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Hike and Paddle at Hemlock Lake

It was a glorious day to be outdoors, on the final day of June.  An even dozen gathered at Hemlock Lake to enjoy the cool, sunny weather and were rewarded.  We had our usual hiking groups.  Four hardy hikers walked the length of the lakeshore then climbed through the woodlands on Rob’s Trail, for an impressive 4.25 miles.  Another four motored up to Rob’s Trail trailhead and worked their way back to the boat launch.  In this group we welcomed two new hikers, who appeared to enjoy the outing and the easy going group of Tourists.  Two folks took the Naturalist. route along the DEC trail, out and back to the boat launch, which was a hefty 3.5 miles.  From the bench at the terminus of this trail, they spotted and waved at the paddlers out on the lake.  Only 2 kayakers ventured out on Hemlock Lake for 4 + miles of paddling.  At they headed across the lake, an eagle appeared, swooping along the western shore.  That was a good omen.  The breeze pushed them swiftly down the lake, yet was not too much of a hindrance on the crossover or the upwind part of the loop.  It was a decent workout.

A delicious picnic supper, awaited the group as they returned to Hemlock Park.  It was a perfect evening, weather wise.  Everyone remarked or the variety and quality of the culinary offerings.  (Nutritious and delicious!)  It was a top notch day at Hemlock Lake.  Thank you to all who participated.

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Steege Hill Recap

The seven hikers who made the trek to Big Flats on Sunday were rewarded with a afternoon of pleasant Fall weather in which to explore the Steege Hill Preserve.  Although some trails were soggy from all of the recent precipitation,  the skies were clear, and the temperature was almost toasty.

Sadly, we did not have the benefit of our usual guide, Bob who is the longstanding steward at the preserve.  Therefore we had to create our own script, recalling some of the tales he has shared with us in the past. We did encounter the manager of volunteer patrols, John Abbott,  who thanked us for visiting and contributing over two hours to the schedule.

At this season of the year the forest is quieter.  The sounds of gurgling streams were prominent.  Instead of the cries of hawks, the droning of small planes from the nearby airfield filled the air.  We  saw a glider being towed through the sky.  No wildlife were evident.  The rattlers and mound ants were tucked safely away in their nests.  Although the foliage was significantly diminished,  new forest color emerged. The delicate yellow flowers of the witch hazel shone through in many places.  In one section of the woods, brilliant red barberry shrubs burst with color.  John has put up a lovely slide show that captures our afternoon adventures.

The sun was already low in the sky when we picked our way down that steep hill to the parking area.   The setting sun lent a lovely glow to the  surrounding hillsides as we departed Steege Hill Preserve.  As always, Tag’s Restaurant provided  a fine feast for famished hikers.  The small group size made it easy for conversation.



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It’s a girl

Esme Ava Xiaojun Lee
7lb 1oz
19 inches

As of 8:50 Thursday, September 13, 2018, Linda and I are grandparents! 


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The Vermont Camping Trip – 2018

Lunch at the top of Camel Hump

24 people – members, friends and relatives – came on the outing to Vermont’s Little River State Park this week, and most of us are now home. It was a superb trip, with great hiking on Camel’s Hump and Mount Mansfield, and kayaking on the Waterbury reservoir and many wonderful photos. 6 of us made it to the top of Camel’s Hump, and the trip down on the Long Trail was an adventure in itself. Those with kayaks took the sunset paddle with a park guide, and that too was a wonderful and educational experience. All who went on this trip enjoyed it immensely! 

Melissa and Donna go over the edge

It’s appropriate to thank Bill and Pam once again for organizing the hikes and the party dinner after the Camel’s Hump hike. Both did an outstanding job; we all thank them again for the effort they put in to make this trip such a success. It couldn’t have been better!

Please keep Bill in your thoughts in the next few weeks.  He’s had a few heart twinges and is going to have a stent installed. It has slowed him down temporarily, but not much and not for long.