Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Pecoy Notch Trail - Part 3

I'd been hiking the Pecoy Notch Trail in the Catskill Mountains with four of my dogs. All along the trail there had been flat rocks by the billions. Most of them apparently were naturally occurring and just about the right size for building homes or patios. What did not seem to be naturally occurring was the great piles of them along the way. I guessed that at one time, this forest had supported a slate industry. Indeed, one sees occasional homes or walls built of such slate throughout the Catskills:

Another view of a great pile of slate:

Clover knew what these slate piles were for. In her opinion, they were put there for her to run and play on:

And then I came upon a second kill site, where some gray bird had met its death. It seemed odd to me that two birds of the same species had died so closely in time and place. But this time I snapped a picture:

And on we hiked, through the emerald forest over the slate covered trails. It was truly beautiful and peaceful:

The trail leveled out and eventually began going downhill. I thought this was odd also, since I had thought we were going to climb high up into the Catskill Mountains to a scenic overlook:

But there are plenty of diversions in such magnificent territory, and especially with four active dogs as company:

Well, I should have sad THREE active dogs plus placid Seamus:

Clover is a live wire and investigates everything. Every place and every rock is to her a playground:

Seamus and Fergus pose for a portrait:

The trail continued to descend and I decided that I must have misread the trail guide. Perhaps, I thought, this is why it is called Pecoy "Notch," because it's a low valley between mountains. Then I arrived at another trail intersection with directional signs. This seemed even more odd, and when I read the signs I realized that I'd gotten myself turned around up at the scenic overlook and had been retracing my steps. We'd arrived back where we'd begun. The trail head parking area was only about 50 yards away. Well, this explained the odd coincidence of the two piles of gray feathers. I'd passed the same pile twice and hadn't recognized it:

But my feet hurt and I was secretly relieved to have accidentally cut several hours and miles off of our hike. We walked back to the car and got ourselves comfortable:

This was one mistake which, I think, ended well. I was tired anyway and happy to be driving home. On the way, I passed this old abandoned Catskills resort. Once upon a time, these resorts entertained the rich and famous. There's still a few left and I saw some which seemed to be attempting restorations. But their parking lots looked decidedly empty to me This abandoned resort seemed to tell the story. At any rate, our hike and adventure was over, and we were headed home:

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