Report to Hikers: week of March 9-15

Hello Hikers!

Wed March 11

Road walk, Hillview Road from Route 34-96 to Michigan Hollow Road, South Danby

Hillview Road 069

Fabulous spring-like morning along the Tioga County line — mid 40s, sunshine, birds singing in the bushes — there was a dense fog warning in effect, though we didn’t see much ourselves, and it was beautifully damp.

Hillview Road 021

Hillview’s an odd little road (2 miles long) that doesn’t seem to connect anywhere important — in great condition for an obscure country road — just a scattering of houses — but two commercial operations that probably explain the quality of the road — a garbage dump, now abandoned and reclaimed, and a big sand and gravel operation that produced the only traffic we saw.

Hillview Road 126

I know that lots of people, if given the choice, would rather hike in the mountains — I prefer the rolling countryside we get around here, with the patchworks of fields and hills and the distant views — and this walk had some really good examples. The scene above is where Hillview dead ends into lower Michigan Hollow Road — it has a wonderfully bucolic feeling.

Hillview Road 197

Official head count: 13 hikers, three dogs

Hillview Road 100

I always like to know how deep the snow is on our walks — it looked extremely deep in spots this time — Wan volunteered to check it out, but then he backed out after climbing up to the edge of the snow field and deciding he didn’t want to get wet up to his mid-thighs.

You can see nine more shots from the hike here.


Sat March 14

Pi Day celebration and road walk on Peter Road, Danby

peter Road, South Danby 104

Bit of a grim morning in Danby, dark, wet and raw — but despite the gloomy atmospherics, we had a great time

peter Road, South Danby 020

The Pi Day ceremony in Danby Town Hall was fun in a low-key way — seemed like the hikers made up almost half the crowd at 9:26:53 when the official once-in-a-century pi moment arrived — Tiger and I never have pie at home, for reasons I won’t touch on, so I was very happy to have two kinds at the ceremony, both probably store-bought, quite tasty

peter Road, South Danby 111

We’ve had extremely good luck finding picturesque country roads to walk on while we wait for the snow to melt, and Peter Road was very satisfying — the only problem was that it was treacherously icy in a few spots

peter Road, South Danby 068

Not many houses at all, so it was noteworthy that we met people from three different homes — one woman and her dog walked with us for almost an hour — the dog with the fellow in shirtsleeves loved our dogs so much she wouldn’t go home until her owner snagged her — and we met another woman further down the road — normally we never meet anyone, so it was fun

peter Road, South Danby 054

Just one real curiosity, an old cemetery you can see behind the hikes waiting to step off — Dave climbed up the wall of ice to look at the dates (photo here), but I forgot what he said.

Official head counts: 14 hikers, five hiker dogs, two non-hiker dogs and three cars.

You can see seven more photos here.



Sun March 15

Snowmobile trail, Shindagin Hollow SF

Shindagin Hollow snowmobile trail 133

Great stormy morning on the trail …. snow, sleet and gusty winds — the roads were snowy as we drove to the trail head; the plows and salt trucks were just coming out — Braley Hill Road is often slippery and it was really jivey this time and our cars were sliding around — Tiger and I got there first by quite a few minutes; we wondered if anyone else was going to show ….

Shindagin Hollow snowmobile trail 055

…. no need for concern — the usual hard-core group who’ve come out all winter — official head count: 14 hikers, four dogs — no snowmobilers, one lone skier

Shindagin Hollow snowmobile trail 111

The snowmobile trail was in very good shape for walking despite last week’s mild weather — just a few minor dents and depressions and ripples — we took it down to the beautiful swamp near where Gulf Creek Road comes in — fantastic gloomy brooding scenery everywhere

Shindagin Hollow snowmobile trail 080

Recently Diego Beck has taken to disappearing and causing us some anxiety — Brenda decided to bring a bag of treats for him and Ruby to see if that would keep him near us — worked very well, at least this time

Shindagin Hollow snowmobile trail 112

Speaking of Brenda, I want to mention an innovation she brought to us this winter, the face mask — she gave me one that I’ve worn off and on; I wore it for the first part of this hike until I heated up — it can be a little steamy, but what a godsend on some of these windy mornings

You can see seven more photos online here