Friday, May 30, 2008

Hiking - Plotterkill Preserve

The Plotterkill Preserve is owned by Schenectady County. It contains a gorge several miles long, with two large waterfalls and numerous smaller cascades. A red loop trail along both rims of the gorge covers about 5 miles, with significant ups and downs, some steep, and many side trails lead off the main loop to various views and cascades. It's only 20 minutes from home, and is a good place to get in a fairly strenuous hike.

The two main waterfalls were disappointing today, with only a trickle running in the Plotterkill Creek.

Compare this second waterfall with the same view in winter, a much more spectacular time to visit here:

About halfway around the loop, the trail drops down off the north rim into the gorge, where there is one of my favorite cascades:

The trail has crossed the creek at this point, and is about to begin the long climb out of the gorge to return along the south rim. This is a good place for a break, so I stayed until the mosquitoes discovered me, then went on my way. I was a little surprised that I was able to do this entire climb in one piece without a breather - this bodes well for bigger hikes in the months to come. Bike fitness appears to be transferring well!

Wild geraniums were everywhere today:

Continued along the south rim back to the car, after about 6 miles and 3 hours on the trail.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Biking and Computer Repair

Yet another day on the bike, and rewarding in many ways. Details here...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Biking - Saratoga Lake Loop

Another trip around the lake with a friend - details here...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Biking - Local (?) Roads

Long hilly ride today, the toughest of the year so far. Details here...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Biking and Yard Work

Biked to Holly's house (25 miles R/T) and helped her with some yard work. Details here...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Biking - Mohawk River Bike Path and Local Roads

A very windy ride along the river. Details here...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vacation - NJ, PA, DE, DC, VA

As promised, here's a quick summary of last week's trip, with a few of the many pictures. As I noted earlier, the primary purpose of this trip was to attend my daughter's graduation from George Washington University Law School, in Washington, DC.

We started out by visiting High Point State Park in New Jersey, home of (you guessed it) the highest point in New Jersey. We've been "collecting" these high points, at least the easy ones, as we've traveled to various parts of the country. This one is only at 1803 feet, and is driveable almost to the monument.

Next, we wound our way south through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, stopping at Raymondskill Falls on the way. This is reputedly the highest waterfall in Pennsylvania.

When we reached the southern end of the park, we were at the water gap itself. We hiked the Appalachian Trail about two miles to the top of Mount Minsi, which towers above the gap on the Pennsylvania side. New Jersey is across the river. This picture is from a viewpoint along the way.

After staying in Stroudsburg, PA, for the night, we headed south to stay with friends in northern Virginia, stopping at Longwood Gardens on the way. This place was huge, with both indoor and outdoor gardens, and we didn't really do it justice, even though we spent well over an hour there.

Leaving Pennsylvania, we headed toward another state high point, in Delaware. The actual high point is in a private mobile home park and can't be accessed, but this nearby sign counts as the high point as an alternative.

Finally arriving in northern Virginia, we prepared to attend several graduation-related events in Washington, DC. We went to a GWU Law School awards ceremony and a Dean's reception on Saturday, followed by the main university graduation and the law school graduation ceremonies on Sunday. The Washington Mall was a decidedly very cool place for the main graduation.

Monday was time to head for home. Hearing that the Potomac River was unusually high from recent rains, we decided to make a stop at Great Falls Park to see the thundering falls with the water really running. And thundering they were.

We were planning to stop somewhere in central Pennsylvania for the night and finish the drive on Tuesday. That left us time to visit the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, as well as an attraction that had intrigued me with its billboards for decades, Roadside America in Shartlesville, PA. This place has to be seen to be believed, especially the "Night Pageant". God and country are alive and well in Pennsylvania. And pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Excuse the blurring, but the light was a little low.

We stopped in Frackville, PA, for the night, and stuffed ourselves with dinner and breakfast at the famous Dutch Kitchen Restaurant before heading home. Now it's time to get back to normal.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3.5-Mile Run - Mohawk River Bike Path

Leaving tomorrow for a 7-day/6-night trip to Washington, DC (more below), so didn't have a lot of extra time to get out, even though it was sunny and 75. Settled for another run on the bike path, and that will be all for a while.

Aside from my daughter's graduation from GW Law in DC on Sunday, we're making a mini-vacation of the trip down and back. We'll be doing some light hiking at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, bagging a couple of state high points (NJ, DE), visiting some gardens, and touring Annapolis, MD, before arriving in northern Virginia to stay with some friends for the weekend. We'll also break up the trip home somehow with some more touristy stuff. I'll try to post some pictures when we return next week.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Biking - Mohawk River Bike Path and Local Roads

Another beautiful day, and a long relaxed ride along the Erie Canal. Details and pictures here...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Biking - Mohawk River Bike Path and Local Roads

I only needed 8 more miles to go over 500 for the season, so despite the wind, I cranked them out. Details here...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Biking - Local Roads

Longer ride today, 41.7 miles around Saratoga Lake, starting in Burnt Hills. Details here...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Biking - Local Roads

Some Taconic Hiking Club friends were doing an informal ride today, so I joined them for about 24 miles. Details here...

Monday, May 5, 2008

3.5-Mile Run - Mohawk River Bike Path

Nice weather returns, along with some nice-weather chores. Being short of time again, I went and did the usual run in Rotterdam, stretching it just a bit over the usual 5k.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hiking - Touch-Me-Not and Cabot Mountains

Led a hike today for Schenectady ADK to these two small peaks in the southwestern Catskills. The weather was promising a chance of showers, and it was obvious from aviation forecasts that the summits would be socked in with no views. Nevertheless, nobody backed out, and ten of us drove to the trailhead and had a good day. Wildflowers were everywhere, the woods were damp and mossy green, and we avoided any rain for the entire day. I didn't take any pictures, since the only view from the overlook at the summit was of trees only a few yards distant. As always, the skies cleared as we were driving home, after about a 6-mile hike.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Biking - Local Roads

Two rides today - one in the afternoon and another in the evening with the Schenectady Wintersports Club. Details here...