News flash: We’ll have a holiday weekend get-together in Freeville on Sunday July 3 on the way home from our regular hike. Swimming, beer and snacks under the trees. Stay tuned.
Wednesday June 22
Road walk, dairy farm area between Freeville and McLean west of Fall Creek Road
Another in our series of road walks in unfamiliar rural neighborhoods — this neighborhood turned out to be spectacular, spread out across the flat top of a hill with distant views in all directions — the morning weather was incredibly nice — the walk quickly became one of the best we’ve done in some years
We often see cows standing around in a field outside an old barn on the way to our various hikes, but this dairy farm is in a different league — basically just a number of huge open sheds scattered around, all looking very crisp and tidy
I doubt many groups of walkers pass by this farm — one of the hikers claimed she saw some of the cows looking at us with an expression on their faces that said, “We want to be out on the road with you!”
Most of our walk was through open areas but we did hit a few wooded spots — important if you need to make a pit stop
Official head count: 18H, two D
You can see more photos by me online here
Saturday June 25
The Saddle, Connecticut Hill WMA
When we have a hike in an out-of-the-way area like this, it might help if you spend a few minutes beforehand and draw a crude little map of the directions — especially of the intersections you need to negotiate — there are often no road signs at the corners, and it’s a big help if you have a blow-up sketch showing the road geometry in detail
For whatever reason, these Connecticut Hill woods aren’t quite as dense as we get in some other areas — the shadows aren’t as black, we don’t get as many extreme sun-and-shade conditions — you can see a bit better and the woods have a lovely luminous quality on a sunny day
We hit several areas that smelled intensely sweet, and some that had a delightful light piney smell, made more spicy by the very dry conditions. The last leg of the drive to and from the meet-up, on Tower Road, was churned up into such an incredibly dusty mess by the cars you actually had trouble seeing.
Most of our Connecticut Hill hikes are on ski trails — these trails used to be marked with widely spaced little markers but these have been taken down, apparently by the state, which doesn’t really like the trails — the result now is that the trails are completely unmarked and obscure — if Dave B had, say, suddenly sprained his ankle, we would have been lost in the wilderness — I doubt any of us could have picked out the route we’d taken in
Dave’s extremely conscientious and organized about leading us around in this wild area — he walks the trail a few days beforehand, for instance, something Tiger and I never do — he also likes to clock the hike with a stop watch — he’s really superb at pacing — our hikes are theoretically supposed to last two hours — he brought us in in two hours and one second
Check out Jack V’s shots online here.
Sunday June 26
Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home, east into Monkey Run Natural Area
Check out Jack V’s shots online here