Report to Hikers: week of May 11-17

Hello Hikers!


Wednesday May 13

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home, to the high bluffs across Freese Road

Stevens Suspension Bridge 103

Chilly grey breezy morning along Fall Creek, with occasional sprinkles  —  everyone was bundled up  —  some hikers were even wearing gloves  —  it was a complete delight to be cool again after the previous week’s heat wave.

Stevens Suspension Bridge 045

It seems to me that when spring finally arrives every year, the best place to get the full lush and green impact is in the flood plains right along the banks of Fall Creek, where the vegetation always seems a little wild and exuberant  —  it certainly looked beautiful along this stretch.

Stevens Suspension Bridge 081

We walked up into the huge fields along the bluff on the north side of the creek valley  —  I always love the wide open spaces effect, especially on a day when there’s a gloomy cast to the sky

Stevens Suspension Bridge 090

Normally we walk through the Cornell golf course as part of this hike, but this time we went the other direction, across Freese Road and along the high bluffs along the north side of Fall Creek  —  this stretch is really undercut  and dramatic  —  I never get within 15 feet of the edge but Annie got some shots where you can get an idea of what it looks like.

Official head count:  12 hikers, one dog.

You can see seven more photos by me online here.

You can see Annie’s photos from this hike here.



Saturday May 16

Roy H Park Preserve into Hammond Hill SF, Dryden

Roy H Park Preserve 057

Beautiful damp mild morning along Irish Settlement Road  —  we got some decent rain early in the morning and there was still a fresh spring feeling in the air when we stepped off.

Roy H Park Preserve 088

An unusual number of our regulars were out of town or otherwise engaged, including my Tiger, off looking after her brother, who was badly banged up in a motorcycle accident a few weeks ago  —  I’m happily eating a deliciously unhealthy diet while she’s away

Roy H Park Preserve 072

Official head count:  10 hikers, three dogs.

Everyone insisted this photo wouldn’t come out, because I was facing toward the sun and I should have had the sun at my back  —  I argued if the hikers were facing into the sun, they’d all look horrible with the bright glaring light right in their faces lighting up the sags and creases and wrinkles.

Roy H Park Preserve 038

Some mosquitoes …. they were biting other people but none got me  —  one mishap  —  Roger lost his iPhone out of its holster on the way back to the cars  —  he turned back to hunt for it, but a small group of people hiking behind us had already found it and gave it to him

Roy H Park Preserve 114

This trail segment has some great dark-forest action on it  —  as usual, I failed to capture any of it  —  this shot is the next best thing, the dark mass in the background behind Jack B and Betty at least gives a hint of what you can see.

You can see seven more shots by me here.

You can see Annie’s photos here.



Sunday May 17

Monkey Run Natural Area, south side of Fall Creek, Varna

Monkey Run south side 091

More rain overnight, another gorgeous mild morning on the trail.

Monkey Run south side 062

This walk is very popular with the hikers, and understandably so.  It takes us past a whole series of delightful spots, some of which are so dark I don’t bother trying to photograph them  —  so you need to join us if you want to see the whole package.  The top photo shows West Beach  —  the shot right above is the dramatic high bluffs stretch  —  it’s 100 feet straight down  —  as I mentioned, I never approach the edge, but you can see some bluffs shots in Annie’s photo album from this hike, linked below.

Monkey Run south side 108

This is the huge Cornell fields area  —  I always shepherd everyone over here so I can get an unposed group shot  —  I also want them to admire the sweeping open area, but as you can see, no one pays any attention or even seems to notice, they’re so busy talking

Monkey Run south side 128

One of the two east beaches  —  a lovely bucolic spot  —  the last time we were here the creek was frozen solid and we were standing out in the middle on the thick ice.

Monkey Run south side 035

Official head count:  31 hikers, five dogs.

You can see nine more shots by me here.

You can see Annie’s photos here.



Special photo report  —  walk across England  —  by Jack V


Regular hikers Jack V, John & Kathy finished up a walk from one coast of England to the other last week.  Here are the details, from Jack:

“The Coast to Coast walk is a 192 mile walk across England. Most people start on the west coast at St Bees and walk east to Robin Hood Bay. It goes through 3 national parks: Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. The trail is not a national trail of England and is sometimes difficult to follow. It is a wonderful way to see the different regions of England.

We hiked an average of 13.5 miles per day with the longest being about 26 and the shortest 8. We stayed at B&Bs, all very high quality. The food was very good, we sometimes ate dinner at the B&B and other times at a pub. The weather had everything: rain, snow, hail, strong wind, cold and sun shine. We had about 5 beautiful day for hiking out of 14.”

Click here to see Jack’s photo album from the trip.