Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shocking Discovery On The Taconic Crest Trail

We were about midway on our Taconic Crest Trail hike the day after Christmas. As we quietly plodded along the snow covered trail I could see Taconic and Berkshire mountains through the leafless trees. At this spot I could actually see Williamstown, Massachusetts down in the valley:

Some square beams had thoughtfully been placed across some boggy areas to keep hikers' feet dry and also, I'd assume, to prevent undue erosion. There was still liquid water even on December 26th!:

And green ferns could still be seen awaiting springtime beneath a scant layer of snow:

This part of the Taconic Mountains is notable for its abundance of white quartzite and it was abundant along this section of the trail. In fact, two of the closest peaks to the Snow Hole are named White Rock and White Rocks:

We hiked onward, admiring the silent beauty of the forest:

Fergus tends to run too far ahead and I have to call him back occasionally:

White quartzite and ice needles together in the snow:

And then we began an uphill climb toward one of the higher peaks:

I was suffering from a weakness in my legs caused by a bad side effect from a prescription drug (which I no longer take) and was slowing down considerably. Daphne and Clover ran back to see what was taking me so long:

As I neared the summit I was horrified to see almost all the trees cut down and strewn around the ground:

A few trees were left, almost as if someone intended to turn this into a park with grassy areas and a few scattered trees. But the remaining trees were not, I didn't think, left as seed trees because they didn't seem to me to be appropriate choices:

And the trunks were left strewn on the ground with the branches. Nothing had been taken for either pulp or for lumber. Very strange indeed. I'll post more about our hike tomorrow:

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