Report to Hikers: week of April 3-April 9


Hello Hikers!


Wednesday April 5

Road walk  —  Newtown Road and Halpin Road, Odessa

This was our third exploratory walk in the hills between Cayuta Lake and Texas Hollow in Schuyler County.  As usual, I picked out the route not by checking it out beforehand but solely by studying the map.

I look for several things to make a country road walk successful  —  sweeping views, rolling terrain and bucolic rural scenery.  At first this walk didn’t have any of these  —  it was nice enough but a bit pedestrian  —  I wondered if I’d messed up this time ….

Then the terrain started to fall away and we saw some horse and cows ….  they began to run along down the road with us behind their electric fence …

It got very amusing as the herd kept up with us for maybe a half mile  —  meanwhile the scenery opened up more and more into a gorgeous valley

The animals seemed to enjoy us as much as we did them  —  I doubt they get many groups of walkers to look at

We turned up a dirt road that looked like a driveway  —  it kept going deeper and deeper into the woods and we turned around after a half-hour of walking on it wondering where it actually went to

So many wonderful animals to look at this time  —  there was a background smell of manure in the air but it was mixed with the sweet smell of hay so it wasn’t bad at all

Two policemen stopped us (a first), this sheriff’s deputy and an off-duty state highway patrolman in his personal car  —  both warned us walking on Newtown Road could be dangerous because drivers routinely go very fast, and there’s no visibility at several spots where you drive up to the crest of a hill and you couldn’t see if there were people in the road right over the crest

I know some of our hikers don’t like these farm-type road walks in principle  —  they only want to walk in the woods  —  I can understand that feeling, but I’m going to keep scheduling these rural road walks anyway  —  they provide a lot of variety and novelty to our roster of walks  —  it’s much easier to look around and talk on them  —  in the woods we’re often forced into a single-file line, and you often have to pay really close attention to the trail because of roots and rocks and uneven surface  —  the farm walks give a sense of openness and wide open horizons we almost never can find in the woods  —  and I love beautiful pastoral scenes with fields and farms and patches of woods

Official head count:  18H, five D

You can see Jack V’s photos here


Saturday April 8

Road walk:  Marsh, Hornbrook and Durfee Hill Road, Danby

Beautiful sunny morning after two days of rain  —  but we shaped up at the edge of a big field on a hillside and there was a fierce cold wind really blasting us when we got out of the cars

We headed out at high speed to try and warm up  —  the wind kept blowing strongly at our backs for quite a while and I was thinking, This could be horrible on the way back  —  luckily, the wind calmed down after a while and it was very pleasant out then

There was some very nice farmhouse scenery, but for much of the way, any farming activity was in the past  —  we saw lots of tasteful new houses on large lots tucked discreetly in the woods

Official head count:  15H, five D

You can see Annie’s photos here


Sunday April 9

Taughannock Falls SP

Finally, a gorgeous mild morning  —  the gorge trail and the look-out and the parking lots were more crowded than we’ve ever seen on one of our hikes here  —  felt a little like being in Central Park on a beautiful day

KathArine and KathErine  —  I don’t think many common names have more variants  —  CathArine, CathErine  —  anyway, I like the pattern made by the shadows on the pavement

The creek was really roaring from all the rain, and there was fresh erosion along the gorge trail.

And for those who gripe that I never use photos of myself in these hike reports  —  Randy said he liked the effect of my shades, so he took this shot with my camera

Official head count:  30H, nine D

More photos:


Jack V