Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hiking Ol' Blue

It was an absolutely divine day for a hike in the woods. Sunny and sixty-five with a cool breeze moving through. Since the colors of the fall are not yet at their height of beauty, we decided to save our next trip to the spectacular overlook, Moses Mountain, for a later date. Today, we chose to hike the Blue trail. Since our starting point sits smack in the middle of the trail, there are two directions which we can go.

We've often taken the Blue Trail to Walker Pond, but that hike is not very long and begins to get commonplace after you've done it a few times. This time, we decided to go the opposite way. It is a longer hike, and it is uphill - Todt Hill, which the trail ascends, is the highest point on the eastern seaboard, if I'm not mistaken.

Off we went. the start of the trail is quite familiar to us, as we've traversed it several times to get to the magnificent Lake Ohrbach. It really amazes me to have lived on this island my whole life, yet to have never known that this world in the woods exists here.

I was surprised to find that the changes of the fall affected the lake, too. All of the aquatic plants had varying shades of green, yellow and red to them, very different than the scene we saw last month when we traveled to the exact same spot.

After this, we continued on. This is the part of the trail we had never been on before. It was only a few minutes until we were met by another body of water - this time, Pump House Pond. Here, Marge poses on the deck sitting at the pond's edge.

The fall colors were abundant around the pond.

We continued onward. Marge stopped to smell the air next to Hourglass Pond, which, honestly, looks more like a swamp!

Up Todt Hill we went, totally surrounded by trees. The path got dark at some points, and the trail markers weren't as plentiful as I like for them to be, so my mind darted back to the mishap we had on the Green Trail in September. Fortunately, we had no problems this trip, and I was at ease. It helped that this trail borders on a cemetery and a golf course in some parts, so although it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, the reality is that we really weren't.

Here, in this cool shot snapped by my sis, the bright golf course looms outside the dark woods. Marge was originally very keen on going to investigate. We couldn't, since the golf course is private, and Marge decided staying within the safety of the forest was a better option, anyway, than facing scary golfers and their zippy golf carts.

We walked about 1 1/2 miles from our starting point, based on my rough estimate, making for a three-mile round trip. The trail wasn't totally desolate, as I would have liked for it to be, but I simply moved Marge off trail any time someone approached and fed her. She was unnerved by some people, unfazed by others. We saw two dogs along the way and followed the same protocol. One dog - a black Labrador pulling at the end of a flexi leash - bothered Marge more than the other - a German Shepherd who stuck close by his family and paid little attention to Marge.

The only exception I made was with two women who we met at the park's entrance. I try to usually stay away from meet and greets while we're out, so there is no pressure on Marge to interact, but I decided that waiting in the car for them to pass would have been a bad option. It just felt unnatural, and I think the stress of Marge watching them from the car would have been substantial. They were very kind to Marge and one of them offered to feed her a cookie. We met up with them briefly again on the trail. They remarked over Marge's black/brown color combination.

We reached a bed of ferns and saw that the trail climbed upward once again beyond that point. It was already around 2:45 and we were tired, so it was then that we turned around.

Marge led the way home back down the trail.

On the way back past Pump House Pond, Marge decided she wanted to go for a dip. I've often complained that the water in the Greenbelt is not particularly conducive to Marge wading in it because it is so muddy around the banks. Today, at this location, we didn't seem to have that problem.

She left a trail of pawprints on the footbridge as we crossed away from the pond.

Soon after, we reached the end of our incredible journey. Back to the pavement, back to the car, back to regular New York life. But wow! What a great day in the woods it was.


Minnie-Moo (Rescue Lab) October 11, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

That looks/sounds like a fantastic walk :-) Shame we're too far away to join you!

Minnie-Moo & Muzzle

Cyndi and Stumpy October 11, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

Nothing like a fall day in the woods ... there is so much I miss living out here in the desert. It's cool you're discovering these places, now, with Marge.

Marge looks beautiful in Purple.

I'm pretty sure Cadillac Mountain, in Bar Harbor, Maine has the highest elevation on the eastern seaboard. Some of my old stomping grounds and a definate "must go," if you haven't. Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are awesome places to spend some time

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! October 11, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

I bet woo had a pawesome time!

AND a pawesome nap later!

Tank woo fur sharing your hike!


Deborah October 11, 2009 at 9:43 PM  

What a nice walk Marge had! It was a long one! The swim must have been chilly for her!!

BRUTUS October 11, 2009 at 9:44 PM  

What a beautiful day! I still need to get some hikes in before the colors start to fade. It's been SO wet here, so I'm hoping things will dry up soon! I think the purple collar is smashing on Marge!


KB October 11, 2009 at 11:20 PM  

It sounds like you and Marge had a fantastic day together. And, it was great luck that Marge had such a good interaction with the two women who you met at the start.

I think that Labs might be the hardest breed for shy dogs to deal with. I know from my own Labs that they expect that every dog they see will want to frolic with them.

I hope that you and Marge have a lot more wonderful days like today. The weather sounds like it was perfect!

Shadowsky October 11, 2009 at 11:31 PM  

I'm jealous lol. All our 'fall colors' have been and gone. Our trees are naked! Looks like you had a lovely walk.

Kathy Mocharnuk October 11, 2009 at 11:46 PM  

Those are the prettiest pictures, you guys have some great places to visit/hike around you. Sounds like a really terrific day for Marge too. PS I am so glad that they were able to do the thyroid test on Marge's blood, although it sucks that the post office messed up and did not get the blood there in time for the full CBC....ANYWAY, sounds like things are heading back on the right track for Marge so that is always good to see ;-)

Lorenza October 12, 2009 at 12:16 AM  

Sure you two had a pawesome walkie!
That place looks very interesting to explore it!
We don't have fall colors either. Our trees are green or brown. That is!
Kisses and hugs

Dexter October 12, 2009 at 6:08 AM  

MARGE! You did a great job on your walkies and the reward was seeing all those pretty spots and taking a dip in the pond. What a good girl you are.


PoochesForPeace October 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

Awww, looks like such a great day! Love the scenic pics and the one of Marge on the bridge :)

Kari in Alaska October 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

Yay for hikes! We have not gotten to do much since leaving Alaska (California weather is not the best for hiking with dogs) but hopefully now that it is cooling down we will get out more!

Golden Samantha October 12, 2009 at 1:02 PM  

What a GREAT hike and so beautiful! I'm originally from the east coast and always miss the leaves this time of year and your post has me longing!!! What a lovely hike for you and your mom and auntie!!! And thanks for taking us along all the scenic highlights!
Hugs xo

Martha October 12, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

We love your hikes! That was a great day with the beautiful autumnal colours - we wish we could have been with you.
Martha & Bailey xxx
ps yes Martha never used to play with toys at all but she seems to be coming out of her shell!!!!

The Army of Four October 12, 2009 at 5:24 PM  

Wowzers! What a cool adventure! We sure wish we could have come with you - well... except Dave sure wouldn't have wanted to get his feety-feet wet! Ha rooo!
Thanks for taking us along, via the camera!
Play bows,

Astrid Keel October 12, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

what a pawsome walk... looks like you had a fab time!

Frankie Furter and Ernie October 12, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

HI MARGE !!! Good to meet you!!! Hummmm and Hourglass "swamp". Do you suppose that means you can romp and wade in it for 60 glorious mud splashing minutes???

Fred October 13, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

Lovely pictures! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Gus, Louie and Callie October 13, 2009 at 6:20 PM  

What a lovely walk you had. We can't wait to see the leaves in full color..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

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