11-12-2005, 06:38 PM
Got a late start this morning and didn't arrive at the trailhead until almost 10am. Parked the car at the west end of the Devils Path along with several other cars. I figured my chances of getting a ride at the end of the day were better and we were itching to get on the trail and in the woods on this beautiful day. Only one other person had actually signed the register this morning so we knew that the cars were all spotted for those doing the loop in the opposite direction. The trail was leaf covered and wandered through open forest. About a half hour into the hike Charlene took a nasty fall that almost turned us around. Flat ground, no ice just a stumble and fall. She insisted we keep going and walked in pain all day. After a snack on St. Annes (W. Westkill) we descended to meet Tom Rankin and his club hike group. He, of course, recognized the dog from the avatar. He kindly offered a shuttle back to our car should the timing work out that way. Everyone was smiles on this warm day. I think Charlene even managed a smile at this point! We went our way and they theirs. Up Westkill we went and found Buck Ridge Lookout empty on this great day. Aside from Tom's group we would see two solo hikers and three pairs of hikers out today. We had a snack and took a few photos. On the way down we encountered trace amounts of snow and spots of ice just like we had on the way up. Shady parts of the trail still had some snow and ice but anywhere the sun had hit it was gone. As I strolled up to the trailhead who do I see coming to sign his group out? Why it's Mr. Tom Rankin who makes good on his offer of a much appreciated shuttle back to our car. Thanks Tom. Owe you one. Another wonderful day in the woods except for Charlene's fall. Now she has an excuse to put her feet up tomorrow!