Reportto Hikers: week of Dec 11-Dec 17


Hello Hikers!


Monday Dec 11

Two sawmill reports:


  1.   We had a group tour at Double Aught Sawmill, Candor, today

I assumed I’d visited my last sawmill when we toured the big ultramodern mill in Owego in November  —  but a number of hikers who’d intended to go that day had to cancel at the last minute  —   so Casey used his many connections to line up one more tour so everyone who wanted could get to see what an up-to-date sawmill is like.

Everyone who had to miss our Nov 20 tour made this one, and we had several non-hikers with us too.  A few of us had also done the Owego tour and the setup was familiar to us  —  for the others, it was novel and pretty impressive

This is where the logs are debarked  —  the mill manager Pat warned us if we heard a sudden beeping, jump for it  —  the machine sometimes throws out a log that’s defective, like the one lying in the foreground

This is a modern mill and most of the process is automated ….

….  but not all of it (I was up on a catwalk when I got this shot)

On the Owego tour I wasn’t wearing ear protection and I found the noise unbearable  —  this time I was wearing earmuffs like these workers and it was fine

The guys with the sticks have to walk backwards on a constantly moving belt  —  they use one stick to flip a board over so they can see the other side, and the other stick to mark the lumber grade.

Even though I wasn’t seeing anything new this time, I really enjoyed the whole experience.  I liked the setting too  —  very gloomy and atmospheric

You can see Jack V’s photos here

Randy made four very short videos of various sawing operations:

  1. Main saw
  2. Assembly line overview
  3. Nearing the end of the line
  4. Final step

“This shows red oak planks being graded for quality. This is a thirty year old mill, and it’s not fully automated. You can see some manual labor being used to remove poor quality lumber for further trimming and processing.”



2.   Coincidentally, a portable sawmill came to Mark and Ellie’s place in Trumansburg on the same day

Info and photos from Mark:

Saw It Coming is a one man outfit, run by Mike Grover. His main use of the sawmill is to mill up white pine for his log house that he is in the process of building in the Newfield (Alpine) area. My neighbor and I hired him, on the recommendation of a friend of mine, to saw up some walnut trees we had taken down in May. We have to stack the wood with spacers, and let it dry for a year or more before we can use it. Now we have to think of lots of projects so we can use up our wood.

Mark also made a short video that demonstrates the operation




Wed Dec 13

Cornell scenic areas along Fall Creek near the campus

A bit grim at the meet-up  —  14, snowing a little, wind around 25 mph gusting to the mid-30s  —  you really have to push yourself to get out of the car

Once we got moving and warmed up, it was fun to be out on such an atmospheric morning

Official head count:  14H, three D

More photos:

Jack V


Sat Dec 16

Cayuga Lake flood plain from the Fuertes bird sanctuary to the farmers’ market

We intended to walk out to the lighthouse for a photo op, but the jetty got very icy as we got near so we had to turn back

Fabulous atmospherics  —  great walk

Official head count:  25H, five D

More photos:

Jack V


Sunday Dec 17

Upper Treman SP  —  CCC Trail and nearby country roads

Official head count:  24H, eight D

More photos:

Jack V



Join the Cayuga Trails Club!

In last week’s hike report I urged everyone to join CTC on the grounds that the club’s activities benefit us tremendously, and membership isn’t that expensive.  A couple of days later I got a mailing from the club announcing the dues for 2018 are going up to $30 a couple, from $20.  Then I got a note from Gary M, the CTC president, asking me what I thought of the increase (Gary’s aware I’m a bit of a tightwad).

Since the dues haven’t been raised since 1998, and the increase isn’t big, I think the increase makes sense.  Most importantly, I don’t know what we’d do without CTC to keep the trails clear of debris and overgrowth, and to repair damage.  We really need this group to remain strong and healthy, so by all means do join up now.


Danger  —  The Lick Brook trail will be closed for gun hunting in January

The Finger Lakes Trail Conference is going to include the Lick Brook trail from Route 34-96 up to Town Line Road in the special Tompkins County deer hunting season that starts in January.  The FLTC feels the trail is being over-browsed.  You can get the details at the “Notices” page at the CTC web site.