My first hike of 2014: Allegany State Park, of course. We started on Coon Run Road, heading out the Fire Tower Trail. Somewhere before we reached Willis Creek, we needed coffee and donuts. Here was the view from our log:
Once we crossed Willis Creek, we headed upstream, bushwhacking at first… but then finding the trail marked “indistinct or abandoned” on our topo map. Someone has been working on it! It was easy to follow – most of the way. Then either we took a wrong turn, or the maintenance stopped.
After a bit more bushwhacking, we found the lean to:
The doggies quickly gobbled down a cup of dog food each. We ate our chili a bit more slowly.
After conversation about the “State of Emergency” the NYS governor has issued, I wrote the following in the trail register:
The hike was to continue along the North Country / Finger Lakes Trail back to Coon Run Road. We got a bit of a false start, but eventually found the blazes. When many trees have tufts of fluffy snow stuck to the bark, a white blaze can be hard to find.
There is a feeling of peace and comfort that I get every time I hike the trails at Allegany – but especially when I’m on a ridge that gives me a view over a valley to another hill beyond. It’s like I’m in a big cradle or being hugged by huge unseen arms.
And what is it about shadows on sparkling snow that I feel obliged to photograph?
I hope this first hike of 2014 is just the beginning of many hikes this year!
Happy New Year!