Report to Hikers: Week of Dec 7-Dec 13

Hello Hikers!
Update: This web site is currently somewhat broken — the embedded photos are supposed to be clickable so you can call up a high-resolution version — the function’s not working — if you want to see good versions of the 12 photos in this post, go here. When you’re looking at any individual photo, you can access a high res version by clicking “View Original” in the menu bar — click this version once to blow it up. We’re working to repair the web site but it’s taking a little time.
Wednesday Dec 9  —  Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve
Saturday Dec 12  —  Treman SP on the Finger Lakes Trail
Sunday Dec 13  —  Monkey Run Natural Area, north side of Fall Creek 
Monkey Run - north side 247
I hope all of you were able to spend enough time outdoors during this fantastic warm spell.  We hikers had a wonderful time on each of our three walks  —  at the moment, it looks like the mild days will be gone by next weekend  —  it sure was great while it lasted.
Monkey Run - north side 232
Our group is maybe a little different from other groups in that the older you get, the more and more respect you automatically get  —  for being able to continue keeping up with the rest of us.  We have two hikers over 80  — Eckhart, 84, and Jack B, who turned 81 Sunday  —  some of our best singers treated Jack to “Happy Birthday” while the rest of us looked on  —  I couldn’t get Jack in the group photo but here he is the day before in Treman SP
Treman SP on the FLT 185
No matter how rugged the trail is, Jack never uses hiking sticks or a walking staff  —  it’s amazing to watch him navigate without any support.
Any speaking of amazing, look at this
Monkey Run - north side 175
…. that’s Eckhart walking on the top of the big girder on the old Monkey Run Road bridge  —  Roger has done the girder in the past but he didn’t feel up to it Sunday  —  I was hoping our hiker-athlete Tracey would give the girder a try but she had already zoomed ahead with a small group of speed demons so she missed the whole challenge event.
Ellis Hollow NP 187
On our Wednesday hike at Ellis Hollow, it truly felt like spring.  We ended up alongside Cascadilla Creek across the street from the preserve  —  a balmy wind from the south started blowing and it seemed just like winter had finished and spring was on the way in  —  I know our skiers dearly love the snow but I’d be delighted to fast-forward four months  That’s Marianne in the photo —  it might look like I posed her but I didn’t.
Treman SP on the FLT 096
Saturday’s walk in Treman SP started out chilly but we kept up a very lively pace on the steep outbound leg  — everyone was in good spirits  —  it warmed up pretty fast  —  our Mr Hot-Blood, Jack V, soon was in his shirtsleeves
Treman SP on the FLT 167
and it had climbed to the low 50s by the time we wrapped up the hike
Treman SP on the FLT 234
Sunday’s hike was mild from the start, and we had a fabulous time
Monkey Run - north side 284
This is the spot where we always turn around on this walk  —  the bluffs across the creek on the left are where Boomer the dog fell and survived.
Parking lot shots and head counts:
Monkey Run - north side 025
I like to do parking lot photos because they give you a rough idea of how many hikers turned out, and you can get a sense of the energy level of the hike  —   I generally like to squeeze in as many people as I can  —   of course the result can be that they’re very small  —  I remind you that you can click on any photo in these hike reports and you’ll get a full-size high resolution version  —  click once again and you’ll see a blow-up  —  I try to always use photos where you can see the people’s faces more or less clearly in the blow-ups.
Sunday’s official head count:  46 hikers, eight dogs
Treman SP on the FLT 073
Official head count:  29 hikers, six dogs
Ellis Hollow NP 052
Official head count:  22 hikers, five dogs
More photos online
Some people have told me they never click on the links to our online photos, which are posted on a photo-sharing web site run by Microsoft called OneDrive.  If you do look, you’ll see photos, usually by Annie and Jack V, that give you the larger picture of our hikes.  I only take photos of people, and typically I crop the photos quite tightly.  Annie and Jack focus on the scenery  —  they also zero in on unusual and picturesque sights.  If you click on my online photos, they’re similar to the ones I use in the hike reports.  OneDrive lets you access a high resolution version of any shot, which you can then enlarge  —  click “View Original” in the header.  You can also download any photo you like.