It was a decent Sunday, so I thought I’d try a Pennsylvania hike for a change. Not – a rocky one like Hawk Mtn – but something different. The AllTrails app lists a 5 mile hike on East Shore trail, Eagle Pass and Cliff Trail at Prompton State Park as ‘moderate’. Only an hour away, so off I went.
The joy of autumn 🍂 hiking! Crisp leaves crunched underfoot, frightening a flock of turkeys as I approached. The well worn path was hidden beneath the colorful carpet. This caused me to retrace my steps a couple times to return to the marked trail.
So happy to enjoy the lovely colors and feel of autumn!
Love old stone walls!
Heading downhill, these stone ledges concerned me at first, but looking back at them, I can see how they are terraced, making it an easy drop!
After car camping with a friend in the Adirondacks last month, I knew I wanted to return and try it alone. So recently, after a very spur of the moment decision, I made camp reservations for 2 nights near Lake Placid. Planning solo made me much more cautious about what I needed and what to bring. Also, even though the days would be warm and sunny, it was going to be cold at night.
On the drive up, the views were so gorgeous, as the trees were just beginning to wear their autumn colors. Stopped near Tupper Lake for a quick sketch.
A tiny island in Tupper Lake
I arrived to camp late afternoon, with just enough time for a quick walk at High Falls Gorge. Yes, it costs $, is very touristy and only a mile long, but it really packs a powerful experience in that short walk.
The next day, my plan was to hopefully find a waterfall that I was fortunate to experience in my early twenties. Back then, three others and myself hiked to the top on a hot summer day and swam in pools at the top. It was such a perfect event that I have always wanted to return, but didn’t know the name or even where exactly it was. I was told Roaring Brook Falls sounded like what I was looking for. (Thanks Jamey!) And it was!
After parking, as I followed the sign for the top of the falls, each step made me more sure that this was the place. At the top, there were the pools we swam in, and there was the view! Wow.
I sat and sketched, and then did the short walk to the bottom of the falls. Not much water right now, but the memories were as crystal clear as the water.
Sketched while relaxing at the top, color added at home. The view of Mount Marcy was an added surprise!
Top of Roaring Brook Falls looking back. The water was crystal clear, not at all how my sketch ended up!
Roaring Brook Falls – at the base
It was quite cold (yes, 30°!) the first night, but I doubled up on nightclothes and was plenty warm the second night.
It was an easy hike and I’m so happy to have found it again!
Earlier this month I was looking for a decent hike on my way to Virginia. I found it at Hawk Mountain. This refuge for birds of prey was founded in 1934 by Rosalie Edge, who saw the impact of raptor hunting in the area. With 2,600 acres, this is now a research center, a learning facility and one of the best places to view the annual fall hawk migration.
So I was in, of course! I arrived ready to hike and see some hawks! At the very beginning, I tripped and skinned my knee. No problem, I thought, just get going. Aptly named, The River of Rocks trail was only slightly challenging. So I decided to add a short loop since the entire day was devoted to this place. That loop was followed by a steep ascent of 900 feet, with no switchbacks, which took a while as I had to stop every 200 ft or so to catch my breath! Whew! But I pushed on, as I was looking forward to arriving at the top of the ridge and the final 1.5 miles as I thought “skyline” meant you’d have a view. Instead, the last portion consisted of giant boulders and cautious footing, meaning forget the view! Just finish this thing!
Hawk Mountain hike along ridge. The red circle indicates the next trail marker!
The very last climb was the hardest for me, as I was tired, bruised and achy. I asked a younger lady who had just passed me, to please hold my hike poles and backpack, as I couldn’t get a leg up onto the last giant boulder with them.
Now, finally, at the top, feeling safe and catching my breath, there were the magnificent views. Except – only one hawk was viewed that day. No – really! The day before they spotted 37 raptors, and on my day, only one! Not terribly disappointed as I felt pretty smug that I was able to complete 5.5 darn difficult miles!
Here are sketches started on site, but completed and color added at home.
Stay tuned to hear about my latest hiking adventure!
After a one night test run at our local State Park, my friend and I figured we’d go up north and challenge ourselves with 2 nights of car camping and a couple hikes. Little did we know we were following the tail end of hurricane Isaias!
So our Tuesday drive and setting up camp was in the rain and for most of the evening, a downpour. Very lucky a friend insisted I borrow their 9x9x6’ht tent! Very lucky. We were still soaked just setting it up, but once we settled down, we could wring out a few things and enjoy some snacks and wine.
After our coffee Wednesday morning, we headed for Cascade Mountain, a 6 mile hike (in and out) with 1,900’ elevation gain. My Alltrails app described it as “moderate”, and I disagree, although maybe I would agree with (a lot!) more hiking experience. Boulders or bigger rocks were found along much of the trail, making each step another piece of a climbing puzzle. Add to that, mud in between the rocks, making slipping a real possibility. (Which we each did at least once!).
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
The panoramic views at the top of the surrounding mountains were well worth the rain (yes, again!) and mud. The rain mostly stopped, and the mist and clouds opened up a bit so we could quickly enjoy that view. The wind, however, was very inhospitable and we headed downhill a bit before taking a break. No sketch was done at the top, as my supplies would have been blown away!
What with snack stops and being careful and stepping aside to let people pass, it took us 7 hours. We had planned to do a quick walk after at High Falls Gorge, but it was closed due to all the rain, so – back to camp. We enjoyed hotdogs grilled on the blazing campfire, and for me, more wine! 🍷
Thursday we went to Wilmington and hiked Cobble Lookout, rated easy, which we both wanted after yesterday. Really quite easy, with 3 miles out and back, and only 240’ elev. gain. Another fantastic view with wonderful sunshine! And finally a chance to get a quick couple of sketches in.
Walked the Glen today, 40°, the snow has started melting and last fall’s autumn leaves are peeking out. I sketched quickly, adding color at home. Check out my favorite tree on the right, just noticed the heart shape!
That’s what sketching does – helps you notice details, things you’d otherwise miss.
Here’s a screen shot from the Alltrails app of my typical Glen walk- 1.7 miles in 40 minutes. I’m not a speed walker! 😉.
Following my excursion to Machias Seal Island, (read about it here) I went down the Maine coast to Acadia National Park, staying in a rental in Southwest Harbor. I hiked the Otter Cliff walk, Cadillac Mountain, and Jordan Pond.
On Cadillac Mountain, I decided to try the North Ridge trail, 4.4 miles with an elevation change of 1,130 ft. It would’ve been much easier without all those gigantic boulders! But it was fantastic, and I would gladly go back and do it again.
Unique tree bark – seen on Cadillac Mountain
Cairn – Cadillac Mountain
For this view from Bubble Rock, I took a side trip straight up some large boulders. It’s not exactly all the way to the top – I got a little tired, and remembered I still had a couple of miles to finish around the pond, so this is the view very close to the top.
View from Bubble Rock near Jordan Pond trail
Jordan Pond restaurant is the only restaurant located within Acadia park. They are known for their popovers, which I decided to try while I sketched the view from my seat.
View from Jordan Pond restaurant
My final night at the park was quiet, as I enjoyed a glass of wine on the deck of my rental, I noticed these turkeys fly into a nearby tree. Wow! What a great way to end this adventure!
Look closely, you’ll see one on the roof and one in the tree!
Following my wonderful travels last year, I got a little blue, thinking about an entire winter in the cold and snow. So I started making travel plans for this year! Definitely lifted my spirits!
First I found a hiking club, with local “lite” hikes of 2-4 miles, that help keep me active.
Next, I planned a visit to Acadia Park in Maine. It is a perfect place to enjoy the wilderness, without going too wild, or too far from civilization. My rental is called The Bird Nest, and it’s away from the more popular areas, close to trails and close to local stores.
Another event I found is called Trek and Sketch, which includes my favorite pastimes, hiking and sketching, and, even better, it will be in the hills/ mountains in the south of France. Ahh, the perfect place to be, and a great way to enjoy it!
These will require an updating of my equipment, okay, maybe just an excuse to get some new stuff. A new Osprey daypack comes with so many attachments that I may require assistance to make the best use of them!
And, for the very short hikes, an Eddie Bauer cross shoulder pack.
As I’m writing this, we are getting yet more snow, which I don’t mind, but…it will be much nicer when spring arrives. I was excited about seeing a cardinal today, until I realized they don’t migrate, so he’s been here all winter. I need to see a robin!
That is meant in the nicest way! Hiking has been shown to improve both your health and your outlook. Disclaimer: I am not an expert hiker. I’m not even very experienced. But I love getting out in nature and moving!
Today was a gorgeous February day! Does this sound like an oxymoron? Not today, we had 60 degrees and sunshine. It was a perfect day to explore the woods.
As an artist, not only do I need to prep for the hike, I also need to throw down a few sketches.
Don’t judge me! Lipstick is very helpful on the trail. Okay, it’s not helpful, I just like to wear it.
The perfect place to get out in nature: Chenango Valley State Park