Today, we walked 8.5 miles and completed the Bristol Hills Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail.
Most of the day was spent in the Pigtail Hollow State Forest and then on Clark Hill, walking its length after we climbed up.
This actually isn't where we climbed on foot. I took this picture on the road we
drove to spot the ending car. It seemed odd to drive between corn that was
planted right up to the road, and the road seemed to disappear at the base of
the hill. Actually, it turned and angled up the face.
We basically went up-down-up, but not much elevation change each time. About 300
feet. It was mostly a lovely woods walk. The only thing that made it difficult
was that it was hot and humid (high 80's). We managed to get out a little earlier (read,
Marie managed to get me to move a little faster in the morning), and we had a
tiny bit less mileage to cover.
We had lunch on the shores of Lake David, a nice little pond. I couldn't provide
the premo lunch spot of a couple of days ago, but it wasn't bad. We sat on the
remains of an old dock or bridge or something.
There was one view from the trail in the afternoon. This is looking across the
valley where State Road 53 passes, to Fritz Hill opposite.
When we read the description of the afternoon's miles, we were a little
mystified by this: "Cross a steep difficult gully on a ladder bridge." We spent
a fair amount of time discussing what this might be, and laughing at the
possibilities. We weren't sure we were up to dancing across a ladder that had
been laid from bank to bank. However, it turned out to be a nice sturdy bridge
with a short ladder at the end!
A few minutes after 2 pm, we reached the main Finger Lakes Trail. If you can't
read the sign, it says, "Finger Lakes/North Country Trail... < 375 miles to Long
Path... > 186 miles to Penna Border." I've hiked all of that and more! Marie has
done almost all of it. Just a quarter-mile more to the car.
We got ice cream, and came back to the campsite. The water in the showers was
cold all last week, but we finally found the caretaker and asked him about it
yesterday. Today the water was hot. We were so filthy and stinky, the hot shower
was particularly exquisite today.
There is something about a completion that is highly satisfying. In the past couple of weeks we've done all of the Interloken Branch, the Montour Falls Loop, and the Bristol Branch. Officially a total of 72.5 miles. With aome side trips, it's actually been a total of about 78 miles. This is a little less than our usual 100 miles a summer. But we did a ton of visiting.
We will add a few more miles in the next couple of days, but not on the FLT.
|See Bristol Hills Branch- Day 1|