Wednesday Sept 23
Robinson Hollow SF, followed by lunch at Vicki’s, Tioga County
I’ve come to think this walk from the Route 79 valley up into Robinson Hollow SF is one of our toughest — there’s an extremely steep up, and then a steep down, in each direction — the path can be narrow and twisty with quite a treacherous surface — poor trail markings in spots — I’m not complaining — it’s a delightful hike through some beautiful woods, and I always enjoy it — it’s also very dark when the leaves are out, and I’ve generally given up trying to take hiker-in-action photos — luckily our hikers plopped down on this stone bench for a few minutes and I had time to fiddle the camera settings until I could get a shot.
If we hadn’t gone to Vicki’s house a few miles away for soup and salad after the hike, this would have been a short and poorly illustrated hike report. But her house was flooded with bright light, and I was able to get enough shots to have something to show you. This first scene is what you see as you drive up to her place, just the house and garage and an outbuilding against the sky.
Official head count: 15 hikers, two dogs
You can see seven more shots by me online here.
You can see shots by Jack V online here.
Saturday Sept 26
Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve
I don’t know if the shortage of rain this month is doing any serious damage, but it sure has made for some fantastic hiking conditions — the air’s had a wonderful dry smell and feel to it and the ground seems more fun to walk on — there’s no evidence left over from the big downpour a week ago — I don’t mind mud on the trail but there’s none to be seen now and that’s really pleasant
The walk through the Ellis Hollow nature preserve is always very dark — once in a while a nice scene that might be bright enough for a photo will suddenly appear, but then the group has moved on even before I can pull out my camera — here’s one shot when everyone was standing still ….
We’ve now expanded this hike into an area across the street that’s open to the public where the are some big fields — I love overgrown fields but I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm — “Just looks like a bunch of weeds to me,” said one hiker
A point of curiosity: Our super-regular hikers Dennis and Elizabeth, who live near the preserve, told me they walked exactly where I took this shot on their wedding day 35 years ago — they look pretty cheerful in the photo so I guess it went OK
Official head count: 15 hikers, seven dogs
You can see six more photos by me online here.
Sunday Sept 27
Six Mile Creek from Juniper Drive to the upper reservoir
Another gorgeous morning — a tiny bit of chill in the air and some of the hikers who came out without jackets started to grumble and get antsy standing around waiting to start — sounds like the end of the unseasonably mild days is coming up — supposed to be 10 degrees cooler next weekend
The water level in the creek bed we walk down was low but I was a little surprised to see any water at all — other streams we’ve crossed on our recent hikes have been completely dry — it’s much easier to navigate this stream during a dry spell but I still managed to soak one foot
The steep hill we have to climb somehow managed to be still a little wet too, and I had a few brief sensations I was about to slide backwards — had to go up on my hands and knees in several spots — it can be a bit stressful at the moment, but once you’ve finished the ascent it’s all downhill and the scenery is fantastic
Our route took us through another big overgrown field — doesn’t seem like many people use this path and the weeds were over my head in spots — some grumbling by hikers behind me but I thought it was lots of fun
Official head count: 21 hikers, eight dogs
Six of our more rugged hikers decided to look for a different way back from the upper reservoir, along the edge of Six Mile Creek if possible — they followed some deer trails and climbed another steep hill — about 70% of the time, they were bushwhacking, according to Roger. The rest of us did the last leg of the hike along the South Hill Rec Way — a little tame, but always very pretty.
You can see seven more photos by me online here.