Thursday, September 29, 2011

Part 7, Windham Mountain

I was hiking up Windham Mountain with my four youngest dogs and getting mighty tired. Every time I figured we were at the summit, I sadly discovered that we were not - and the trail kept getting steeper and my feet kept getting sorer. But the mountainside was now so steep that it was allowing lots of sun through the trees and I snacked on ripe blackberries as I hiked upwards:

Again I thought we must surely have arrived at the summit until I encountered this sign saying we'd only reached 3500 foot elevation. Sigh. I knew the summit was still quite a way above that. By the way, you may have been noticing the blue dots on trees all along the trail. They were, as you can see here, trail markers. Other trails have different colors and there are also specially marked trails for snowmobiles and horses:

And just when I thought I might not make it to the summit, I saw this lovely view off to the south. These are the Blackhead Mountains, three Catskill peaks which are visible all the way to Albany:

The view was breathtaking and I was very happy that I hadn't given up and turned back:

And the view to the north was considerably different, showing a much flatter landscape:

Some smaller mountains were visible to the northwest:

The dogs took a rest on a rock ledge at the summit. The mountain dropped off precipitously just to the left of this ledge:

But the small, sharp rocks on the north slope prevented me from getting comfortable so I went back to the southerly view:

I reclined on a large flat rock where the Blackhead Mountains stretched out before me and the dogs got comfortable in the nearby grass:

But alas, I'd only come half way and still had miles to go to return to the trail head. Well, there was nothing for it but to start hiking downhill, back across the sharp rocks and hard tree roots:

My camera's battery began to falter so I severely limited my picture taking on the way down. We reached the marked trail junction. By this point my feet were very sore and I was walking like a ninety year old man:

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