Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Big Log On The Shore Trail Of Black Pond

We were hiking back toward the trail head along the eastern shore of Black Pond. My legs had become so weak and sore that I was almost crippled, and I was becoming (I hate to admit it) increasingly cranky. Then I saw, up ahead, a large Hemlock which had fallen across the trail and been chainsawed to allow hikers to pass. The dogs ran merrily through it, but I thought it'd make for a nice photo. I called them back and Daphne was the first to return to me:

Then Fergus:

Then Clover:

And then Seamus. When these photos were in the photo editing software, I could scroll through them, giving the effect of a choppy movie, reminiscent of those old books from the 1950s which a kid could fan the pages and create a sort of flash animation. I wish I could reproduce it for you here, but perhaps you get the idea:

I eventually did get a nice shot of Clover atop the Hemlock trunk and she is looking like quite a well bred Papillon:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The East Shore Of Black Pond, Headed South - Part 2

The dogs and I continued southward toward the trail head and I was quite anxious to get there as my legs were becoming weaker and more painful by the minute. I reminded myself to look at the wondrous beauty all around me and enjoy it:

And also to enjoy my happy dogs, though I confess that at that point I was getting crabby and hollered at them a few times for various minor infractions. Ever anxious to please, they adjusted to my crankiness and continued to have a good time:

The eastern shore of Black Pond was totally different than the western shore, with many coves and inlets:

I became a bit confused when we crossed this bridge, thinking we were almost at the trail head. Suffice it to say that I was wrong:

There was an unmarked trail intersection and I almost took the wrong trail, changing my mind at the last minute and continuing to follow along the water's edge:

I love this photo! Its lighting reminds me of the magical aura which so many wild places have. It also reminds me of the scenes in my childhood Viewmaster. For those of you too young to recognize that name, you can read about it here:

The trail took us past a peat bog and, tired though my legs were, I climbed over a fallen log for the privilege of walking out onto its floating surface:

Being much lighter than me, the dogs didn't cause the floating sphagnum mat to bounce the way I did. They just enjoyed giving everything the sniff test. I could see the fire tower atop that mountain across the pond which identified it as St. Regis Mountain. I still plan to hike that some day soon:

Seamus was heavy enough to cause a bit of bouncy on the sphagnum mat. He seemed a bit perplexed by it:

But onward we hiked. The trail veered away from the pond now and then, taking us through old forests and new growth forests. When the dogs got too far ahead, I gave them a call and they ran back to me with great excitement. I made sure to pet them and tell them how good they'd been. But we still weren't back to the trail head and my legs were very bad at that point. I'll post more tomorrow:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The East Shore Of Black Pond, Headed South - Part 1

The dogs and I were backtracking, returning to the trail head since my legs became too weak to continue to the top of Jenkins Mountain. We were returning the way we'd come, following the trail trail southward along the western shore of Long Pond and Black Pond. We'd just passed Long Pond and I was relieved to see the trail sign saying Black Pond was just ahead:

There was a fish barrier dam between Long Pond and Black Pond, designed to prevent the spread of invasive species. I didn't have a trail map with me, but remembered that there was an alternate trail on the eastern shore of Black Pond. So I crossed the dam to access it. You can see in this photo that Seamus is halfway across the dam and the other dogs are already on the other side waiting for me:

We followed the small creek downstream, headed for Black Pond:

The mossy creek-side was a marvelous place for Clover to play and explore:

Yikes! Can you believe it? I found a bit of snow still remaining inside a hollow stump. And this was in May!:

The trail on the eastern side of Black Pond, it turned out, was more rugged and less level, taking us up into the forest and away from the water's edge in many places. My weak legs were beginning to get worse and I was slowing down more and more:

There was one canoe out in the pond and Daphne stopped to watch them. I tried to keep quiet to allow them the peace and serenity for which they'd come (in addition to the fishing):

Though my legs were deteriorating rapidly, I was enjoying the scenery. This was beautiful Adirondack country:

Though I stayed on the trail which was uphill from the pond, the dogs went down often to check out the shoreline:

The trail became steeper and rougher, with rocks and roots I found difficult to manage with my rapidly deteriorating legs:

I stopped to take a picture of the man and woman out in their canoe fishing. What a lovely scene!:

Finally, a smooth and level stretch of trail. It was most welcome as we made our way southward toward the trail head. But the east shore trail was proving to be considerably longer than the trail on the western shore. I'll post more tomorrow:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Long Pond, Headed South - Part 2

Long Pond viewed from the end of the pier was lovely - and it certainly showed the shape by which the pond was named:

I turned back toward the lean-to and began walking the pier back toward land. The dogs were already there, exploring and searching for any scraps of food which might have been dropped:

There was a loon out in Long Pond. It kept rather far away from us but did call loudly from time to time, its eerie voice echoing off the surrounding hills:

I hoped to entice Seamus to go swimming again, so I called the dogs all back out to the water. Alas, he'd already had his watery adventure and had no interest in doing it again right then:

So we examined the lean-to more closely and then continued on our way south:

These lands are managed (and probably owned) by Paul Smiths College, so budding young rangers have placed super-deluxe signs along the way, finer than any signs I've seen elsewhere:

We continued south along the eastern shore of Long Pond. My legs were feeling weaker by the mile, but at least the trail was level and smooth:

Another glimpse of Long Pond:

And yet another glimpse as we made our way southward towards the trail head:

As we came to the end of Long Pond I snapped another photo as I was enchanted by its wild beauty:

But Clover wasn't so much enchanted as looking for somewhere to play. She ran to the water's edge:

Both Papillons found some rocks which served admirably as play areas. My legs may have been week and sore, but I certainly had some very happy dogs!:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Long Pond, Heading South - Part 1

My legs had become weak and we were returning to the parking area. When the Jenkins Mountain trail intersected with the Long Pond trail, I turned south retracing our steps from earlier in the day:

The trail began through the forest, about halfway up the side of a large esker:

Yet still it was mostly level and easy walking:

In no time at all I saw Long Pond. We'd be arriving at its shoreline very soon:

My happy dogs had no leg weakness problems. They bounced and played their way along the trail:

Daphne has learned to return to me often and check to be sure I'm OK:

And then we arrived at the beautiful lean-to at which the college students had been camping when we passed it going north:

The campers had departed and the dogs ran down to the water's edge with great excitement:

And Seamus discovered the plank pier leading out into Long Pond. He was the first to arrive there and, of course, went right into the water:

The other dogs arrived just as Seamus was hauling himself out of the pond:

We all walked out to end of the pier for a look at the Adirondack loveliness. I'll post more tomorrow: