Wednesday May 20
Willseyville Creek flood plain, Caroline
For the second Wednesday in a row, we were hit with a big weather change just before our hike —stifling hot spell abruptly cleared out overnight, and we shaped up at a raw and breezy trail head — half the group had gloves on when we stepped off.
It was definitely cold waiting to start — and one big group got antsy and burst off down the trail before all the latecomers had trickled in — no big deal, except in this case it led to a mixup —
This walk consists of three elements: an old railroad right-of-way through a big swamp, a series of lovely sweeping fields, and a huge picturesque pond. The people who started early didn’t know about the fields and the pond, so they spent the whole time forging ahead up the right-of-way ….
Now, this old train bed has its leafy overgrown charms, but the hikers in the front group missed out on some other great sights. I should have phoned them right away and told hem to wait for the rest of us, of course — except I didn’t think of that until two days later.
Anyway, here’s the big pond that some of us saw — if I’d stood further back, you could see more of it …. it’s really very lovely and striking — alas, none of us got to see the sweeping fields this time; this involves a detour and we ran out of time for this amid the crossed signals.
Official head count: 17 hikers, three dogs.
I took some photos of the hikers’ faces — click here.
You can see seven more action photos by me here.
You can see Annie’s shots from this hike here.
Saturday May 23
Upper Six Mile Creek, from Juniper Drive to the upper reservoir
Gorgeous cool morning on the trail after the temperature dipped down below 30 overnight — just the right amount of water in the rocky stream bed so it was great fun but not too challenging
Beautiful serene mood at the upper reservoir — I didn’t get over to the edge of the big dam to photograph the water rushing over, but Annie got some shots — here’s the best I have to show — our guys are standing on the wall of the dam, which you can just see underfoot ….
Very dark shade in the woods, photos generally didn’t work out ….
But there was some pleasant lighter shade in a few spots that made for a lovely effect
Official head count: 27 hikers, five dogs
You can see eight more shots by me online here.
I also got six shots of the hikers navigating the stream bed — click here. Photos a bit grainy because of the low light, but good enough to capture the scene — this part of the hike went over very well with the first-timers.
Click here to see Annie’s shots from the hike.
Sunday May 24
Kennedy State Forest, Virgil
Managed to squeeze in another gorgeous morning on the trail ahead of the latest big heat wave lumbering up from the south — beautifully fresh on the outbound leg, starting to get a little warm on the way back to the cars, but still delightful.
Some of our walks have a variety of scenery — this one is pretty much just pure woods — but what woods they are! they go on and on — really exceptionally lovely …. very little undergrowth, dramatic light-and-shadow patterns
There is one change of scene, when we come to Owego Hill Road and walk up that for a little while — it has a great country feeling, wonderfully shady, lots of big mud puddles
Official head count: 15 hikers, five dogs
As those of you who’ve hiked with us know, I’m always a bit nutty about trying to wrap up our hikes in exactly two hours — who cares, right — alas, I have no rich inner thoughts like some people do, so this is the kind of mundane thing I think about while I’m walking along — I bring this up because we managed to complete both the Sat and the Sun hikes in pretty much precisely two hours – yeah!
I didn’t get any extra action shots this time, too shady for good photos, but I did get some face shots while we were standing around that you can see online here.