Report to Hikers: week of Aug 24-Aug 30

Hello Hikers!


Wednesday Aug 26

Bald Hill Road to Thatcher’s Pinnacles, Danby SF

Bald Hill Road to the Pinnacles 086

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

Bald Hill Road to the Pinnacles 102

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

Bald Hill Road to the Pinnacles 056

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.

Bald Hill Road to the Pinnacles 066

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.

Bald Hill Road to the Pinnacles 095

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

Tamarack Lean-to 176

Fantastic morning on a great pine trail

Tamarack Lean-to 131

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 Lean-to 148

Tamarack trees at the lean-to

Tamarack Lean-to 158

The drinkable spring just beyond the lean-to

Tamarack Lean-to 140

Travor Road crossing

Tamarack Lean-to 069

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

Monkey Run - Varna 041

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.

Monkey Run - Varna 057

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

Monkey Run - Varna 063

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.

Monkey Run - Varna 077

One bee sting  —  visiting hiker got it in the leg  —  aside from that, great morning

Monkey Run - Varna 050

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.