Friday, October 28, 2011

A Steep Climb Up To The Ledges

If you've read the last several posts, you know that getting started on the trail up to The Ledges had been an ordeal. But here we were, the four dogs and I, just beginning to scale the steep, rocky part of the trail. And I do mean steep! The rocks and sharp incline didn't bother lightweight, athletic, young Clover, however:

But Fergus, in spite of his youth and conditioning, was beginning to pant:

As for me, I was finding excuses to stop and photograph interesting things such as this small, yellow and gold mushroom. And, heaven knows, the trail was often steep enough that I got to see at eye level where I would be stepping next:

Colorful autumn leaves were beginning to collect all over the ground. At the time I called the Maple leaves Mountain Maples, but have since taken another look and decided that they were from Red Maples. As for the colorful Aspen leaves, they give the lie to the idea that Aspens only turn yellow. These, by the way, were Bigtooth Aspens:

The leafy canopy caught the sun and filtered it, infusing the understory with a greenish aura. It was all very pleasant. The morning had been quite chilly and I'd worn long pants and a jacket. But it had become considerably warmer and I'd left my jacket back in the car. I was beginning to wish I'd brought short pants:

Seamus and I were taking frequent breaks from the steep climb. Even the young Papillons, Daphne and Clover, were by that point slowing down. Apparently the trail was seldom hiked, and it was covered with newly fallen leaves and sparsely marked. I lost the trail several times and had to backtrack:

But we eventually walked out onto a huge rocky slope which provided a magnificent view of the Adirondack peaks to the east:

I could see glimpses of the clearing in the valley below where we parked, but I could not see our car. I sat down on the ledge and enjoyed the view:

Autumn color framed the view and the nearby mountains glowed in places like fiery embers:

I followed what appeared to be more trail along the ledge hoping for more spectacular views. But I finally concluded that the original ledge was the primary destination and the best scenic overlook. So we all returned for another look. I wanted to rest before making our descent, but I'll post about that tomorrow:

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