Wednesday Aug 26
Bald Hill Road to Thatcher’s Pinnacles, Danby SF
This walk is the lazy hiker’s way to get up to The Pinnacles look-out — you start two-thirds of the way up the long hill from the valley below, and by the time you get up to the top, you’re barely even breathing hard
For half the year, The Pinnacles is a wonderful place with a fantastic view into the inlet valley and out across West Hill — the other half year, when the leaves are out, it’s a bit of a dud
I always take a group shot to mark the occasion, but it really lacks drama with all the trees blocking the view and covering the distant hill. The state DEC has just done a good bit of logging along this trail segment — they need to do some serious cutting right behind where our guys are posing.
One thing I really like about this hike is that it gives us the chance to walk back and forth through one of my favorite pine woods of all, along the southern leg of the trail between the look-out and Bald Hill Road — I love to come here, and doing it the lazy way, without a big huffing-and-puffing climb, is especially fun.
Official head count: 14 hikers, five dogs.
You can see seven more photos by me online here.
You can see Jack V’s photos online here.
Saturday Aug 29
South Danby Road east to the Tamarack Lean-to on the FLT, Danby SF
Fantastic morning on a great pine trail
Nothing notable to report on — just a wonderful hike. A lot of the trail is underlain by a thick carpet of pine needles — makes for delightfully springy walking, especially during a long dry spell like we’ve been having
Tamarack trees at the lean-to
The drinkable spring just beyond the lean-to
Travor Road crossing
Official head count: 20 hikers, seven dogs
You can see eight more photos by me online here.
Sunday Aug 30
Monkey Run Natural Area, south side of Fall Creek, Varna
I’d never want to suggest that our hikes are ever remotely exciting — but neither are they all trudging quietly through the woods looking at wildflowers and mushrooms — we do have lively moments from time to time — here we were about to step off when a huge dog suddenly emerged from the woods, barely restrained by its powerfully built young owner, and got into a wild barking match with our newest hiking dog, tiny 10-pound Gonzo, who looks to be a breed known for fearless behavior — very amusing spectacle.
This is the point on the trail where we first emerge from the deep woods and abruptly find ourselves a few feet away from a spectacular section of the Fall Creek gorge — there’s a sheer drop-off of 100 feet or more straight down — I’ve never been able to capture the full scene in a photo
Here’s what the edge of the gorge looks like — Eckhart’s less than a foot from the edge and his dog Tori is only inches away — the pale overly bright area between Eckhart and Tori is the stream far below — fabulous spot, but terrifying for those of us afraid of heights.
One bee sting — visiting hiker got it in the leg — aside from that, great morning
Official head count: 31 hikers, four dogs
You can see six more photos by me online here.
You can see Jack V’s online photos here — including Gonzo.