I started out today at the Lenox Basin trailhead where I parked two weeks ago, but instead of hiking west into Canastota, I proceeded east to Durhamville. I turned back at Route 46 for a roundtrip out-and-back of 6.1 miles. This section of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) follows the Old Erie Canal. It is flat and gravel-surfaced and not terribly exciting. However, after my trouble parking last week down at the Cheningo Day Use Area, I wanted a sure thing today. Plus, it was raining and in the 30s. I thought being able to move quickly would help stay warm.
Of course, I was way too hot after just half a mile. I really struggle with thermoregulation, especially when wearing rain gear. It was huge a relief when the rain eased up, and I was able to remove the rain pants and a sweatshirt. I always start winter hikes cold, on the theory that I will warm up fast, but I might have to start even colder. Despite these issues, I really enjoyed myself out there. I love the misty look of soft rain, the peace of solitude, finding the hidden beauty in a landscape of drab.
|the water is full of sediment, runoff from all the rain|
|starting in the cold rain|
|the trail uses the Canal Street bridge to cross the New York State Thruway|
|bridge over Oneida Creek|
|warmed up and shed some layers|
|this section of trail ends at Route 46 and the next few miles of the NCT are a roadwalk|
|re-tracing my footsteps|
|crossing the Thruway again|
|Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)|
|so nice when the trail diverges from the road|