Wednesday June 10
Here’s a test for an aging hiker’s brain:
You’ve been to this remote and undeveloped forest a few times but not in many years — you know there’s a loop walk that can be done because someone led you on it, twice — but there’s no blazes or markings, and no map of any kind. The challenge: Can you remember the loop trail on your own, years later, amid a confusion of unmarked paths and crossroads?
Could I do this? never! That’s why we haven’t attempted this hike in years. But luckily we have the resourceful Tiger — amazingly, she was able to recall the way after so many years and lead us around successfully.
So now we have another delightful walk to add to our list — with three hikes a week, we need all the good ones we can get. We’ll be coming back out here in the fall before hunting season (we need a cool morning because a lot of the trail is uphill).
The loop is in deep shade basically the whole time, but we did hit one open sunny spot and I told the hikers to assemble for a photo — as they’ve done before, they insisted I should be taking the shot with the sun shining in their faces — I predicted that wouldn’t look so great. Judge for yourself — (if you don’t know, you can click any photo in these hike reports and you’ll get a high-resolution version — click again and you’ll get a blow-up version)
Official head count: 16 hikers, six dogs.
A number of the communities outside the city are pretty hip in their own way, with lots of professors living there, or artists or activists or old hippies — Newfield’s not in that group — and Freddy’s is not an enlightened place at all. Official head count for the diner: 12 hikers.
You can see six more photos by me online here.
Saturday June 13
Beautiful mild fresh morning after the awful high 80s heat of Friday afternoon — the path was still wet from the evening’s big storm, and it was muddy and quite slippery on the sharp ups and downs in the woods
We’ve lost the last segment of this walk — the landowner’s withdrawn permission — so now we have to turn around at Hines Road — we miss a couple of great fields but it’s not a fatal change because we can fill in the hike to get two hours by walking east of the cars to look at Fishkill Creek.
Official head count: 10 hikers, five dogs
You can see seven more photos by me online here
Sunday June 14
South leg of the Abbott Loop from Michigan Hollow Road, Danby
Fantastic walk up my favorite trail
I love everything about this hike, but what I like best is the long level stretch within a ravine about halfway up the hill where several streams converge — they’ve formed a big flood plain that’s full of running water and fallen tumbled-up trees, lush greenery, and mud — this was one of our muddier mornings — I really enjoy navigating mud myself but I realize not everyone else does, so maybe not everyone had quite as much fun as I did
We had to proceed pretty slowly because of the wet slippery conditions so we didn’t get beyond Bald Hill Road — that was good enough for me — it was steamy and the walk is genuinely strenuous so I was happy to turn around and cruise back to the cars just enjoying the gorgeous setting.
Official head count: 21 hikers, eight dogs
You can see eight more photos by me online here.
You can see Annie’s photos online here.