Up, down, up. That was today on the Bristol Branch. First we climbed 1000 feet up Wood Hill. Most of it was on the abandoned road that we couldn't drive yesterday (turns out we could have driven some of it). It was a little steeper than we had in mind, but not terrible. Then we headed into the woods on single-track trail. This tree attracted our attention, with the interesting bark pattern around the dead limbs.
The trail dropped back down 1000 feet. This grade was a lot steeper. Although going down that steeply isn't too much fun either, we were glad we weren't climbing that side. When we got down to County Rd 18, we could see Italy Hill across the road, our next goal. This climb was 1000 feet again, but it was very gradual, and we decided to try to make it to the shelter at the top for lunch, even though it was going to be a 2 mile climb. We made it! This is the cute, rather new, Outback Inn Shelter. Three miles to go after lunch. Saw this active wasp nest, but we didn't have to pass close enough to be worried. We reached the car just as the rain was starting. It wasn't very heavy, but we were thankful to not get wet. Total for the day was 9 miles.
On the way back we stopped to see if we could see the cut in the trees above the road junction where we had looked down from on Wood Hill. Yup! It's easily visible as a notch in the trees on the hill. Tomorrow, we mostly stay up on Italy Hill- along the top of the ridge we saw from the overlook. We won't complain about less topography.
However, yesterday we played tag with a backpacker in the afternoon, and talked with him several times. He was really complaining about the big uphill. Then he complained about the hot downhill on the road. I find this confusing. Who goes hiking in western NY and thinks they won't encounter hills? You can't really even stand still and not see hills. We like to think of them more as a challenge. Sure we get hot and tired, but it's all part of the package. If that's not what you want, you probably shouldn't hike here.
Anyway... we are planning for another 9 miles tomorrow.
|See Bristol Branch- East Hill|