Friday, November 18, 2011

Beginning The Hike To Duck Pond

The dogs and I were spending a couple of days up at the farm. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and got settled in. When Monday morning dawned clear and relatively warm, I wanted to go hiking. But this was hunting season and I wasn't sure it was a good idea. I finally drove back down to Blue Mountain Road and turned off onto a TINY dirt road into the forested mountains. I hoped to hike to Duck Pond, a hike I'd read about but never experienced. The road was both narrow and exceedingly rough. Through my open windows and the bare trees I spotted a mountain which I surmised was Azure Mountain. It stood all alone in just about the right spot:

The road was so narrow that brush was scraping the sides of the car as we bounced slowly and carefully along. Daphne found this all fascinating and exciting, and she watched intently out the window. Clover, on the seat beside her, was napping, obviously not so interested:

I'd have never figured out what this was except that the trail guide mentioned it, saying it was part of "the floodplain of the St. Regis - the channel that you see squirming through the meadows is a long oxbow, severed from the main current when the river washed out a new shortcut." Now, that was an education for me  and I may just walk right down there some day, at least if I can find some place to park my car along that narrow "road":

I was keeping an eye on the odometer and at just about the right mileage I spotted a gate. So I parked the car, let the dogs out and began our hike. Since there were no other vehicles, I assumed there were no hunters:

There was a sign-in kiosk but no book, no maps, no rules, no trail name. But at least I knew it was a trail. So off we went:

We were walking a dirt road, though the gate prevented any vehicular traffic. The dogs were simply overjoyed:

There were "No Hunting" signs all along the left side of the trail and signs indicating that the land was part of the privately owned Santa Clara Tract. This didn't seem to agree with the trail book which said the entire hike was within the State Forest lands, but I guessed that the State Forest land was on the right:

And on we hiked, enjoying the day. It was a beautiful day and beautiful scenery. I considered how very blessed my life was at that moment:

Seamus was wearing his anti-bear-hunter pillowcase and all the dogs sniffed their way along the trail - at least when they weren't running full speed:

I began to see "State Land" signs along the right side of the trail. This confirmed my theory that the road/trail ran the border between the two properties:

The two Papillons ran ahead, bringing Fergus with them. Seamus wanted to walk calmly with me. Daphne would come running like a tiny greyhound at the mere mention of her name. I made sure she got lots of praise for that. Well, we were just getting started. I'll post more tomorrow:

No comments:

Post a Comment