Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finding The Overlook On The Jug End Ridge

We were hiking along a rocky ridge leading to a sharp cliff called Jug End. I'd hiked this way once before many years ago and remembered it as being wonderfully beautiful. Well, we'd already come about 5 miles and I was getting both tired and sore. But just as I was contemplating giving up, I spotted this wondrous scene through the trees:

I continued hiking and soon the entire valley east of the Jug End Ridge was spread out before us. This was looking toward the northeast, so the closer mountains were the Berkshires and the higher, more distant mountains were the Green Mountains of Vermont:

And looking toward the southeast I saw a valley filled with forests and farm fields. The Jug End Ridge and Mount Everett, by the way, are part of the Taconic Mountains:

We continued hiking, but I was tired. So I laid back on a rounded promontory and allowed myself a good rest. The dogs all did likewise, curling up together just below me. I shot this picture through my feet at my four tired dogs:

And I relaxed and watched the clouds drift by as Mountain Maple branches waved in the breeze. What could be better than this?:

But of course we couldn't relax all afternoon as we had many miles yet to hike. So we continued onward, walking along the eastern edge of Jug End Ridge:

I set the camera on self-timer and got a photo of myself with Seamus. You can see that he was tired:

I'd hoped to make it all the way to the Jug End, but we'd already hiked about 6 miles, some of it on rough terrain, and that meant there were 6 miles yet to hike back the other direction. So at that point I turned around and began heading back toward the trail head. The scenery was absolutely magnificent. If you want to see it better, just click on this picture to enlarge it. Notice the drop off on the left:

On and on and on and on we hiked. My toes were becoming very sore from all the walking down steep rocky cliffs:

The Papillons continued to lead the way. Fergus and Seamus just wanted to walk at my heels, but I kept shooing them forward:

And the whole ridge was covered with pine needles which were baking atop the rock in the afternoon sun and filling the air with a heavenly aroma. I may have been tired, but I still appreciated the sights, sounds, smells and textures of nature:

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