Friday, September 16, 2011

High Rocks On The Jug End Ridge

We'd made it as far as several scenic overlooks on the Jug End Ridge, though not actually to the Jug End itself. That's a sharp cliff where the Appalachian Trail drops abruptly down off the ridge. I'm sure there were other spectacular views I didn't reach, but we'd already hiked about six miles and still had a return trip of about six miles to go to reach the car. My old body was protesting, so I began the journey back to the trail head. In this photo, Fergus may look unhappy but he was having a grand time. You can easily see, however, how steep the trail had become and why my toes were jamming into the front of my shoes on the downhill parts:

More steep, rocky trail. If you click to enlarge this photo you can tell by Seamus' position that he too was tired:

The "Silly Sisters," however, were still full of pep. They could run up and down those rocks all day long:

We reached a high, flat spot and Seamus dropped to the ground. He needed a rest so we lingered for awhile:

And we passed by more glorious overlooks. I stopped to watch the shadows of clouds drift slowly across the forests and fields below:

And the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts wherein nestled sleepy, historic, little towns:

We continued onward across the ridge. The vegetation at that point was mostly scrub pines and oaks:

And another rest stop. Both Seamus and Fergus were getting tired by then:

This is one of my favorite photos of the hike and definitely worth a click to enlarge. Two happy, playful Papillons surrounded by beautiful forest waiting for their tired old dad to catch up. Notice the bright red mushrooms right in front of Clover. Indeed, the whole forest had a magical quality:

We continued to follow the trail across the ridge as it began its descent, the forests growing taller as we went downhill:

And another bright red mushroom. The variety and plenitude of wondrous fungi added a great deal to the appeal of the hike:

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