Report to Hikers — weekend of Jan 3-4

Hello Hikers!

 Sun Jan 4

Lick Brook

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Beautiful warm, dark and wet morning along Lick Brook  —  supposed to rain but it didn’t  —  some hikers wore their YakTrax for fear of left-over ice from last week, but there was almost none  —  the big problem was mud, it was super-slick in spots and a number of people fell down

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Lick Brook was too full of water for us to cross for the first time that we’ve been here in a few years  —  luckily there’s a work-around by using the railroad tracks  —  I grew up along a train track as a kid and I love walking on ties, but it makes a lot of people nervous

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It was fantastic to be out on such a warm day in January  —  even more fun knowing a cold wave was bearing down on us and the spring-like mood was going to be snatched away.

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Official head count:  24 hikers, five dogs

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I find I never get tired of this hike, it’s just so varied and beautiful.

Clcik here to see seven more photos online


We’ll have a social get-together at Iris’s house in Fall Creek after next Sunday’s hike.  Iris likes to make soup and she’ll have two kinds, both vegan, a lentil soup and a vegetable soup.  Details in Thursday’s weekemd hike announcement.


I urge you to consider joining the Cayuga Trails Club.  They do a great job of maintaining and improving the trails we use, and of promoting hiking to the public.

Report to Hikers: New Year’s morning along Six Mile Creek

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Hello Hikers!

It’s no secret I sometimes stage photos and try to make them look candid  —  but this one really was spontaneous, the hikers’ idea, not mine  —  I hope we’re all going into 2015 in pretty good spirits ….

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and here’s to lots of great hikes ahead

Curious who fell into the little stream this year while trying to jump across it?

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no one  —  but a number of hikers chose to follow Tiger up the alternative path rather than give the stream a try

Report on the tailgate party

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Report on the food

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judge for yourself ….

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This was a perfect morning to see this great walk at its wintery best, not too cold, not windy in the woods, slightly sunny

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Official head count:  30 hikers, four dogs

Click here to see 10 more photos on line

Click here to see 20 photos by Jack V on our online group photo-sharing site

Nov 2 hike — Carter Creek Loop, Connecticut Hill WMA

Hello Hikers!

Beautiful cool gloomy morning on a fantastic new trail on Connecticut Hill — raw and blustery at the trail head, but lovely once we got into the shelter of the woods. The hike was a huge success — except for one very alarming mishap.

Near the end, one of our small dogs, Yoda, stepped onto an animal trap that was staked out not more than a foot off the trail. While the dog was screaming with pain, the people with him tried but failed to pry the jaws of the trap open. Luckily, we had a new hiker with us, Jan, at far right in the photo above, whose hand strength was powerful enough to loosen the trap jaws. We were also lucky to have with us our regular hiker John, a retired professor at the vet school, who immediately checked over Yoda’s foot for damage. Verdict: Somehow the foot wasn’t seriously hurt, and Yoda was able to walk out without evident discomfort.

Otherwise, we had a wonderful time. Here we are looking at a huge beaver dam across a gorgeous pond — couldn’t manage to show everything in the photo, but you can see the hikers were impressed by the sight.

Official head count: 27 hikers, six dogs.


I’ve felt for quite a while that Connecticut Hill is full of great new hikes for our group  —  the problem’s been that we haven’t had anyone who knows the area well enough to lead us around  —  there are many ski trails that make for fantastic hiking but they’re very hard to follow  —  anyway, now we have new regular hiker Dave B  —  he said there are three more trails he can take us around.  He definitely has the right skills  —  Dave said he knows which direction he’s heading in the woods 99% of the time  —  and he wrapped up this hike in two hours, 1 minute and 54 seconds  —  outstanding job of pacing.  (Always knowing the right direction isn’t all that common:  Sixteen of us got completely turned around and disoriented on our midweek hike Wed in Shindagin Hollow SF.)


The Carter Creek trail has a wonderful mix of everything  —  much of it takes you along narrow old woods roads, which are much easier walking that the usual path full of roots and snags to trip you up


Everyone agreed this is a splendid new hike, and we all want to come back.

Click here to see 10 more shots online.


We had four other photogs shooting photos of this hike  —  two of them, Iris and Jack V, already have albums up at our group photo-sharing web site HikePix2  — check them out here.

Sept 14 hike — Jim Schug trail eastwards, Dryden

Hello Hikers!

Gorgeous cool sparkling morning in Dryden — chilly enough at the trail head for a few people to wear gloves — though we all got sweated up soon enough

Goldenrods still in bright bloom, and the asters were out, and the first part of the hike looked a bit like a scene in Provence as painted by one of the Impressionists.

Official head count: 24 hikers, seven dogs. We also passed by a frisky horse, and some goats bleating away — very nice country touches

This walk is a great mix of open terrain and dense woods — so dark under the trees I didn’t even try to take any photos — no loss, dark woods are a dime a dozen for us — in any case, it’s the sweeping long views that make this hike so fabulous.

Here’s the hill that the trail took us up and then down the other side — much steeper than I remembered, and there was some grumbling that I gave it much too low a strenuousness rating — OK, for the record it’s a 4+ out of 5 — very good way to warm up fast.

After you get to the top of the hill there’s a fantastic view on the other side — definitely worth the climb  —  maybe I’m getting sentimental, but it looked just like a wonderful version of Happy Valley to me.

I put eight more photos up online  –  click here.

Three other hikers were taking photos  —  Wan, Iris and Jack V.  At the moment only Wan has put his shots up on our other hike photo-sharing page, HikPix.2, but I’m sure the others will too  — click here to check it out.  — click on the individual albums to see the shots inside.

Aug 17 hike — So Danby Road westward to the Abbott Loop

Hello Hikers!


Fabulously dark, damp and moody walk in Danby SF  —  perfect conditions to get the best from this great trail through the pine woods.


A little rain on the drive out to the trail head to moisten everything up nicely  —  by the time we wrapped up, the sun was just out and the sky was full of beautiful puffy clouds  —  wonderful morning!


Unfortunately, I can never get photos from the most dramatic parts of these somber hikes, because the light’s so dim.  So you need to come out in person if you want to experience the gloom I’m always raving about.  The only shots I ever manage to get are in the few bright spots.


Official head count:  17 hikers, five dogs


We had some excitement  —  first, on the outbound leg, one of the dogs got stung  — then, coming back, three hikers got stung one time each  —  fortunately, we were on a nice downhill stretch at the time so we were able to start running  —  I’ve never run on a trail before  — pretty exciting, even though (because?) I felt out of control.  One of the hikers who didn’t get stung is actually allergic  — she usually carries an epi pen  — but this time it was in the car.

I already met my yearly obligation to use a photo of myself in a hiker report, two weeks ago, when I ran the candid shot in my bathing suit showing the love handles  —  now I’m going for extra credit  —  Tiger thought I looked picturesque with my hood half off  —  very clear light and a pretty crisp focus  —  you can really see the aging at work, especially if you click on the photo twice to see the blown-up version.


Click here to see nine more photos online.