Saturday, July 2, 2011

Travelling The Port Kent Hopkinton Turnpike

One of my favorite routes through the northern Adirondacks is the series of small roads, some unpaved and seasonal, which began in the 1800s as a major thoroughfare. This important development in the opening up of our country's wilderness lands ran from Port Kent, on the western shore of Lake Champlain, to Hopkinton, a frontier town in northern New York. My farm is just a hop, skip and jump from Hopkinton, so it's a grand experience for me to take this route. The scenery is wonderful and there's almost no one else on the road at all:

And one of my favorite picture taking spots is this glorious, unspoiled wilderness wetland which abuts the road. On the day I passed by there were Orange Hawkweed, Hieracium aurantiacum, in bloom along the edge of the road:

These are the waters where I often see and hear Loons:

The water level comes right up to the road, covering the base of many of these trees. So I really can't go hiking in and exploring. The "Private Property - No Trespassing" signs, however, seem to have vanished:

The marshy edges which had many Wild Azaleas in bloom in May were now sporting red bunches of Sheep Laurel blossoms. If you click to enlarge this photo, you can see one of them. Or, for a closer view, click on the label, "Sheep Laurel" label below:

We traveled on and stopped once again at another tiny lane taking us deep into the forest alongside the waters of Grass Pond. The dogs were, of course, all excited:

Crabby little old Winky had a bit of trouble keeping up. It's hard to know with him if he has trouble walking that fast or is just being contrary. With him, it could be either or both. He seemed to want to stay near the car, but I urged him on:

Deeper and deeper into the forest:

And then back to the car to continue on our way. As you can see, turning around to head back to the main road is tricky business sometimes:

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