I had made plans to hike in a beautiful location on Saturday, but at 10:30 in the morning, my hiking buddies for the day bailed on me. Now what? I had already hiked this area several times, but had chosen it again based on their hiking abilities. Hmmm, going for a hike by myself in this area would not have been my choosing. Instead, I called a girlfriend and accepted the previous day's invitation to join her and her daughter for a Halloween parade, then I phoned another girlfriend to extend an invite to hike on the North Country Trail the following morning. I think K said yes before I had finished asking. I laughed and we made plans to meet at 8:30 Sunday morning. This would be her first time taking her new dog on the trail with her and she wasn't sure how he would behave, so it would be a relatively short training hike, 4.25 miles, but it would be through the woods and up and down hills. A good hike to be sure.
A crispy, frosty morning to start.
After a short drive and vehicle staging, we were on the trail by 9:45, Dunloe in the lead, K and then me bringing up the rear. It was chilly, but beautiful...and the smell of the woods? Heavenly. I kept breathing deeply to take in more of the scent. I love the rich, heavy scent of the woods when they are wet.
We were past peak color on the trees, as witnessed by our leaf colored paths, but the outing was still spectacular. I think we saw an eagle, but I can't swear by it..
So much fungus and where was my mushroom book again? Yep, still in the bookshelf at home.
Nice views whether we were looking down at the trail, out through the woods...
or up through the trees.
We marveled at the size of these leaves.
Oh yes, we went up....
and then we went down and around, turning this way and that as the trail led us. The trail is well marked with blazes and we had no question about which direction to go. The trail I was on a couple weeks ago could have used a few more blazes on their trees...just sayin'.
All of us did great on the hike. We averaged about a mile per 1/2 hour and arrived back to the car just before noon. K & I both agreed we could have gone further, but we just didn't know how Dunloe would do before we started.
I loved this trail and will probably bring Sir S and Miss M out here to hike. K was delighted with how well Dunloe did on the trail. She was worried he would be straining at the leash the whole time, but the only time he did that was when the squirrels were taunting him. We were surprised that he even followed the correct path when the trail split. Pretty sure he sniffed it out. I think he'll make a great trail dog for her. lol...I suggested that I might borrow him for my solo hikes and she grinned and handed me his leash. Now that's the kind of dog I want. K has all the care and cost of owning a dog and I get to have the fun. Okay!
Now that's what I call a good hike in the woods.