Chestnut Ridge from the Southern End

My walking buddies and I headed to the Goose Creek trail head at the south end of Chestnut Ridge for our Tuesday walk today. I was happy with this choice because I do want to walk the entire ridge sometime, so this would give me a feel for the southern end.

Most of us thought we’d be walking the road up to a certain point, but one walker thought we should take a trail instead. That sounded like a good plan as we’d had rain last night and the road was wet, muddy and slippery. So, off on a trail we went…

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This looks a fine trail, don’t you agree? And, yes, it was for about a 1/4 mile or so, but then we realized that either we’d lost it or it’d lost us. We back-tracked a bit, but it seemed to just fade away, so our leader led us for some bushwacking, and up we went. Actually, bushwacking was slower than just walking up this trail, so although we were continuing to climb, it was at a easier speed.

Beautiful fall colours and so nice to have some moisture in the woods again…

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We continued on until we realized that we couldn’t find a way to cross over from the ridge we’d walked up to the ridge we wanted to be on. Someone pulled out a map (no apps were working!) and figured out that ahead a ways we could get to where we wanted to be without loosing too much altitude.

If you’ve read this blog in the past, you know that what we do is walk…walk…and keep on walking…until we reach our destination. Once we reached the end of our current ridge we met up with a forest service road, which led us to the trail we wanted up to Chestnut Ridge. This is an “unofficial” trail, meaning, I think, that it’s a straight path, with no extra funds put into making a walker’s life easier with things like…switchbacks. No such luck, just straight up.

However, after two miles and 1,500′ elevation gain, we reached the ridge, which offered lovely lunch scenery…20160920_113555

The Crazy Mountains in the background…

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Chestnut Ridge, itself, at the southern end…

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I sat on a branch of this fine old fellow for my lunch spot…and wondered about the stories this tree could tell…

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Coming down was just that…two miles of down, although we took the road when we met up with it again. It’d dried out somewhat, so we weren’t collecting too much mud on our boots. Wildlife today included an unid’d species of grouse that flushed right beside us at a trail stop and another in the woods, a gray jay that put on quite a show for us – it seemed just as interested in us as vice versa, and red squirrels quite vocally upset by our passing by.

After having spent my summer at sea level I’m feeling every foot of elevation gain on these walks…but it’ll get easier again, right?

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Moi, on the ridge, with the Absarokees in the background (the Absarokees are en route to Yellowstone from our location). I really do need to vary my walking apparel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About walksandrambles

My love of walking began in 2005, when, travelling with my Girl Scout troop to Switzerland, I joined a group of Norwegians for a day, to walk up Elsignenalp. I wasn't at all sure I could make it, but the guide was kind and through her encouragement, started out. It was an all-day affair for me and I was always the last one, but this didn't matter a bit...I'd found my new love! No photos exist for this...the camera went missing on a train...but I remember toasting myself with a cup of tea from my thermos at the top...it was a day of tough work and pure pleasure. If you walk, you know what I mean!
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