Report to Hikers: week of April 27-May 3

Hello Hikers!


Wed April 29

Virgil Creek flood control earthworks, Dryden

Virgil Creek Dam 212

I’ve been out to this giant engineering project in southeast Dryden four times now — the first trip here (May 1 2013), I was utterly bowled over by the size and weirdness of the landscape — I’m happy to say it was just as fascinating this time around.
Virgil Creek Dam 151

The big attraction is the series of deep flood-water catchment basins and high berms jutting up between them — but it’s been a little tough to stretch the walk out for a full two hours unless you backtrack and dawdle around — this time, we turned up a side path and found ourselves in a whole new set of fields stretching off in a new direction, and there was plenty to see for the full two hours.

Virgil Creek Dam 237

I have a real weakness for photos of people spread out against the horizon — I think it’s left over from having seen The Seventh Seal in NYC in 1959 when I was 15 — the famous dance of death just stuck in my mind, never been able to get it out.
Virgil Creek Dam 278

After the hike we headed over to Norm’s house nearby for a hot dog cook-out — it was a gorgeous morning and we had a delightful time — Norm didn’t have any charcoal or hot-dog skewers so we made do with twigs — a little primitive, but fun.
Virgil Creek Dam 057

Official head count: 16 hikers, five dogs …. this gate crossing is our version of the start of the Kentucky Derby, by the way ….

You can see 10 more photos by me online here.

New hiker Annie clearly loved this place as much as me — you can see her photos at our group photo-sharing web site here.



Saturday May 2

Lloyd Stark Loop, Connecticut Hill
LLoyd Stark Loop 126

If you’ve been waiting for nice spring weather to come out onto the trail with us, you better get cracking
LLoyd Stark Loop 149

The woods at the higher elevations haven’t even started to turn green yet, and already it  was feeling like summer. We started this hike out in jackets, but they came off almost right away — by the time we were wrapping up, it seemed completely like a summer day
LLoyd Stark Loop 269

Dave, who led this hike, carefully warned everyone beforehand not to fall behind and risk getting lost on the confusing and poorly marked trails here ….
LLoyd Stark Loop 211

…. so what do you think  —  did someone do exactly what Dave said not to?

…. well, looking on the bright side, our lost hiker had cell phone reception and we were almost back to the cars and she emerged onto a road, so it could have been a lot worse.

We hit our first bugs of the season, a milestone I always can do without — but they weren’t biting — not me, anyway

Another limbo contest — apparently tougher than last week’s, because only two people, Mary W and Katharine, made it under the bar without touching the ground.
LLoyd Stark Loop 238

Official head count: 22 hikers, six dogs

You can see 10 more shots by me online here.

Our new hiker-photographer Annie has six photos up at our online photo-sharing site here.



Sunday May 3

Lick Brook
Lick Brook 157

We hadn’t done this fabulous trail since before the horrible winter set in, and it felt wonderful to be back here on a balmy morning, with a handful of midges in the air and the woods at lower elevation finally starting to turn green
Lick Brook 064

I won’t bother to try and describe how beautiful this walk is — if you’ve been here, you already know — if not, you really ought to check it out
Lick Brook 140

The creek was surprisingly dry for so early in the season, and it was warm verging on hot from the get-go ….
Lick Brook 177

…. I’m just mentioning this, not complaining …. this hike’s much too much fun to ever complain about

Lick Brook 050

Official head count: 22 hikers, seven dogs

You can see 10 more shots by me online here.