered by brush and trees that have encroached on it over the years. For those who are looking for it, the best way is from Hartford Ave walking down the fence line between the field and the Wethersfield Yacht club. Hey-you were in our back yard more or less! One town up and you could have visited exciting Trumbull!!

This is actually a very cute zoo-I took my kids when they were very young and visited again with a young friend of mine last summer. Would like to know largest pike taken from Bantam lake and how big can they grow? What a cute idea. I am wondering if you are the person my husband and I met at Heritage in October as we sat outside on the patio to begin our wine tasting. Upon returning the following year, we actually enjoyed them. We thought their rose was exceptional and bought a bottle. We did have to wait a bit for the tasting as a tour was beginning. But they were pleasant to us.

I grew up eating at Shady Glen. It was always a treat to get take out from there and an even bigger treat to eat there. The ice cream was made there, the chocolate chip ice cream had chunks of Munsons chocolate, then the hill on the side that thousands of kids have rolled down after they ate their ice cream. Anyway my point is this is a great family place. They have had some people that have worked there since I was a kid. If you want a gourmet burger go someplace else. But if you want a good greasy spoon burger, served with a side of great atmosphere and a little tradition then you will love it!

I still do and so do my 4 kids. I would guess that would be the origin of the name. So…have you seen the huge portrait of the Leatherman in the Derby Public Library? They also have a small collection of articles about him and his travels. If you go, mention I sent you…I use to be their Local History Coordinator and am consulting with them on a collections management project! Library as of yet. Though I certainly will go now. The Leather Man was an amazing guy, but googling him proves to be rather, um, interesting to say the least.

It is most likely a salesman sample as it fits into a carrying case with a handle. If your organization has any interest or can refer me to a source that might be interested in such an item please let me know. I can take didital pictures to send to any interested party. The Charles W Morgan is presently undergoing a three year restoration. The ship was hauled in October. I went to college at ECSU, which is about a 3 minute walk from here. We went here every thursday night. The waiters were always so awesome, plus we didnt have to worry about drunk driving since we could walk with ease back and forth.

I am not sure about your photo but I do like your museum lists. Steve, I admire what you had to say. Your families unrivaled determination and devotion to your son is heartfelt. Thank you very much for sharing your family with me. The old place belonged to grandpa in those days. Today it belongs to the State of CT. I have painted it as it looked when I was a small child, spending the day there with grandpa.

I loved to go through the brook in the wagon as the water flew around, splashing every where. Today everything is changed. I used to live in the house next door to this house with my roommate in to We were always intrigued by this place and always wanted to look inside but we never got the chance to since it was closed. However, I found your article to be interesting. It is very sad to see how neglected a historical treasure like this has become.

I was wondering if anyone can tell me if there was anyone allowed to enter the building at night. There were plenty of times that my friends and I would see lights on in the house along with shadows of people moving around during the time we were there. I always had a feeling that there was always someone watching us whenever we passed by when walking our dog. I hope that someone comes forward to help restore this house.

But that is another topic for another time, I suppose…. Your post about Damian really hit home. I hsve a daughter now 36 years old who has never been diagnosed. She is undersized about the size of a year old. She responded by stripping naked in the first aisle. Needless to say, that was the shortest shopping trip on record!

I just want to say that you will have a difficult and sometimes frustrating journey ahead but will receive rewards far beyond anything you ever imagined. God gave Damian to you for a purpose! When I went, it was summer, and the final part of the trail, right next to the falls, was a bit difficult to do with kids. The trail to the Little Falls is treacherous. The Little Falls are narrower, but have a greater drop. I particularly recommend the Yellow Trail that parallels the stream.

I would like to take my Engineer boyfriend to the Museum on Friday, January 23rd. What are your hours of operation, if any, on that date? Is there a co-pay and if so, how much? Also, can we have a tour guide? I was also a student at Madeira Beach jr. A teacher named Ben Szaro took a group of kids up there every summer. In the fairly small town of Seminole Florida many of the young men had been to Camp Nike to pick tobacco.

It was a great adventure for us and something I will remember forever. I would like to visit again, this time staying longer and visiting the old site of camp Nike. I believe there is an office complex there now. Suffieldians might wonder why part of Route was renumbered to Route in The part of Route extending into Southwick now had a numbering conflict, and as a neighborly courtesy, Connecticut extended the new number across the state line.

If not for The Notch, Route would have existed entirely in Connecticut, and would not have needed to change. The Alaska fact is apparently not widely known because one time I was at this event where they had a trivia game going, and I felt compelled to correct the guy running it— Alaska is also the Easternmost point of the U. I love Westmoor Park so much! It is my favorite place to visit, such a great place to have here.

They also have a new website which is so much better than the old one. WOW, seems like we were there on the same day…. Anyway, you described the whole scene as it is. The only thing you left out was the fishermen tying balloons to their fishing line so the wind would carry their bait further out then they could cast. So for me, I have been to the southern most point on the contiguous main land in the Fla Everglades, the southern most point in the continental US key west , and also the southern most point of all the US.

Why not just grow up, and stop complaining about how some people happen to have a bit more money than you? Certainly, it is no large crime of justice that you are not the wealthiest man in the world.


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Why am I complaining? Do you have any concept how large this house is? It is nearly the size of the White House. For two old people. Chase certainly has the right to build this monstrosity, but it is also my right to call him an idiot. Haha — good point Helen. He was fine though so I guess I could say no harm, ahem, no fowl. Maybe we should get the name change first and then use its name as evidence that it belongs to CT. I have been trying to find old records of inmates to the original prison.

I am looking for information on a Sidney Morton Douglass which would have been a inmate in Thanks for including the picture of the memorial plaque for Darin Findley in your article.. He was my little brother and it meant so much! Ragged Mountain was a favorite place of his..

Hi, I enjoyed the entry. It was named after a family from Middlefield way back when. What do you mean??! Orienteering with the Eagle Scouts and the like was never in Delaware? Your point is well taken, but still… hiking and Delaware are not words usually associated with each other. I went back up Ragged in January and noticed Darin has a nice new sign up there. I have gone here before and it is really cool! It was hard to leave!

My mom did NOT like the snakes though. I would advise this place!: Being an owner of a house, has been both challenging and a serene experience. It is very sad to watch such an awesome piece of history fade away. Are there any Pardee or Morris relatives out there who may share in this endevor? It will almost certainly be sold with preservation easements to protect it. Either that or East Haven crackheads found a home. A few years ago I put together a Saturday event for a company I worked for. If you look it up on the web you will come across some articles written about people who have been [ Looks like some good places to hide boxes, there, I just need to find out which areas are public land.

The unknown leaves look like Sycamore to me. Goodspeed had a ferry service at the same time where the Swing Bridge is now or just down stream by the airport. You mean like the one towards the bottom of this post? I nailed that shot on the first take. A feat I am more proud of then completing the Mattabesett Trail. I feel famous now too. My own personal stance on photography, however, has changed. I believe that there is more good that can come from allowing visitors to take non-flash photography on tour than possible harm that will be done to the collections.

And sharing positive experiences outweighs negative ones—like having people tell others about getting scolded on their visit. Flash photography can still damage delicate, light-sensitive objects. The French Wallpaper at the Phelps-Hatheway House is a perfect example of a museum collection that needs low light to survive another years.

Norwich is almost singularly interesting. Norwich is loaded with them. Thanks for bringing this one to our attention. This spot is really cool after a few days of freezing weather with this mist freezing on the rocks. I am a graduate student doing potentially doing my thesis on managing these birds in CT. I also own one as a pet and they are not a pleasant bird to live around.

Unfortunately people do not research them enough and most of the time are completely one sided. Please do not sign the petition to keep them in CT. Thomas Morris was my grandfather and the patriarch of the Morris family in New Haven. I was born in New London, Conn. Most Wisconsin buildings were built after the s. Saving our American history is important. I hope this house can be saved. I would like to return to Conn.


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  • I, too, went to work at Thrall Farms outside of Windsor Conn. I had heard about it from a high school friend in Tamp Fl, and took the idea to my school in Clearwater FL. The farm we lived on was beautiful. The girls lived in a barn like dormitory, with sleeping cubicles upstairs and restrooms, showers and rec room downstairs. The boys lived up the hillside over the kitchen and dining room that also served as larger rec room. This was a beautiful working farm, with crops and sheep. We even had a picturesque pond that many of us got dunked in. Two of the owners children, Cynthia Thrall and her younger brother worked with us driving the bus and tractors.

    Our mornings started about 5: The boys went on a separate bus to the fields and got paid by the hour. In the fields were migrant workers from Puerto Rico and Jamaca. The girls worked mostly with the Jamaicans. We were fascinated with their beautiful English accents and polite ways. They would bring the picked baskets of leaves into our shed and hang the strung lathes up in the rafters.

    We had to be very careful not to puncture the leaves as that would decrease their value. Our lunches were brought to the sheds for us. There was more food there than one could ever eat. I gained 10 pounds each summer. And I like many, developed a rash from exposure to the tobacco and Calamine Lotion became a good friend. It was an experience I will never forget. The tanned skin would be affixed to the form. Looks like it might be for a squirel or a skunk. Hi, just read your article about Ct. However, thought you might like to know maybe you already know about this one , about the First Agricultural School which originally was in Cornwall, Ct.

    Not sure of the year of the school, but it was founded by a Mr. The school is not open very often, except the last weekend in September, when the Connecticut Antique Machinery Show is held at the Sloane-Stanley Museum every year for 2 days. Hope this was helpful to you. I would have been that person who turned around earlier in the week. No, on second though I would have been the person who stayed home and sat by the fireplace. The New Britain in which I grew up was a most wonderful place!

    My fondest memories are of those days in New Britain. The last time I visited, still having family living there, was about 10 years ago and I left feeling very, very sad. Yours is a worthy quest. And you are clearly a genius. I especially loved the narrative about the train room. I have a particular interest in improving this site in the hope of once again being able to attract visitors.

    I would like to work with people in the neighborhood who might be interested in visiting it, attending events at the site inside and outside , possibly volunteering,etc. Please reply or call me at home. Thanks so much for your interest in this wonderful, but unfortunately neglected, treasure. Hey, I had ancestors named Thankful too!

    Those old New England families sure knew how to come up with some creative names. Does anyone have any information on the old mill house and Chapel just off Day hill Rd. I have been looking to find some history on it…the house is and chapel was rebuilt in ??

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    I would like to ask you if you would like to give my class a brochure or two for our Eco Fair that is coming up soon. My class is doing a booth on where our recycleing goes. So if you have any information on that we would be very happy, and thank you! And I have basically no excuse! The census bureau publishes a manuscript and releases it to the public 70 years after the date of the census. So the census manuscript for was made available in , for in , and so on.

    You may want to try newspapers for stories about particular crimes. Yeah go back here in spring the falls of which there are impressive. At the view sign walk right to the top of a rock outcropping look down and down stream and there they are. About a 20 footer. Further down the unmarked discontinued there is a larger slide but you gotta kind of look through the woods for it. Lots of other minifalls here as well. Love the site and blog. I am the head of the young members berkshire chapter amc and am quite knowledgeable if you need any ideas about the hidden hills are just cross the border.

    Hope it encourages folks to visit sites that we often overlook or take for granted. We are specifically looking for a butterfly house and also if you have an exotic bird house, such as hummingbirds. How do I get in touch with the person who wrote this article? Just wanted to let you know that we found hospital rock last weekend accidentally. Its off of the Metacomet a ways. Actually easier to get to if you hike directly up to Pinnacle Rock from Plainville. This family donates a lot of money to various charities. This was good to be back home..

    I remember all these trails on the map.. I in Georgia just got email from nephew, Tom Fadoir in Texas about this webpage. Around he built a small pavilion with fence around it so leaves and cows could not fall in the pool.. My father, Michael and his brother, Joseph built the foundation and dug and buried a pipe line from there to our house by the road near the other concrete bridge.. That bridge was built in There were not many trees from the pool to the road because my father cut and burn bushes and branches before every Springtime so there would be more grass for the grazing milking cows..

    The farm was much bigger then and now couple of pasture are gone because of all those trees. The above comment is why I love writing this blog. Many thanks to Ms. I took art classes at NFA from elementary school on, and through high school. You should head back in the spring — when they do the Student exhibition in the Converse gallery.

    You wondered why Stevens singled out Haddam in his poem. I just like the name…In any case, it has a completely Yankee sound. Please, Suggest me that where can I get admission in Master degree in puppetry. I have done B. For working in a community which is completely UN aware on these issues is challenge. For taking this great challenge it is necessary to know the every pros and cons of the problems within the community and the exploration of the mind set of that community. Simultaneously this is also necessary that the strategies and approaches should be perfect. In this endeavor the Master Degree in the proposed subject will enhance my capacity must for giving optimum output in the field.

    Hello my name is Laura Pardee and im a relative of George Pardee. My parents have picures of the house when you could visit the inside. I was just up there this weekend and it looked like it was in bad shape but not too bad. George made his money in the shipping business he was one of the first in the area. There is also a park by the water that is deticated to George. Thank you for a great hike and wonderful write up. So you know I visited! This is really cool. I too am trying to complete the 50 trails that make up the CT Club.

    I only have 14 trails complete but several trails are nearing completion such as the Mattabesette Trail, AT, and Quinnipiac. Once you walk 10 miles you must walk 10 miles back to your car. I wish I could hike 20 miles in one direction and complete the trail in one shot. Once, we were hiking across an expanse of flat stone, where the blue trail blazes were painted right on the stone, and Rob pulled a whisk broom out of his back pocket and dusted off the trail, like a home plate umpire.

    I have also had the great honor to hike a lot of trails with Rob. One thing that always impresses me is how he can kick sticks off of the trail and not skip a beat. I too have hiked with Mr. I am thankful for the knowledge I have attained about the respective trail or Connecticut history in general. Hi I followed your link over from another blog I read and this is indeed a cool cemetery. I am one of those strange people who absolutely love cemeteries, thanks for sharing this one! I came over to your blog the other evening via a search from people on my blog and I have to say that I am totally impressd and will be back time and time again so that I can find more neat little places in Conencticut to visit.

    Would like to know if the museum still exists and if I may be allowed to visit it. He has created a lot of the documentation CFPA trail maintainers use for trail and bridge building, blazing, etc.. My husband and I will be checking out some of these places in our state. We feel honored to have been part of your historic event. We look forward to doing more questing with you in future.

    The cake bar is now set really high. Architecturally correct renditions of your favorite museum s with layers of different flavors? Congrats on the milestone…. And, yes, it is a confusing plate on an Audi. Is he a fan of the band Tool? Is he a manufacturer or building equipment? Is he just a large phallus? Years ago, there were views from both the Chinese Wall and Bear Hill but, in the intervening years, the trees have grown to obscure them. If you hike the trail when there are no leaves on the trees, you will discover many great views, including the Connecticut River and the Hartford skyline.

    At that time the feds did a geodetic? They erected a tower at the summit about feet high. You could climb up it and get a great degree view. I have read all your reports on the Mattabesett Trail and found them most enjoyable. Keep the reports coming. Guerrini can answer this. Was the pond some sort of recreation area? I go to Sunny Brook frequently and have often wondered about the history of the area. It was a pasture before the pond. Nice little story about the Pinchot Sycamore! I was just there the other day and snapped a quick picture. We are starting in our hometown of Salem, CT but at the same time documenting others we find along the way.

    We were just at the New York Botanical Garden and took a few shots there at great old trees. There is an organization in Canada called Heritage Trees specifically focused on identification and preservation of old trees, and they have interesting information about the role of them ecologically. Steve, Thanks for the update. It was a great piece to read. Faith Middleton recently did a staycation guide to a lot [ I may be able to help you on a few of your hikes without actually hiking with you. I work M-F at Connecticut College and get out at 2: I could pick you up at trail heads and bring you back to your car on some of these trails.

    Mainly the trails located in Southeastern CT. Go to the Rathbun Library, Main St. Upstairs in the research room they should have some info for you. The house is not a mill one. That pond was for raising leeches when a doctor owned the house. Hi Steve, Thanks for another great write up! Regarding the Old Forest Trail-it was orignally a forest road and was abandoned for whatever reason. Washed out and eroded perhaps? The Wildwood and Old Forest Trails have already been reblazed and if the weatehr permits the North and South Pattaconk will be done in the next month or so. The second is minor.

    You are just scratching the surface of the man that is Rob.

    Graphic Designer and Illustrator

    In addition to his work on the Cockaponset Trail, he has also provided trail care advice on an international level. Thanks again for all of the fun write-ups and your great pictures along the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail system. I also think Rob has a great butt, having hiked and biked behind him many times no one ever gets in front of Rob on the trail or on the road. Great articles on Cockaponset! It is great to see and hear the improvments in your adorable son. Our prayers continue for all three of you! I had the same feeling when I first hiked this trail, many years ago. I have only been there one time, but it was unforgettable for contrast in solitude and aesthetics.

    The sights approaching while driving as compared to the sights while on foot really made it feel like two distinct places. Once I got to the top I was also surprised to see the lack of highways and buildings. I even walked barefoot in the stream a short distance and took a nice break on a hot summer afternoon. Children twelve and under are free when accompanied by an adult. The Art Pass is only available for purchase at http: For more informaton or to purchase, visit the website.

    She drove by there this week and could no longer see it from the road and feared it was gone or destroyed. Hello, I have very fond memories as a child. We were a family of 7 residing in Chaplin Ct. My parents would take us for weekend getaways to Mashomaquet State Park for great cookouts. On the way, my Dad always made sure we got to stop and see frog rock. It was a big deal to me. I love that rock and roadside park.

    My parents are both gone, but just seeing that rock makes me happy. It needs to be repainted, I would love to paint the rock. Please email me Nancy if you would like to see this happen. Who can I contact? George Stubbs was a British painter who was known for his pictures of animals, especially horses. Your website is a HUGE help!

    Do come to the Northwest Corner soon, though. I live in Litchfield and await with bated breath your coverage of all our fine musuem offerings here. OK, this is universal: But as you know, you do and it makes the good times in life even more enjoyable. I have two barbie houses that are made from the same company but are different.

    I have twin girls who are 21 now. I want to sell them. They are yellow and reddish-orange. Do you have any idea how much I could see them at a yard sale for? And yes, harvest only from the ostrich fern; others will make you sick. The double boil is important or, if steaming, do so for a long time 17 minutes. The trick is to cook them long enough to remove the toxins without leaving them mushy.

    Usually I go with a simple vinaigrette so as not to overpower them maple balsamic is nice—and seasonal. Frankly, it frightened me. Ice cream is much more to my liking. Anyway, and to the point, your new twitter account works great with my reader. I used to live 4 houses down from the Trumbull H. My birth certicate stated that I was born Jan.

    Please note that my death certicate will state the I was born Jan. And having attained that goal, he immediately returned, to sacrifice himself endlessly for our entertainment in the gladiatorial arena of multiplayer. In fact since then his life has essentially become nothing but multiplayer. Wielding the dark side of the force and serving under the tutelage of Darth Vader himself, Starkiller is one of the last characters that you would expect to be considered a hero. Its his transition from Sith assassin to self-sacrificing Jedi Master that makes him so great. The most defining moment of his heroic career is his direct contribution to the formation of the Rebel Alliance who would ultimately be responsible for overthrowing the Empire.

    As if dispatching squads of troopers all at once and crushing AT-ATs with pure thought isnt enough. Having that much power at your disposal can result in some gnarly kills. Hiryu isnt the easiest person to write an entry for, given that hes of the quiet, stoic, mysterious background, unknown identity school of character design. Still, his sheer levels of badass cool have seen him endure long past his clichs sell-by date, making him now an archetype rather than a stereotype.

    And besides, being one of the top Special A-Class Strider mercenaries in history, his once-pioneering acrobatic murder skills have now found a perfectly fitting modern home in Capcoms fighting games. Hes somewhat of an enduring classic. This brave little walking ball of yarn stuffed with fluff is all smiles as he or she hops and skips along to save LittleBigPlanet from whatever is threatening its current state of peace and harmony.

    Oh, and incredibly cute to boot. Ryos this far down the list because, while hes a good man at heart, his path is shaped by a lust for revenge. Thats not quite the heros way. But his actions are most certainly heroic when you look at them in isolation. Most heroic of all, he rides alone into the heart of a gangs hideout to save his friend Nozomi without even a thought for his own safety.

    He does save her too, bringing her home on the back of an admittedly-borrowed-but-still-kickass motorbike. Ryo-san, we salute you. As pissed-off vampire antiheroes go, few wear the title as proudly as Raziel, Legacy of Kains bitterly discarded protagonist. After being cast off by vampire lord Kain in Soul Reaver, Raziel went on a one-creature rampage between the material and spectral realms.

    Amidst it all, he chops, impales and drops his shroud to eat the souls of monsters. As Raziel progressed through both Soul Reaver, its sequel, and eventually s climactic Legacy of Kain: Defiance, we learned more about his origins and motivations, and frankly, it makes him even more of a badass when the series bowed.

    Outside the courtroom, Phoenix Wright is easy-going, goofy, and lovable. When its time to be a lawyer, this renown defense attorney is as sharp as his blue suit, and loyal almost to a fault. Phoenix represents a true hero not only for his innocent clients, but for justice. Confident, smart, and not willing to back down, he stands for what is right with evidence, logic, and a whole lot of finger-pointing and objections. The Stallone and Schwarzenager look-alikes have saved the world from massive alien invasions half a dozen times; the most recent standout being Contra 4.

    There isnt much to the pair personality-wise, besides their mentality to shoot everything on sight, but thats what makes them such amazing killing machines and world savers. Well, that and the fact that its impossible for them to jump without doing a somersault flip and they have guns that can shoot unlimited bullets and missiles. These super soldiers get the job done. Now, get to the choppa! Few videogame heroes are as pure of heart and innocent of mind as young Sora. He values friendship above anything else, something he perhaps confuses with love, which is obviously what hes feeling for Kairi.

    But thats his charm his childish naivety, like the way he meets a stranger and declares theyre friends after 20 seconds. Yoshi may be best known as Marios sidekick, but his heroism should not be overlooked, since he did get to star in his own series and help Mario for a change. This reliable little green dinosaur is a key ally when it comes to saving the Mushroom Kingdom time and time again, as well as his own island. It helps that hes not a very picky eater either. He can shoot fireballs, whoops and hollers just like Bruce Lee, and pioneered the Animality with his dragon-transformation fatality—its no wonder that Liu Kangs the chosen champion of Earthrealm.

    Sub-Zero and Scorpion may get most of the fanfare, but this Shaolin monk has always fought with a righteous fury for the greater good. Plus, the strange squeals he emits during his trademark Bicycle Kick move are unforgettable, and he can drop an entire arcade cabinet on his dazed opponents head. The amnesiac Witcher from Rivia stands in sort of a grey area on the hero spectrum. He may make his living as a mercenary—killing monsters and mythical creatures for cold hard cash—but the monster hunter has a soft spot for the poor and downtrodden.

    Hell fight till his last breath to defend nonhumans from oppression, but he can also be tilted the other way and take part in his fair share of debauchery and revenge. In the end though, he fights to bring justice to those who have wronged the people he cares for, making him a hero in his own right. To the simple humans that surround her, Amaterasu is a simple, flea-ridden dog wandering the Japanese countryside.

    Beneath that mundane exterior, shes one of the most powerful gods in Japanese mythology, on a massive quest to save ancient Japan. In Okami, she saves the oblivious inhabitants from the danger they face by uniting the 13 gods and using the celestial brush to literally paint over reality. That she uses such power exclusively for good is strong proof of her integrity. Captain Price can almost be legitimized to be on the top heroes list on the merits of growing his humongous handlebar mustache alone.

    Just being in one world war qualifies you as a hero, and Price has seen two. To refer to Hitmans Agent 47 as a hero would be a bit of a misnomer. He has been known, after all, to unceremoniously murder a man simply because his clothes were deemed desirable, and then also cram that mans naked corpse into a armoire in an insane effort to cover his tracks. But as far as greatest characters go, may we remind you that Agent 47 shows absolutely no compunction in killing a man, stealing his clothes, and then shoving that guys cold, dead, naked corpse into an armoire? Though he started off as a snarky, arrogant Lombax, Ratchet metamorphosed into a cool and confident commando with a penchant for invention and fixing junk.

    Hes an incredibly capable and adventurous character, and even has a compassionate side. Clank, on the other hand, is a lovable little guy that often acts as a counter to Ratchets do-first-think-later personality. Hes also a walking encyclopedia, providing a slew of facts to every ill-informed joke Ratchet rattles off. The playful interaction between these two makes them a hilariously fun pair of characters that cant be separated. Where most RPGs are content with giving you the tools to create your own character, Planescape: Torment embellishes its play-your-way protagonist with one of the most fascinating backstories ever imagined.

    The Nameless One is a once-human immortal who can never permanently die; but each time he is felled in battle, he loses more and more of his memories. Recovering the fragments of The Nameless Ones past through his various incarnations is an emotional journey that reveals him to be a character that has truly suffered many lifetimes worth of anguish. Though you can imprint your own philosophical views on him through the games long-winded dialog, hes still a fully realized and impressively developed character all his own.

    The measures of a true hero are selflessness, strength, and the ability to inspire others. Mike Haggar has all three nailed. When the Mad Gear Gang tried to corrupt him, he told them to sod off. When they kidnapped his daughter, he ripped off his shirt, left his mayoral office, and headed to the wrong side of town to beat the crap out of the lot of them. Thats the kind of man we need in politics. Not only that, but his wrestling career is the entire reason Street Fighters Zangief got into the sport.

    They share so many moves because the Red Cyclone is a massive fanboy. As the skeletal star of one of the all-time greatest adventure games, Manny makes journeying through the afterlife a relatable experience. Though he starts out the game as a simple travel agent who happens to reap souls , Mannys bountiful empathy makes him an unlikely hero in his inventive noir world.

    His cool-headed attitude, loyalty to Glottis, and witty quips based on his surroundings all make him one of the most endearing skeletons ever. Putting the duo together is cheating? Their witty dialog, charming demeanor, and ability to fight gigantic, evil statues shaped like Abraham Lincoln make them among the best characters gaming has ever seen. Kyle Katarn is one of those unsung heroes of the Star Wars universe. Hes an ex-Imperial turned Jedi whose contributions, although pretty significant, arent necessarily well known. Some of which include the acquisition of the original Death Star plans and thwarting the Dark Trooper project.

    Part of what makes him such a great hero is that his main concerns were always about the safety and well-being of those he cared about, regardless of what side he was affiliated with. If you dont think a pink blob can be tough, then you clearly havent seen Kirby in action. The deceptively cute puffball has mastered an armorys worth of weapons, and its all thanks to his insatiable appetite. Kirby takes on the ability of whatever he eats, so watch out, because that friendly face hides a marksman, swordsman, flamethrower, and more. We thank our lucky stars every day that Kirby has yet to develop a taste for human flesh.

    Whats the burly honey bear without his strange red bird partner that lives in his backpack? Banjo and Kazooie are a powerful team, combining both of their individual skill sets to overthrow the evil schemes of the butt-ugly witch Gruntilda. Banjo does most of the grunt work, running, climbing and swimming through the world collecting the jigsaw puzzle pieces—but he wouldnt get far without Kazooies ability to fly, her sharp beak, and her even sharper nagging wit.

    Being responsible for turning your life-long friend into an Ottsel must be a pretty heavy burden to carry. Making the choice to change him back or save the world is a decision that has even more weight. In the end, the duo decides to save the world, forgoing the only opportunity to revert Daxter back to normal. Hes voiced by Michael Ironside and he wears awesome night vision goggles. Thats good enough, right? Sam Fisher has saved the free world on countless occasions, executing the Fifth Freedom see: Best of all, he does it with a style all his own, be it fully equipped as he has been in the earlier games or stripped of all his tech as proven in Conviction.

    Hes like Macgyver-meets-James Bond-meets-Batman. Good ol JC is a closer: Hes the kind of guy youd bring in if you need something done, and you need it done right. Like some sort of futuristic Sherlock Holmes, hes intelligent, incredibly resourceful, and just enough of a loner to ensure that he wont let anything get in the way of his objective. Hes also a walking biochemistry project, thanks to his nano-augmentations that give him superhuman strength and perception.

    While its ultimately up to you where JCs loyalties reside, one things for sure: This guys always up to the task, no matter how dangerous it might be. Hes dark, mysterious, cynical, steals from the rich and gives to himself. Okay, so hes not exactly Robin Hood—but he did go well out of his way to save the world a few times. You could also say that Garrett is a pioneer of sorts, paving the way for the myriad other thieves and assassins of our time. What other video game hero could get away with a pelvic-thrusting victory dance in an E-rated—or K-A, as it was then known—game?

    Crash was once the PlayStation brands leading mascot much to the chagrin of then-Sony president Ken Kutaragi, who infamously branded the marsupial as crap , championing his consoles platforming capabilities just as Mario and Sonic before him. His happy-go-lucky demeanor, signature spin move, and awesome death animations made him a memorable madcap hero, with just the right amount of radical tude to be endearing.

    Professor Layton might be one of the only characters on this list without blood on his hands. He isnt about kicking in doors and blasting apart a room full of ruffians—hed rather solve a puzzle to get the door open, then challenging said ruffians in a battle of wits to get the information he needs. Sometimes, the best, most badass heroes are the unlikeliest. Infamous Cole McGrath was a courier in Empire City when disaster struck, an event which granted him super-human powers.

    From that moment on, the city is his to either save or destroy, and Sucker Punch deftly portrayed that level of power in your hands. Infamous 2 took Cole to another locale, the city of New Marais, at which point the potential for heroism or villainy rose to even greater heights. By the time you clear the sequel, youll have no doubt in your mind why Cole is a great hero. The Belmont Clan, whose legacy spans over 10, years of Castlevania, has defeated Dracula more times than you can shake a whip at. Theres a lot to live up to when youre the heir to a famous clan of vampire hunters, but Simon Belmont gladly shoulders the life-threatening responsibilities of his bloodline.

    Hes protected Transylvania time and time again, by dispatching Dracula and his nightmarish horde of minions. Its safe to say that heroism runs in the family. Fox is the leader of the Lylat systems premier mercenary space combat squadron, Star Fox. He and his group of anthropomorphic teammates have defeated the evil Andross and saved the galaxy on more than one occasion. Not only is he a nearly unrivaled Arwing pilot; hes also a master at driving any vehicular contraption he can get into, including submarines and armored tanks.

    No matter how dangerous the assignment, Fox will see it through—especially when innocent lives and credits hang in the balance. Monkey is one of the most tragic examples of a true loner. Forced to raise himself in the wilderness of a practically destroyed world, hes got street smarts er…forest smarts? But hes also fiercely protective. His encounter with Trip, though initially a bit on the hostile side, transformed him from an aggressive lone wolf to a caring guardian willing to sacrifice himself for the wellbeing of others.

    He is, in a sense, a gentle giant, and hes incredibly relatable and believable in a way that many video game characters are not. Cocky, sarcastic, and confident. All of these are apt descriptions for Capcoms half-demon hero. Hes been charming us for over a decade and, at times, making us wince—thanks to Devil May Cry 2 across numerous titles. Part of what makes a hero great is great gameplay, and DMC has delivered in that regard, but it helps when youve got such a charismatic hero.

    The Prince is all things to all men. No character of the last couple of generations has had so many radically different personality reboots. The original and best modern Prince came in the form of the Sands of Times foppish, arrogant storyteller, a charmingly conceited chap who proved that showboating heroism and borderline camp need not be mutually exclusive long before Jack Sparrow did.

    His angsty Warrior Within incarnation had a certain nave charm, and was at least a more capable combatant, and his calmer Twin Thrones form reconciled both a newfound maturity. The Dragon Ninja is a particularly brutal good guy, but a good guy nonetheless. Armed with the legendary dragon sword, Ryu Hayabusa slices up any enemy assassin, kamikaze ninja dog, greater Fiend, or world-threatening ancient evil that comes his way—all while staying focused around those scantily clad, busty Fiend hunters. It aint easy being a ninja. Not everyone starts out as a hero. Still, a huge ape like Donkey Kong was too loveable to stay the bad guy, and eventually he got his own series to star in.

    Admittedly more interested in collecting bananas than the greater good, those are often one in the same for DK. Armed with a camera and a big stick to beat things down with, Jade is not your stereotypical, half-naked, sexy, video game heroine. Shes strong, smart, classy, and above all, shes relatable.

    As a photojournalist, Jade risks her life to expose corruption within the government, and when shes not busy doing that, her time is spent taking care of young orphans. Its not often we get to play a game that stars such a strong female lead, who serves as a good role model without having to don a pair of hot pants or booty shorts. Some people have the sort of bad days where they stub their toes and are overcome by existential guilt because they havent accomplished much with their lives.

    Max Payne, however, has really bad days—the kind where everyone he loves gets murdered. The homicide of Maxs family quickly transforms him from good-guy cop to revenge-hungry vigilante, propelling him through a series of extraordinary mobster-murdering scenarios. He toppled a corrupt corporation, put down a power-hungry secret organization, and survived an alcohol-fueled stint through Brazil.

    Despite having the worst luck on the entire planet and with the help of a little alcohol , he manages to maintain his sanity and prevail. Isaac Clarke isnt a lucky man. When he travels to a desolate mining ship to find his girlfriend, the rig is overrun by aliens. When he is thrown into an insane asylum, it, too, is overrun by both extra terrestrials and insane cultists. But despite staring insanity in the eyes, he has continued to do what it takes to save the people around him, fighting against the most disturbing abominations the universe has ever seen with a cool demeanor, and an even cooler suit of futuristic armor.

    Taken at face value, Crono is the usual bland RPG hero battling monsters with his childhood friends. He teaches a robot to be human, convinces a cursed knight to be a champion once more, and his selflessness inspires the games most twisted villain to change his ways. One of the unlikeliest heroes in all of gaming became its most brave, going from janitor to savior for his entire race via pure pacifism. Well, not exactly—his psionic powers meant he could possess those nasty Sligs and force them to commit suicide, which was always a hoot.

    But Abes strength lies in communication; despite his limited vocabulary and basic social skills, hes able to lead his Mudokon people to freedom from the misery of slave labor. Gentle, intelligent, and somehow able to make fart jokes funny again, Abe is the kind of game hero we want to befriend in real life. In the beginning hours of Mother 3, Lucas isnt brave, or strong, or courageous—in fact, hes actually more sensitive than the average JRPG character.

    But as the years pass, this delicate sunflower grows into an incredibly strong-willed protagonist capable of standing up to foes others simply dont have the capability of defeating. Its because of his actions, and his willingness to sacrifice everything, that Lucas stands out as one of the most heroic game characters of all time. Many vicariously revel in his exquisitely brutal brand of gratuitous carnage and mutilation. Being insanely violent isnt exactly an uncommon trait amongst game characters, but driven by a rage wrought from his guilt slaughtered thousands, including oops his wife and daughter Kratos kills with such convincing visceral aggression it elevates him way beyond the status of brain-dead murder-bot.

    Sonic is a true hero. He stands up for the little guy and frees the oppressed from the clutches of a genocidal maniac. Hes eco-friendly, a natural leader and uses his super-powers for good, not evil. He doesnt even ask for anything in return, although he wouldnt say no to a chili dog or two. People may still debate Mario vs Sonic, but no matter what side you fall one, you have to agree that he deserves high placement on this list. Armed with a sword, a bow, a loyal horse, and a heart full of courage, Shadow of the Colossuss Wander put everything on the line to save the woman he loved.

    This meant not only making a deal with a shady demigod, but also battling giants, literally climbing colossi the size of skyscrapers and taking them down. His ability to face down these massive foes—even if it ultimately resulted in one of the most disastrous gaming romances—without any particularly powerful tools is what makes him remarkable, even if hes willing to use illicit means in order to reach his noble goals. Alright, lets be fair: Mass Effect is Commander Shepards story.

    Hero Research | Jess Griffiths

    The Turian sniper spends all three games as long as you dont get him killed following Shepard around, helping him save the galaxy without batting an eye at the near-impossible odds of success—its no wonder he made it onto our lists of both the characters we fell in love with and most badass characters of the generation.

    Hes like an insect version of Ryan Gosling. John Marston is the cowboy weve always wanted in a video game. Like an Old Western Robin Hood, he joined a gang, stole from the rich, and gave to the poor—until he was left for dead by his own. He reformed his ways, becoming an honest-to-goodness family man, but he didnt let that transformation dull his edgy personality. Hes always down for a little danger—sometimes even a little gambling—and the motivations for his gang-slayin and zombie-huntin adventures are more pure than anything else in the Wild West.

    Is it any wonder hes one of the most badass characters of all time? As a circus-acrobat-turned-fledgling-psychic, Razputin was the perfect star for an oddball mental odyssey like Psychonauts. This adorable year-old scamp is the typical sleepaway camp kid, flirting with girls, bonding with his peers and mentors, and exploring the great outdoors. Only, Raz also has the power to project his psychic force into giant palms, levitate atop a ball of energy, and delve into the deepest recesses of a persons subconscious mind.

    Despite his incredible extrasensory abilities, he maintains a chipper, down-to-earth personality and is eager to help anyone in need. Whether you know him as Goggalor or that kid who summons old men from his ear with bacon, Raz is a truly one-of-a-kind hero. The Blue Bomber has captured a special place in our hearts ever since he first fired 8-bit energy shots, securing his place on the roster of best NES games of all time.

    Hes managed to foil Dr. Wilys evil plans countless times, dominating his legions of Robot Masters along the way. He doesnt fight for personal glory, instead desiring to bring everlasting peace to the world. With such pure intentions at heart, Mega Man is an easy character to love—and if you add up all the powers hes absorbed over the years, hes easily one of the most versatile heroes on this list. And through it all, he maintains not only perfect hair, but composure to match. Leons ability to keep calm and shoot carrion is indisputably a reason why hes one of gamings most memorable protagonists.

    Making his video game debut in The Secret of Monkey Island, he didnt exactly make a good first impression with the governor Elaine, but he managed to win us and her over with his charm and youthful exuberance. His devotion and loyalty to Elaine is admirable, and while he may not be the most intimidating of protagonists just look at him , he gets by with his sharp wit and resourcefulness.

    She was a daring treasure hunter long before Nathan Drake was even a thought, often chasing thrills at the risk of her own life. Shes intelligent, sexy, and incredibly capable—even if she isnt one of the most tastefully designed female heroines ever—and when she was introduced to the world, she put many of her male protagonist counterparts to shame and ascended as a gaming icon.

    Admittedly, some of Laras outings were missteps for the Tomb Raider franchise, but that doesnt detract from her witty and fiercely independent nature. We admire her for many things, especially her ability to fend for herself and adapt to and overcome the seemingly impossible situations she continually finds herself in. Lara Croft isnt just one of gamings most powerful women—shes also one of gamings greatest protagonists. Master Chief is an against-all-odds kind of guy. Hes a guy whos brought in when the day is clearly lost.

    When his factions armies are facing down impossible odds, facing enemies with superior numbers, firepower, technology, and positioning. And then, like a logger with a job to do, Chief employs brute-force tactics to clear a path, cripple the advance, and pound the advantage home, using whatever tools he can find, including but not limited to whatever weapons his vanquished enemies have left behind.

    Chief isnt the strongest or most crafty hero, and he isnt particularly charismatic or intelligent or playful. But when civilization is on the line and all other options have been exhausted, Chief is the guy whos going to get you through. Long before Ezio became a master assassin—and certainly before he had introduced anyone to the sharp end of a hidden blade—he was a somewhat-innocent year-old interested in charming ladies and fist fighting rivals. Boys will be boys. The remarkable thing about him as a character, though, is that he experienced a lot of pretty horrible things, which ultimately shaped him as a man and transformed him into one of the most badass game characters of this generation.

    We were with him when his father and brothers were wrongfully hanged before his own eyes. We felt his rage when his familys name was dragged through the mud, and he was forced to flee Florence with his mother and sisters in tow. Most importantly, we were there when he developed his undying sense of justice and matured into one of the greatest assassins the order had ever seen.

    No matter his mission, Ezio was always charming and willing to help those in need. He was a selfless man, one that put his life on the line time and time again to make sure evildoers were swiftly put down. The Italian Assassin may be retired, but well never forget his journey or his sacrifice. Weve seen through the emerald eyes of Gordon Freeman for over ten years now, saving the world in Half-Life and then saving it again in Half-Life 2.

    Crowbar in hand, weve defeated any evils that have come our way, be it zombified scientists, giant alien baby monsters, or oppressive Combine soldiers. But though his enemies have changed from game to game, one thing has remained the same: Gordon never knows whats going on. Its how the characters of the Half-Life universe treat Gordon Freeman, not the way he treats them, that shape such a compelling character.

    Whenever he arrives on the scene, hes swarmed by people acting like he has all of the answers. Thank god, Gordon is here! Hell know what to do! Yet despite this, he gets the job done. Ever the right man in the wrong place, hes able to overcome the odds, and become the hero everyone sees him as—even if, deep down, Gordons even more confused than the people hes saving. The gaming world was in shock when it was revealed that the silent, armor-clad hero of Metroid had been a woman all along.

    The Game of Life and How to Play It - Audio Book

    And you have to admire her persistence for the ability to regain all her lost items after losing them at the start of every game. Mario isnt merely the mascot for his company, but for his entire medium. And while most mascots are designed with wide appeal in mind, Mario is beloved in spite of being something as noncommercial as a squat, fat, mustachioed, middle-aged guy. When he first appeared in Donkey Kong, Mario couldnt helped but be seen as one of the most human characters in gaming.

    Hes spent his career beating the odds in David and Goliath battles, continually besting monsters that overpower him through quick jumps and quick thinking. No matter what year it is or what system hes on, you want to root for Mario. You want to see him win. And he never disappoints. Nathan Drake is a man who exhibits no regard for human life. Thats irrefutable, evidencable, documentable. But the way in which he wantonly murders those who stand between him and some largely inconsequential ancient trinket, its just so… good-natured.

    With his half-tuck, quick wit, wry grin, and messy hair, Nate perfectly captures that sentiment of being the guy all the other guys want to be and all the gals want to be with, even if he is basically a raging sociopath that could never successfully integrate into modern society. Due to his predilection for murder. Lots and lots of murder. With Nate, overlooking murder has never been so easy, and anyone who can have that said of them is surely one of the greatest characters ever.

    And, amidst all of the death-defying odds, he barely picked up a cough from all of the smoking. But even with all of those reasons, theyre far from the sole rationale for why Snake is one of the greatest heroes of gaming. In a universe inhabited by the most cartoonish nemeses on this side of Batman and conspiracy theories so far-fetched that it took massive sequels to tie up loose ends, Snake exhibits a vulnerability that few game characters display.

    He fights because he knows no other way, but he hates the fact that its all he can do. For that, despite his survival skills as a super-soldier, hes more human than most heroes you embody in games. Humble beginnings, courage in the face the ultimate evils, and thankless rewards. The Legend of Zeldas Link is the personification of what a hero is. For over 25 years, Link has taken the heros journey, often starting as just an average boy then becoming an evil-vanquishing, green garbed, warrior of legend through a path of adventure and personal growth.

    Being the bearer of the Triforce of Courage, Link never turns from a challenge, be it facing grotesque monsters, defeating ancient villains, or competing in rupee gathering contests. Link is not only brave; he is the embodiment of the virtue of courage and heroism, single-handedly embarking on epic quests, helping those in need no matter how small the task, and showing his kind-hearted soul to everyone he meets.

    Link does all these things and receives little more of a reward than the occasional thank you. Then, after his job is done, he leaves those he saves and disappears until destiny calls up a new boy in green to find a sword and shield and go off to a new adventure. He is the truest of all video game heroes. The most recently created Marvel hero on this list is also the first to ever use the F-word.

    Jessica Jones is a superhero turned private investigator, preferring to use her smarts instead of her powers of super strength, limited flight, and increased durability. Starting her career as the costumed hero Jewel, Jones would eventually suffer severe tragedy at the hands of the Purple Man.

    But despite going through an experience that would crush the spirit of anyone else, she bounced back. A half human, half vampire hybrid possessing all of their strengths but none of their weaknesses, Blade has made a living fighting the undead. Blade has used his specific expertise and tremendous physical gifts to aid many heroes in the fight against evil. Despite these struggles, Blade remains very much in tune with his humanity, using his remarkable gifts to rid the world of things that go bump in the night.

    The original rider, Johhny Blaze, remains the best known, but no matter who vessels Zarathos, the Spirit of Vengeance, the results are the same. Marvel, Carol Danvers journey has been a long and convoluted one. An officer of the United States Air Force, Captain Marvel would later develop the powers of strength and flight after exposure to an alien Kree device, the Psyche-Magnetron. Though her past is littered with traumatic events, Captain Marvel continues to be a positive force for good, her vast power set and unshakeable conviction earning her the respect of heroes everywhere.

    One of the first African American characters in mainstream comics, Luke Cage had lead a long and storied history. Initially on the wrong side of the law, Cage agreed to take part in a prison experiment, in turn developing increased strength and indestructible skin. Following a stint as one half of Heroes for Hire, Cage would then use his powers in the fight for good, joining the New Avengers.

    A solid and consistent voice, Cage would become a stable presence on the Marvel U, eventually leading his own band of Avengers, in addition to the New Thunderbolts. A loving husband and doting dad, Cage uses his powers to protect people from every walk of life, no problem too small for his fists.

    Falling ill as a child, Jessica is given a spider serum by her scientist father, resulting in enhanced strength, heightened reflexes and the ability to produce powerful venom blasts from her hands. Initially trained as an assassin by the villainous organization Hydra, Spider-Woman would renounce her allegiance in favor of turning hero. Though her history is checkered, Spider-Woman has nonetheless become a powerful and valued member of the Avengers, driven by her need to prove herself to her illustrious companions. Forced into servitude to protect his people from harm, Norinn Radd scoured the galaxy as the Silver Surfer in search of sustenance for his master, Galactus.

    Moved by their plight, the herald turned on his master in a show of bravery, refusing to allow yet another planet to die for the sake of his own. Since then the Surfer has used the Power Cosmic for good, riding the cosmos in search of further injustice to fight. Born with a mutation that left his strength and reflexes heightened and his limbs enlarged, Hank McCoy was one of the five founding members of the X-Men. Possessing genius level intelligence and incredible physical ability, Beast still struggled with his outward appearance, eventually taking a self-made serum in the hopes of reversing its effects.

    The serum instead triggered a secondary mutation, turning him into a furry blue cat-man. The sole member of the Fantastic Four to get a not-so-fantastic makeover along with his powers,Thing was initially burdened by his outwardly craggy appearance. Few young X-characters have been as instantly engaging as Kitty Pryde. Her resolve also proves above reproach, once sacrificing herself for the good of the planet by merging her phasing abilities with a giant space bullet, allowing it to pass harmlessly through the Earth.

    In a world where the impossible is commonplace, it pays to have a Sorcerer Supreme on your side. But despite being a lone wolf… er… cat, he always shows up when justice needs to be dished out. Doctor Doom himself said that the Invisible Woman is the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four, and he was right in more than one way.

    She has long been the voice of reason of the team, curbing the more drastic approaches of her teammates and stepping in with a well-timed force field when things get out of hand. The man has been through more terrorist cell attacks and alien invasions than most anyone on the planet, and yet when all hope seems lost, his side always seems to end up on top.

    Of the many mutants in the world, Ororo Munroe is one of the most powerful. Tony Stark is many things — genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist — but as Iron Man he represents something more.. A brush with death lead to the creation of his first armor, and since that time he has used his vast wealth to fund the Avengers and give his suit like a billion upgrades.

    More than anything else, Iron Man is a hero for his continued bravery in the face of danger. Beneath the nuts and bolts and repulsor rays lies a man of flesh and blood, willingly rocketing himself into harm without a second thought — against villains with actual superpowers! While far from flawless, Iron Man always uses his superior intellect to try and make the world a better place. One of the most powerful beings on the planet, Xavier easily could have used his vast telepathic ability to shape the world in any way he saw fit. Instead, he chose to foster an idea, in doing so creating a movement and following unlike anything seen in the Marvel U — the X-Men.

    A steadfast idealist, Xavier has weathered many battles in his pursuit of equality, ushering in a new era of mutants forever changed for the better by his guiding hand. The result of a gamma bomb test gone wrong, Hulk has long been the target of many evil and malicious plots looking to exploit his power. He may not always be one to play well with others, but when you need something smashed, Hulk is your guy.

    While he may not be as interesting as his more colorful counterparts, his skills as a tactician are equal to none. Recent events have arguably seen Cyclops fall from grace, but the fact remains that every decision he makes, good or bad, is made for the betterment of mutantkind. The first into battle and the last to leave, this founding Avenger will let nothing get in his way when it comes to protecting the innocent.

    She was possessed by the cosmic force known as the Phoenix, went evil, and then ate a distant star, killing billions. During a trial-by-combat for her crimes, she regained control of herself long enough to take her own life. Faced with an impossible decision, she chose to die as a human rather than live as a god.

    Wolverine is the tortured samurai of Marvel heroes. His rough attitude and animal instincts have made him a pleasantly abrasive presence in any story he pops up in — and he has popped up in quite a few over the years. What sets him apart as a hero is his willingness to cross the line. He takes the burden from others and puts it on his already-heavy shoulders, doing whatever it takes to save the day. After his father was murdered for not throwing a fight, Matt became a crime-opposing lawyer by day and crime-punching red ninja by night.

    What makes Daredevil such a great hero is that he is a man without fear. He sees danger all around him with his super-senses, yet he barrels into it with a smile on his face. Though he may fight wearing the red, white, and blue of America, Cap would stand up for anybody in need of a hero. He grew up as a weakling with a heart of gold, so when a super-soldier serum transformed him into a man at the peak of human potential — big muscles, astounding agility, unbelievable endurance — he was finally able to put that strong moral compass of his to good use.

    The culmination of nearly every superhero that came before him, Spider-Man is the hero of heroes. Not too hot and not too cold, Spider-Man is just right. All of that contributes to why we love him so much, but it goes deeper than that. His tragic origin story saw his Uncle Ben die after getting shot by a mugger he had the power to stop, leaving him with his most important lesson: Those words have gone on to inspire Spidey to be a selfless protector of New York City, using his webs and a well-timed quip to take down psychos like Carnage and mad geniuses like Doctor Octopus.

    The top 10 sidekicks of all time. The minions of Dr. Evil wanted to keep the criminal mastermind on track with his plans for global domination, and what better way than with a clone? Well, the plan was downsized a bit when the finished product was just 2-foot She fell in love with the Doctor in a way that made the audience fall in love with her and believe that, just maybe, time was on her side.

    But in the s, something interesting happened when the duo got their own TV show — all eyes were on the sidekick. The mythology would be tweaked and changed through the years — Bucky came back as the Winter Solider and even took on the Captain America costume himself. But for us, Bucky remains the famous fallen sidekick, and we salute him. That was the reason behind Tonto, the faithful Native American companion to Lone Ranger who began as a narrative aid but became far more than that as the Western masked-man mythology took hold of young imaginations across America.

    How big is Tonto in our collective memory? Actor Jay Silverheels is the definitive Tonto in the public memory, but Disney announced in that Johnny Depp who has some Cherokee heritage would take on the role in a new film version of the Lone Ranger, although the project seems to have lost momentum. This pick was … elementary. And, indeed, author Arthur Conan Doyle made a sublime decision with the choice of the brave, big-hearted sidekick who, over the course of their many adventures, became like brother to the brilliant but detached detective. Robin the Boy Wonder: Batman was introduced in May in the Detective Comics No.

    Just like Batman, young Dick Grayson was orphaned by crime, but instead of responding with rage, he put on a green Speedo, moved in with a rich guy and back-flipped into pop-culture history. The character — shaped by Jerry Robinson, who was a teenager at the time and also a sidekick of sorts to the Batman creative team of Bob Kane and Bill Finger — was a sensation with s readers who saw themselves in the young acrobat who was like a playful, pint-sized Robin Hood, tagging along with the two-fisted Dracula figure of DC Comics.

    Let the wookiee win. We never understood a word he was saying, but there was no one we would have wanted in the copilot seat next to us more than the big walking carpet himself, Chewbacca, the rangy, loyal Bigfoot of the Jedi universe. In the movies, he was born on the spelling-bee planet of Kashyyyk, but he was conceived in the front seat of a car owned by George Lucas — the wizard of Skywalker Ranch got the idea of a devoted, hirsute copilot by driving around with his Alaskan malamute, Indiana, who also would lend his name to a certain action-minded archaeologist.

    In the films, the towering Peter Mayhew brought Chewie to life, but he got plenty of help from costume designer Stuart Freeborn he knitted the costume with mohair and yak hair and sound designer Ben Burtt, who blended the recordings of bear, walrus, camel and badger to create the guttural lexicon of the wookiee. While the Joker surrounds himself with henchmen, it is generally unknown if he had any training in hand-to-hand combat himself. Harley Quinn, on the other hand, trained to be a gymnast in her youth and uses her Olympic-level skill and acrobatics when she fights.

    During one of her breaks from the Joker, she was also injected with a toxin antidote by Poison Ivy to make her immune from many diseases and chemicals, which also gave her more strength and stamina — explaining how she survives accidents that would be fatal to others. Bane has been on the big screen as a sidekick in two very different takes on the Batman franchise. He said his plan was to destroy Gotham along with the remnants of the League of Shadows. He helped her escape from the inescapable prison he was born in and then became her protector after she returned the favor.

    Both times, Bane is ever loyal to his mistresses and uses his brawn to protect them and help them carry out their plans at all cost. On the other side of the galaxy, a very unlikely duo wreaks havoc: Rocket Racoon, a fast-talking mercenary and his sidekick, Groot, a sentient plant-like being. But when it comes to heavy-hitting, Groot must step in to lend a hand, or a branch. Back on Earth, Hope van Dyne was not happy to be placed on the sidelines as her father, Hank Pym, trained a known cat-burglar to don the suit with his top-secret shrinking technology in Ant-Man.

    She could even use it speak to six and eight-legged creatures. She was kept out of the suit by her father who did not want to lose her like he lost her mother, who turned out to be his partner on many mini-scaled missions, The Wasp. With his wife lost somewhere in the quantum world, he did not want to risk losing his daughter in the same way. But hopefully, we will finally see Hope wearing the suit she so rightfully deserves since by the end of the film, she is given her own suit with updated technology so she can take over the wings of her mother in the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp.

    Another over-qualified sidekick to rule all sidekicks must be Kato from the Green Hornet series, which ran in the s. He is a martial arts master but also has hidden green darts in his sleeve that he uses for long-range attacks. A different kind of Cato is also stronger and much smarter than his main hero. Although he is loyal to the french Inspector, he is also trained to keep his boss alert and on his toes by attacking him at random, and often inappropriate moments. Clouseau even tries to avoid Cato by wearing disguises even whenever he returns home, which Cato always sees through.

    But all is well at the end of the love-hate relationship when Clouseau gets a phone call and they return to being civil towards one another again. Armed with her, what else, knives and her obsession with Scott, Knives was initially hell-bent on getting revenge on both Scott and Ramona. But, as seen in Scott Pilgrim Vs. They had a lot of practice working as a team since most of their dates consisted of them playing Dance Dance Revolution together.

    She was played in the movie by Ellen Wong, who won the role after several auditions when director Edgar Wright learned that she held a blue belt in Taekwondo. Underage sidekicks who kick ass was the norm for many superheroes. But one of the best sidekicks to come out of the pages of a comic book, one who did not even go through puberty yet, is Hit Girl from Kick-Ass.

    Trained by her own father, Big Daddy, to be an unstoppable killing machine, Hit Girl is ruthless with any weapon she gets her hands on. She accompanied Big Daddy on his missions and just like her old man, was remorseless and unflinching in the face of so much death and blood. Even though she outclasses him in skill and experience, she steps aside to disappear since she is wanted for murder, so that he can take the lead to fight for the citizens of New York.

    The crew of the Star Ship Enterprise were traveling through the far reaches of space for reasons exploration. However, the ship and its crew often came face to face with hostile aliens and technology. Spock, on the other hand, though he was more known for his superior intellect and logic, also had some muscle hiding under that Star Fleet uniform. As a half Vulcan, Spock was born stronger than the average human.

    It was established in the Star Trek: Second fiddle to the most recognized cowboy in television was Tonto, the Native American who rescued the Lone Ranger after his brother and other rangers were ambushed and killed by Butch Cavendish. He was played in the television series by Jay Silverheels, who was from the Mohawk tribe in Ontario, Canada. While the Lone Ranger was no masked hero to mess around with in the Wild West, his loyal friend was more than just a politically incorrect mascot. Among the two, he arguably has the more compelling backstory as the son of a Chief who turned his back on his own people.

    Also, he single-handedly nursed the Lone Ranger back to life and joined him on his quest for justice when all odds were against them. According to many, including Johnny Depp who portrayed Tonto in the film, Tonto was more than just a sidekick, but an equal to the Lone Ranger. This little Hobbit had no grand plans for riches, fame, or glory when he joined the Fellowship of the Ring.

    He merely wanted to accompany his best friend on his journey to make sure he came back home safely. Even though, as Frodo had to point out to him when they were are their most desperate, that they were likely not going to see the Shire again. But Sam kept pushing forward with Mr. And when Frodo himself thought that he could not walk any further, Sam stepped up and acknowledged that although he could not handle the burden of carrying the One Ring, he could certainly carry his friend. Hodor was charged with watching over Brandon Stark after he was pushed from the tower by Jaime Lannister and was paralyzed and could no longer walk on his own.

    Though Bran was physically incapacitated, Hodor became his legs and more for him. Hodor carried Bran all the way to the other side of the Wall, where Bran could meet the Three-Eyed Raven and learn to master his warging powers. Aside from Hodor carrying Bran everywhere, Bran also used his powers to warg into Hodor whenever they were in danger. It was a process that was uncomfortable for Hodor but he continued to care for the prince of Winterfell and his friends as they kept going further up North.

    Even to the very end, Hodor showed Bran his loyalty by keeping a swarm of wights at bay as Meera and Bran fled to safety. When Finding Nemo came out in theatres in , the story of a father would cross an entire ocean to find his missing son stole our hearts. But a little blue tang fish with a bit of a memory problem also stole the show.

    In Finding Dory, she once again shows both Marlin and Nemo how her unique brand of thinking outside the tank can get you wherever you need to go. She even manages to find a few sidekicks of her own, each with their own special quirks and strengths. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a pair of smugglers faced space pirates, an imperial army, bounty hunters, and the Hutts. Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookie were legendary both before and after the corrupt Galactic Republic was taken down. And, as he demonstrated in Star Wars: A New Hope, when he put back together C3P-0, he was a proficient engineer as well.

    In the expanded Star Wars universe, many Wookies from the planet Kashyyk were enslaved by the Empire because of their natural strength. They were made to work in spice mines and on dangerous construction projects like the Death Star. Burton is a long-haul trucker who really is only friendly with Wang because he owes him money from a gambling debt. He ends up tagging along when Wang goes to pick up his fiancee from the airport, but before the love birds are reunited, she is kidnapped by a gang with guns and knives a-blazing.

    The two must rescue her from the Chinese mob, ancient Chinese sorcerers, and shrimp monsters, among other things. Burton is confused for most of the movie, even knocking himself unconscious when some debris falls on his head after he shoots a round into the ceiling. While he can be best described as a liability, Wang, on the opposite end of the spectrum, is focused, well-trained in fighting, and is on a mission to save his green-eyed girlfriend.

    Growing up, all of us had heroes that filled our eyes with glimmer and our souls with courage. We dreamed about one day meeting them.