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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Hills of Almost Home

This New York hike came the closest to where I grew up of anyplace on the North Country Trail. I really have no reasons to ever want to move back to NY any more, but the geology has such a hold on me that it's hard to explain. Whenever I drive back to the area there is a physical sense of peace that overtakes me when I begin to enter the hills of the Finger Lakes. This hike went through and over several of these green ridges.

Lamoka Lake

This is one of the prettiest pictures, a shot of Lamoka Lake, which is one of the small, hardly-known of the lakes. I grew up between the two largest, Cayuga and Seneca. Those two lakes are each about 40 miles long and 2 miles wide. Big. Also deep. Those glacial valleys just plunge to depths of 700-900 feet, and the hills rise about 500 feet above the water. When I add the information that those lakes are only 10 miles apart, you can begin to understand the idea of "steep."

Here is a long shot of the valley to the south of Seneca Lake.

Seneca Lake valley

What I couldn't get is a picture that really shows the extent of either lake. Actually, that is a very difficult task from anywhere. Both lakes have a bend, and the only pictures I've seen that really show their length are aerial views. But here's a small slice of Seneca Lake as we were beginning the walk down to Watkins Glen.

Seneca Lake

This picture is a good example of the walking. The trail goes through a lot of forested land, but sometimes (due to agreements with landowners) follows the edges of farm fields. In these situations, there are views that really show the lay of the land and how a hiker moves through it.

hikers on Finger Lakes hill

That's all for now. I'm fairly tired... leaping from the hike to the Birding Festival. But I saw several people I hadn't seen for years. I met a man who moved here a couple of years ago who is an amazing naturalist. I've been wanting to get acquainted with him for a long time! I learned some things about birds... I'm not a great birder, but adding more knowledge is always good.

I've made a tentative plan for the actual dates to finish my hikes. Now it just depends on how soon Marie can get here. She's still uncertain about skipping a meeting.


betchai said...

it's peaceful and beautiful Sharkbytes, well wishes on your hikes.

VanillaSeven said...

Must be a gorgeous view you have there sharkie :)
Have a great weekend to you!

RNSANE said...

Lovely scenery! When my oldest son, Shawn, was a few months old, my husband, an Air Force officer and private pilot, and I were flying home from Eire, PA to Hanscom Field, MA in a rented Cessna when we had to land in a snowstorm in Seneca Falls...we were stranded for two days - without diapers. Luckily, I was nursing. We found a little motel but it was really an adventure! Was that anywhere near where you are hiking?

We had friends stationed in Rome and they always said the snow didn't melt from the plowed runways until June!

rainfield61 said...

Such a great fun to go hiking again and again.

Love it.

Traveler Club said...

I lobe that hill image its very relaxing

Ann said...

It's just beautiful. How peaceful to be standing there looking out and taking in the view.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

You've just described the feeling I get when I'm in the Adirondacks.

Sharkbytes said...

Thank you, betchai- maybe that's why I like the eastern hills... they do seem more peaceful than the raw mountains of the west.

Hi Vanilla- the sunshine sure makes it even better!

Carmen- Seneca Falls is right at the northern end of Cayuga Lake. That's a bit north of this hike, but only about 30 miles from my childhood home. Maybe I was there when you were!

rainfield- the again and again part (on the long hikes) is a fluke of this year's goal to finish the NCT.

Traveler- They ARE relaxing. I think it's the green and blue with so much 3D perspective.

Ann- Well, we couldn't stand still too long! Had to keep moving. But one of the shelters had a nice view across the hills.

Dennis- Well, yes, the Daks always do that too. They are just amazing... relaxing and exciting all at the same time. I've never lived there, but hiking there is just awesome.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

I know what you mean about being away from the place you where born and rambled as kids, I do not live far there now about 12 miles but even the journey to my home town and seeing our land mark Rivington Pike always fills me with a warm feeling as it did years ago knowing that family & friends would soon be seen.

Ratty said...

This looks like such a beautiful place. I understand how you feel about this place. Iowa does the same for me that this does for you whenever I get a chance to go there.

Sharkbytes said...

Carol- Well, those 12 miles are a long way if you are on foot!

Ratty- I don't know Iowa very well. I sort of think of gently rolling low hills. Is that right?

Ratty said...

You're mostly right, but some of those hills get pretty big. Some of them look as big as mountains, even though they're still considered hills. And there are no suburbs surrounding Sioux City, where my family is from. There is the city, and then the country is right on the edges. It feels like the best of both worlds.

Sharkbytes said...

The perceived height of hills is always deceptive because it depends on the surrounding elevations. I didn't know there were some big ones.

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