Goodyear Lake

By Carol at 9:43 am on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Goodyear Lake

The ADK hikers traveled to Goodyear Lake for a two hour hike, starting on a rail-to-trail path, leading to a forest walk to the lake’s perimeter. A storm threatened but gave way to periods of warm sunshine. We didn’t need to bring out our panchos or bugspray today.

painted turtle

This painted turtle was found walking, rapidly for a turtle, between the rails. One of our group moved him down to a safer spot at the edge of the woods.

Goodyear Lake Dam

Goodyear Lake Dam, located on the upper Susquehanna River, not far from headwaters in Cooperstown, is the site of portage for racers in the General Clinton Canoe Regatta.

top of the dam

Hikers overlook the dam, with Goodyear Lake on the right, and the Susquehanna on the left.

portage trail

Hikers on the portage trail, walk down to the spot where the canoes return to the waters of the Susquehanna to continue on their way. The race, held every Memorial Day, was extra long this year, due to strong headwinds. Our hike ended with lunch and cold drinks in a member’s garden near the lake.

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Memorial Weekend on the Susquehanna

By Carol at 11:00 pm on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Susquehanna

Before the first canoes arrive in the relay race, the river appears deserted.

kids in the river

Kids play in the water while the crowd waits for the first canoe to arrive.

our crew

Our crew members for this 8 1/2 mile leg are Barbara and Jack, who paddle valiantly.

our catchers

The team of ADK “catchers” help the crew change and drain water from the canoe before shoving it off for the next leg of the race.

Pot luck site

At the end of the day, our group meets at members’ home, overlooking the river. The wind has died down, and the water is smooth as glass.

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Learning the Sport of Geocaching

By Carol at 10:56 am on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Today we drove with our friends Nancy and Barry to the arboretum at Esperance, where we participated in a class on geocaching. This new sport started around 2000 with the advent of GPS devices, and has spread to over 100 countries. We learned about entering coordinates into our GPS in order to locate five caches on the arboretum grounds. An LL Bean rep and a naturalist were on hand to assist in what turned out to be an adult-style treasure hunt. The naturalist’s twins came along and reminded us that this would be fun to try with our own grandchildren.

Oriole nest

Our first find was hidden in this old oriole nest, hanging from a red-twigged dogwood.

Nancy uses her new zoom lens.

Nancy is using her new zoom lens.

Recording a new cache discovery.

Recording a new cache discovery.

Yellow azalea growing wild in the woods.

Wild azalea growing in the arboretum woods.

Finding the last cache.

Larry, Nancy and Barry recording the final cache of the day, before leaving for lunch at the Grapevine Farms Bistro in Cobleskill.

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Hiking Winney Hill

By Carol at 10:35 am on Sunday, May 25, 2008

We had a beautiful loop hike in Oneonta, starting on Winney Hill Road, walking up to the ridge, then down to West Road, Herrick Road, back up toward the ridge to our starting point. The weather was overcast and cool, perfect for hiking.

Winney Hill pond

A small pond on Winney Hill.

fringed polygala

Our first wildflower find of the day was this fringed polygala.

aquilegia canadensis

A clump of aquilegia canadensis grew in the thin soil atop a large rock.

quarter horses

A quarter horse farm on West Road.

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Stevens Creek

By Carol at 7:53 am on Saturday, May 3, 2008

Stevens Creek Reservoir

Once again we hiked the Stevens Creek County Park, on the Tony Look Trail. Tony and his wife Mildred were the founders of our hiking group, and were activists in procuring open space in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They also worked with the Sempervirens Group. The reservoir contained more water than last year, but with no significant rainfall in the past two months, the water level is below normal.

duck family

A duck family entertained us while we ate lunch. We also saw cormorants fishing and a kayaker who used his arms for paddles.

checker spot

We were lucky to see many of the endangered Bay Checker Spot Butterflies feeding on the nectar of this flowering shrub.

sticky monkey

Yellow Sticky Monkey Flowers were in abundance along the chaparral portion of the trail.

Indian paint brush

We saw a few clumps of Indian Paint Brush.

cream colored wildflowers

White Globe Lily above, and Beautiful Clarkia, below.

orchid-like wildflowers

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