“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Before I took the photos from the last post, I stopped by the Appalachian Trail RR station to get some pictures. I have been there before but since it was such a nice crisp morning, I went back to see if I get a different perspective.
The AT headed south at the Appalachian Trial RR station.
“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.”
What a beautiful and exhilarating morning! I decided that on my hike today (11/4/17) I would test out the headlamp that I recently purchased (previous post). Starting out at just about 5:20 am, it was still fully dark and would remain so for almost the full duration of my hike. I also finally got the chilly morning that I have been waiting for! Even though the temperature was 35 degrees, it didn’t feel that cold and as I entered the woods, it was almost perfectly silent. The only sound that I could hear were my boots shuffling through the fallen leaves as I walked up the trail.
With the exception of the last 15 minutes of the hike, I used the headlamp to illuminate the ground as I walked. I thought at first that it would be difficult to see the trail in front of me, but the lamp proved to be very effective in making sure that I could see any rocks or roots that could prove to be an issue as I hiked.
The picture below, although it is a really crappy cell phone photo, shows you how well the trail was lit during this hike.
As I made my way out of the woods, I saw the last of a huge moon setting and when I turned to the east, I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.
“If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.” ―Terence Mckenna
Autumn this year has been a strange one. Even though you have to expect some pretty drastic temperature changes during the months of October and November, at this point it has been way to warm to count as weather that you would associate with the coming winter. With that said, at four in the afternoon today (11/2/17) it was a toasty 72 degrees. Even with the higher temps, the absence of any humidity actually made for another incredible hike.
It seems that with my afternoon hikes I am resorting to a “go to” on the Green Trail at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. It is a nice loop wth a couple of hills that will actually make you work.
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”
The trail at the start of the hike.
After not hiking for several days, I got back on the trail on Thursday to see what I could see. And finally, I saw some pretty intense fall colors as I made my way around the Green Trail and up a rocky road to a shelter. Due to a busy week, not only have I not been out hiking, but I also did not get on my stationary bike as much as I would have liked. Needless to say, my legs felt out of sorts and I knew that I was moving a little slower than I usually do.
Some nice fall colors in the woods.
With that said, it did feel good to get the legs moving and to breathe in the crisp fall air. Today I did bring my decent camera with me so I was hoping to get some decent pictures that adequately represented the day. Although it wasn’t brilliantly sunny, as the sun set it keep peeking through the clouds offering me a pretty nice array of colors and shades within the clouds.
Every time I go to Ward Pound Ridge now the trees are more bare and the woods seem more expansive than they did just a few weeks ago. Since I started to hike at WPRR during the summer, everything was cloaked in a sea of greens. Now, if even just for a couple of days, the trees resemble a huge bowl of stuffing that sits on the table at Thanksgiving.
Like the bowl of stuffing that is waiting to be eaten, the leaves fall and are reclaimed by the earth. It is truly an awesome time to be hiking. Today was definitely the coldest morning in a many months. At my usual start time of around 6:20 am, the temperature had dropped to 38 degrees. As I stretched and waited for it to get a little lighter (and warmer), I put on the flannel jacket that I had stashed in the back of my jeep.
Even at that time of the morning I could tell which of the shelters were occupied because of the distinct smell of a dying campfire. As I approached one shelter, it was so quiet that I could hear the slow roar of someone snoring. When I actually passed the tent and the snore was at its loudest, I could only feel sorry for anyone who might be sharing a tent with him.
As I was leaving the parking on Michigan Road the other day I saw the familiar markings of a connector trail. This is the first time that I have seen this particular trail despite the fact that I have been by the start of the trail about thirty times. So instead of making the customary left turn from my jeep to get to the trail, I went right and headed down Michigan Road. Turning right, I headed into the woods and after a short time I found myself at the site of an old mill.
After looking around for a few minutes I headed back up to the road. On the map it is shown as a loop, but for the life of me I couldn’t find any blazes on the return route. When I got back to the road, I made the left and made my way to the Red and Green Trail. I took this trail until the green trail left the red and intersected with the RT. Shortly after that the yellow trail comes in until you go back to the parking lot.
Rule #1 of hiking: Check the weather forecast before you plan to go out on a long hike.
My original plan yesterday was to hike between 9 and 10 miles, all depending on how I felt. As I closed in on around 4.5 miles, it started raining. I looked up at the sky and immediately knew that I wouldn’t be finishing that long hike. Since I hadn’t bothered to check the forecast, I didn’t bring ay rain gear. With the temperature at the time at around 51 degrees, hiking in the pouring rain was out of the question.