Report to Hikers: week of Dec 21-Dec 27

Hello Hikers!

A note about the photos in this report — we’re still working on repairing the web site so the embedded shots become clickable again — meanwhile, I’ve included a link for each photo to the online version — there, you can click “View Original” in the menu bar to see a hi res version — click that, and you’ll get a blow-up.

Wednesday Dec 23

Buttermilk Falls rim trail
Buttermilk Falls rim trail and Bear Trail 041          Click here to see this photo online
This was the first time we had four hikes scheduled for one week — I wondered if it was overkill, and if anyone would show up — but people clearly wanted to hike, as you can see
Buttermilk Falls rim trail and Bear Trail 063          Click here to see this photo online
We don’t do the rim trail along Buttermilk Creek very often — I think of it as being on the borderline between touristic and a real hike — it’s certainly strenuous enough to count as a real hike — it was nicely deserted on this gloomy morning — so we had a chance to behave a little like tourists ourselves, and it was delightful
Buttermilk Falls rim trail and Bear Trail 068          Click here to see this photo online
Whoever had the idea to put a bridge across the upper part of the gorge, it was a stroke of genius. The spot has a wonderful intimate feel to it and the setting couldn’t be more picturesque. I wonder how long I could hang out here leaning on the railing before I got bored.
Buttermilk Falls rim trail and Bear Trail 065          Click here to see this photo online
Our group is definitely elderly, and it’s always fun when we have some young people hiking with us. These are the twin college-age sons of regular hiker Mary — they tore up the steepest parts of the trail like a couple of gazelles — it’s probably for the best we don’t have physically fit young people hiking with us more often — they’d end up restless and impatient as we gasped our way up the steep parts.
Buttermilk Falls rim trail and Bear Trail 030          Click here to see this photo online
Official head count: 23 hikers, five dogs

You can see Jack V’s online photos here.



Friday Dec 25

Tamarack Lean-to, South Danby, followed by eggnog at Hobit’s and then soup at Katharine’s
Tamarack Lean-to 157          Click here to see this photo online
We’ve done Christmas Day hikes before, but this was the first time we tried holiday-type get-togethers afterwards — a complete blast! That Spirit of Christmas on the trail is Katharine.
Tamarack Lean-to 209          Click here to see this photo online
The advice from our food coordinator Liz to put the liquor in the eggnog ahead of time was fantastic — the taste really is completely different, and super delicious — it would be very easy to drink multiple cups of this quickly enough to end up staggering around. Tiger and I went over to Katharine’s as Hobit’s event was winding down — Katharine runs a paradise for animals and we got to watch one of her cats eat butter off the counter, a new sight for us — we had to leave early but other people were pouring in as we drove away
Tamarack Lean-to 112          Click here to see this photo online
It was fabulous on the trail to the Tamarack Lean-to — overcast and cool at first, then the sun came out and the temperature was just perfect for hiking
Tamarack Lean-to 180          Click here to see this photo online
…. felt like a beautiful early spring day by the time we got back to South Danby Road and the cars
Tamarack Lean-to 029          Click here to see this photo online

Official head count: 36 hikers, seven dogs

It’s been many many years since I in a house with young children on Christmas morning — Hobit has two kids and I was curious to see what the scene would be like there — judge for yourself
Tamarack Lean-to 229          Click here to see this photo online
You can see 10 more photos by me online here

You can see Annie’s online photos here



Saturday Dec 26

Six Mile Creek, south side rim trail
Six Mile Creek rim trail 108          Click here to see this photo online
Lovely cool grey morning on South Hill. The hike had a nice relaxed feeling to it.

Six Mile Creek rim trail 122

          Click here to see this photo online
This trail has just about the ideal mixture of ups and downs, one of the hikers pointed out — the atmospherics were right on for the lively terrain, around 40, so we were neither hot nor cold, really a nice state to be in

Six Mile Creek rim trail 063

          Click here to see this photo online
A number of the hikers had been at the Christmas party at Katharine’s the evening before and there was a lot of happy talking about how great it was — people dancing, and everyone watched The Last Waltz, the 1978 concert movie about Dylan’s back-up group, the Band

Six Mile Creek rim trail 009

          Click here to see this photo online
Official head count: 27 hikers, four dogs

You can see seven more shots by me online here.


Sunday Dec 27

Huge storm coming straight at us on the radar — Tiger and I went back and forth repeatedly on what to do — at a few minutes before 8 I decided we’d go ahead and hike — but by 8:05 it was raining heavily at our house and Tiger felt the NWS doppler was now indicating we’d almost certainly get some hard rain if we hiked — so I reluctantly cancelled.
Meanwhile, two of our super-regulars, Roger and Eckhart, didn’t see the cancellation e-mail I sent out — they showed up at the trail head at the regular time. Roger’s report:

” Eckhart and I had a fine hike with near constant drizzle throughout.
It didn’t quite soak through my non-waterproof coat. Headed north from
Star Stanton Hill Road and looped around on some trails I’d never
walked. Passed into lovely spruce forest and onto a hilltop with no
distant view in the total overcast. My GPS compass came in handy. Ruby
missed Brenda’s treats and all the attention she normally gets.
So we didn’t achieve our first four-hike week after all, and we missed a lovely morning in the woods, to my regret. We’ll try again this coming week — three regular hikes plus a special New Year’s Day hike and tailgate partry on Friday — stay tuned.
There’s a couple of trail hazards we need to watch out for at this time of year — nasty roots and snags in the pathway that are covered with dried leaves, and slippery wet mud on the downhills also covered with dead leaves. And now we have a new hazard ….
Tamarack Lean-to 185
          Click here to see this photo online
…. Norm lurking ahead of the group and taking videos as we pass him by not really paying attention to what he’s doing — he took a number of videos Friday and he said he’d edit them into one piece — I await the results with curiosity ….