July 30, 2016

North Country Trail: Tinker Falls & Jones Hill

Bolstered by our successful mini-adventure at Clark Reservation on Wednesday, I was finally ready excited to head out for a summer hike in Central New York.  I gave Frankie the choice of a few different sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT), showing him maps and pictures from previous hikes.  He decided he wanted to go to Tinker Falls, which is part of Labrador Hollow Unique Area, then hike up to the hang glider launch pad on Jones Hill.  Last year when we hiked here, we took the service road up to Jones Hill, but this year we stuck to the blue-blazed NCT the whole way up and down.  The NCT does follow a short section of the service road, but the majority of the hike is on a narrow single-track in the woods.  It was so charming, I question why we ever went the other way!

July 27, 2016

Clark in July

This was my very first hike since returning from Scotland three weeks ago, an inexcusable lapse that has lead, I am ashamed to say, to no small amount of moping on my part.  I have been extremely discouraged by the horrendous heat and humidity, and compared to the cool perfection of the Scottish climate, it has seemed even more unpleasant than normal.  The day we flew home there was a 40+ degree temperature differential from morning in St. Andrews to evening in Syracuse.  Then, just when I promised myself I'd get out that weekend, no matter what the weather and enjoy myself (dammit!), I was dispatched to western New York for three days of invasive plant surveys.  Field work means very long days, even when it's 90 degrees, so after arriving home late Friday, I was feeling more like crawling into a dark cave than heading back out into the beastly weather.

July 4, 2016

East Lomond Circuit, Falkland, Scotland

With our vacation rapidly winding down, this was to be our last hike in Scotland.  I was a little worried when Erwin developed cold symptoms yesterday, and more so when he was slow to rise this morning.  However, he finally emerged and managed to pull himself together.  He stuffed his backpack full of tissues and we set out for Falkland, a 35-minute drive from our rental in St. Andrews.  We arrived in time for lunch at the Covenanter, a charming little inn across from the Bruce Fountain and Falkland Parish Church, right in the center of town.  It began raining as we finished our meal, so after settling up, we paused in the empty bar to pull on our rain gear.

July 1, 2016

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

Since we are leaving Skye tomorrow to drive to St. Andrew's, I had hoped to do another big hike today.  However, Erwin confessed he was stressed about the long drive, due to some car trouble we'd had on the drive from Edinburgh, and was hoping today could be mellower, more laidback.  So we lollygagged around in Portree a bit in the morning, enjoying another delicious breakfast at the cozy Cafe Arriba and poking into some shops before setting out for the Fairy Glen, which had been on our radar all along as a place we wanted to visit.  I am so glad we didn't miss out!