A beautiful summer hike, blue skies and sun. I planned and mapped out 18 miles from Baker School House Road (M20) to Cheningo Day Use Area (M21). I arrived at my turn-around point much earlier than I expected. Most of the FLT access points are usually less than two miles apart, so I decided to continue on. Over 2.5 miles later I reached the next access point. Instead of an 18 mile hike it became a nearly 25 mile hike. The additional section was also quite hilly. Combined with the warm summer day, only packing enough water for a shorter hike, I was hurting and parched by the time I returned to my car.
A long, nearly 22 mile hike, from Blodgett Mills (M20) to Baker School House Road (M20) and back. The hike marked a milestone crossing under interstate I-81; my east/west split. Clouds and fog dominated the hike, with periods of light rain making for a damp and somewhat miserable hike.
I started my hike with a long road-walk down US 11 before crossing under the massive twin bridges of I-81. Fog shrouded a field in mystery and created the impression of another world. Another long road-walk book-ended the hike as I made my way along several different roads before arriving at Baker School House Road. I planned to continued on east from Baker School House Road, but light rain began to fall again and I called an end to the hike and turned back.
My friend Tim joined me for another hike through some steep climbs and deep descents. The trail took us up over Snyder Hill. We crossed over the small dirt-tracks of Cortland 9 Road, Pipeline Road, and Snyder Hill Road. We made our way down along a stream as it tumbled down the hill heading for West River Road. A waterfall offered a good photo opportunity as we descended. West River Road took us on a long road-walk to Blodgett Mills. Along our road-walk a dog decided to join our adventure and continued to follow us all the way to the town. We took our lunch break at the Post Office in Blodgett Mills before turning and heading back. After another long road-walk and steep climbs and descents we finally arrived back at my car. On the first attempt to start my car the engine refused to turn over.
Although the weather was not ideal I planned a new hike. I also had a new “toy” – a handheld hiking GPS unit – that I wanted to test out. My hike started with a steep climb up from Babcock Hollow Road (M19). The trail brought me up across Van Donsel Road; the same road Tim and I had gotten stuck on the previous hike. From there I made my way up to the top of one of the ski runs at Greek Peak and then descended over 750 feet down to Tone Road. A road-walk took me up the busy NY 392 and then up Carson Road (M19) to my turn-around. I turned back and struggled up along the ski run, sore and tired by the time I reached the top. Shortly before reaching the final steep descent to Babcock Hollow Road I twisted my knee painfully and limped my way slowly down.
A short late-winter hike of eight miles did not go as planned. Tim and I challenged fate by driving past a seasonal limited use road sign and lost. As Tim pulled his car to the side of the road on what appeared to be solid packed snow the car broke through a thick layer of ice and sank. Despite our best efforts we could not free the car. Our only recourse was to call for a tow truck. The tow truck nearly got stuck trying to rescue us, but finally the car was free. We still had a few hours of daylight left, so we set out and hiked a much shorter route slipping and sliding through the snow.