Wed April 15
April 15 in Ithaca is just about my favorite day of the year — to my mind, it’s the start of six straight months of weather that’s pretty much guaranteed to be good — and we got off to a really auspicious start this year, with a perfect morning for hiking in Ellis Hollow
This is an amazingly nice place to hike considering it’s in the middle of a basically residential neighborhood — it feels completely wild and there’s a wonderful variety of terrain and scenery — including some very lively stream crossings where it’s often touch and go whether you’ll get your shoes wet
For the first time ever, we walked across Ellis Hollow Creek Road and then up a right-of-way that runs underneath some big Nyseg power lines — we didn’t get very far but it seems worth exploring in the future
Official head count: 23 hikers, three dogs
Click here to see seven more shots online
Saturday April 18
Gorgeous morning, mid 60s with a little breeze — we hit a number of small highly picturesque gorges pretty much the equal of the ones we normally see on our regular trails — lots of off-trail walking but almost no underbrush …. the only problem was small branches lurking in the leaf litter to trip you up
Our walk had a festive quality — maybe it was the unfamiliar surroundings plus the spectacular weather — I watched everyone scoot under this downed tree — was anyone able to do it without propping themself on the ground?
We had two mishaps, one generally worrying and one worrying to me — but they both worked out — a hiker recovering from a bad cold came out a day too early and got heat exhaustion — cold and clammy, sweating heavily, a little vomiting — it passed in a few minutes but we were all concerned — a little later I realized my new $580 camera was missing — I was wearing it clipped to my belt in a brand new holster-pouch — search party activated — Katharine found it within two minutes — she seems to have a knack because she’s found other things in the woods before.
The get-together at Scott’s was great fun — minestrone.
We didn’t have enough time to see the high point of the walk, a fantastic lake view — next time — this hike is definitely worth redoing — the ride’s slightly long but if you take a secondary road for the last leg you see some fantastic huge flat farm fields
Official head countL 21 hikers, three dogs
Click here to see nine more shots online
Sunday April 19
(Want to see the the group lined up in one single shot? Click here)
This is the best of the various look-outs we encounter on our hikes, in my opinion — and early spring is the perfect time to check it out — mild but not so warm you get sweated up climbing the hill, no bugs, no leaves to block the view — a sense there’s many more beautiful days soon to come ….
There’s really something to be said for starting the walk to The Pinnacles at Bald Hill Road the way we did this time — you don’t arrive at the top with your ass totally dragging, and you feel fresher walking up and down through the gorgeous pine groves
Even so, a number of hikers chose the short cut back to the cars on the road instead of going the long way back up the hill on the trail to The Pinnacles — here’s more or less everyone before we split up
Official head count: 25 hikers, six dogs
Click here to see eight more shots online