Report to Hikers: week of Nov 23-Nov 29

Hello Hikers!


Thanksgiving Day

Lick Brook, followed by a get-together at Katharine’s

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I think the ideal Thanksgiving morning for a hike is cold, dark and threatening — so when you walk into the house afterwards you truly are thankful it’s toasty warm and smelling deliciously of food.
Lick Brook 155I guess the next best thing is a 50-degree morning where half the hikers finish up with their coats off and you can sit outside on the deck afterwards in lovely sunlight drinking a beer, like I did at Katharine’s

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It took a bit of back-and-forth about who was coming, who wanted what and who was bringing what, but it ended up a wonderful party  —  huge amounts of food and lots of people who weren’t doing anything better after the hike.

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The slightly disheveled little dog in the left foreground of this shot is Mimi, who lives with Katharine.  She’s quite old and blind, and she has a huge lump on her back that’s probably a tumor  —  clearly, she’s in her senior years and probably on the down slope  —  but she lives in a delightfully lively household with two other dogs and two cats and Katharine and Scott to take care of her  —  here’s hoping we hikers who are all aging along with Mimi can do as well  —  that’ll be something to be thankful for.

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It was gorgeous in the woods along Lick Brook  —  someone who’d never done the hike before when the leaves were down was exclaiming over the beauty of the terrain  —  I’ve been beating the drum for this stunning effect for years  —  glad someone noticed.

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Official head counts:

Hike:  25 hikers, four dogs

Get-together:  35 hikers, six dogs

You can see 10 more photos by me online here.

You can see Jack V’s photos here.


Saturday Nov 28

Taughannock Falls SP, rim trail and lakefront

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This was exactly the morning I hoped for on Thanksgiving  —  raw, brooding, mid-30s, raining when we left home and on the way to the trail head, though it didn’t rain during the hike

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The Taughannock gorge and the woods and the lake looked fabulous in the gloomy light  —  unfortunately, I was using the camera while wearing gloves and I messed up the settings without realizing it and half my photos failed to come out  —  so none of the atmospheric shots I took worked out  —  instead, the best I’ve got is the hikers looking at the beautiful gorge from the lookout, and from the old railroad bridge that crosses the creek

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It really is worth doing this walk after the leaves fall down  —  the views are exceptional.

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Here’s the one semi-OK shot I got showing the trail along the rim.  Doesn’t do justice at all ….

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The temperature actually dropped a little during our hike and it was chilly even for our own Mr Hot-Blood, Jack V, who’s always warmer than the rest of us  —  he took off his jacket for a minute at my urging, but then he put it right back on

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Official head count:  18 hikers, two dogs


Sunday Nov 29

Lime Hollow Nature Preserve, McLean

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We’re going to start coming to Lime Hollow more than once a year — it’s a wonderful hike, and a number of our regular hikers live midway between the city and McLean so it’s not a particularly long drive for them.
Lime Hollow 141This will have one big benefit for us — we can start to learn our way around the trails better — the nature center publishes a very good map, but the trails network is confusing, and even when you’ve got the map in your hand it’s not always clear how to proceed.
Lime Hollow 064So we did a bit of milling around this time — I’ve been out here a number of times myself but it’s always only once a year, and I can never remember what we did from year to year so I’m useless for finding the way.
Lime Hollow 075The preserve is a great mixture of woods and fields — the wooded areas are often cleaner of scrubby underbrush that we normally see, and the trails go up and down and in and out of dark pine groves in a delightful way.
Lime Hollow 152I’m a huge fan of rolling fields and the ones here are really beautiful — the fields area is used for cross-country skiing and several hikers who’d never been out here before are now eager to come skiing.

One downbeat note: Doug’s Fish Fry has raised its prices — food’s still fabulous but now it costs more than Tiger and I want to pay.

Official head count: 39 hikers

You can see nine more photos by me online here.