Monday, May 24, 2010

The Taconic Crest Trail - Part 4

This is the final post of my Taconic Crest Hike to the Snow Hole. I'd hiked up there with Fergus, Seamus and Daphne. We'd arrived at the Snow Hole and I descended down into it with Fergus and Seamus. Daphne was too busy flirting with some students from Williams College to go with us. My foot at one point broke through the crust and plunged down several feet into the snow. The same thing happened to Seamus. I guess that's because we're both a bit portly:

We emerged from the Snow Hole and allowed another couple down into it with their Miniature Poodle. I unglued Daphne from her new friends from Williams College and we began our return hike to where we'd parked the car several miles across the mountains. This is a good view of the Snow Hole, showing what one sees walking through the woodlands. I suppose many people wouldn't even notice if it wasn't so well known for holding snow into the warm weather:

We began hiking back toward the car parked at the trail head. I stopped for a photo along the way. That green carpet on the forest floor was Trout Lilies in full bloom:

And of course we stopped at every scenic overlook. Seamus was by this time panting desperately and attempting to curl up pitifully beneath shady trees. I began to fear he might be near heat stroke and allowed him many rests. Seamus weighed in at 119 pounds at his last visit to the vet who also suggested it was time I cut back on his food a bit. That's hard to do with 6 dogs in the house, but I'm now working on it:

Seamus is only 2 and a half years old and, I thought, getting lots of exercise. But he began suffering on that hot day and I could never have carried him out. So I let him take numerous rests. Once we were back in the shady forest and had found a muddy place for him to get a drink, the crisis was eased:

We passed a family traveling towards the snow hole and they took our picture with the Taconic Mountains spread out behind us. I took a family photo for them:

Daphne hopped up on a fallen tree and gave me her "wolf pose:"

And I posed with the dogs beneath the blooming Shadblow trees:

We made our way back down the mountainside with breathtaking scenery in every direction:

And almost to the trail head, we met a young couple with whom we exchanged photo shoots. Notice the muddy feet on Fergus:

We finally arrived at the trail head. A group of Harley riders was resting there and they got all gooey eyed over the dogs. I'm always amazed how big, tough looking men often get weak in the knees over dogs. Well, I shouldn't be so amazed. A good dog affects me that way also.

Anyway, we got back into the car and began to drive home. We were all hot and dirty and I was still concerned about Seamus and his heavy panting. So as soon as I got to the Little Hoosic River, I stopped to let the dogs swim, drink and cool off. Daphne, of course, immediately slipped and fell in:

Seamus didn't need to slip. He plunged right in for a much needed cool down:

Fergus needed a bit of encouragement, but he went in also:

And alongside the Little Hoosic River we passed these small blue flowers which I have been unable to identify. I believe they are not Bluets because they have 5 petals instead of 4. I think they are Forget-Me-Nots, but which species I cannot say:

After a stop to cool off the dogs, I stopped for a couple of Diet Cokes to cool myself off and we were on our way home. But before I end this post, I have one more brief video clip. It was taken at a scenic overlook on the return part of our hike. I made two errors in my narration, however. Massachusetts and Mt. Greylock are, of course, to the east instead of the west. And the highway seen crossing that mountain pass is Route 2, not Route 22 (though both highways were visible from up there),


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