West road story

Posted by & filed under the hiking diaries.

So far, my favorite hike in the hiking diaries.

I wrote this post. It was part of this hike, which I am writing many days (okay, weeks) after hiking it. I wanted to take both dogs, so didn’t want to hike a skinny trail. There are a few dirt roads that are part of the hiking system on the mountain. West Road is one of them. I hadn’t hiked it since I used to let the dogs hike off-leash. So we went there. I really wanted a meditative time, to just be on the mountain, so it was a nice, easy hike. At least it was supposed to be. And was, until I turned around to go back.

westroad

I should have known it was going to be a great hike when I saw this on the way there. I actually turned around to go back and take the picture.

westroad-b

A picture NEVER is as beautiful as seeing something with your eyes. The way the mist had settled into the valley and the tops of the trees were poking up, and the sun was an orb filtered by the clouds.

Ahhhhh, bliss.

(And dang all these iPhone photos. Very blurry this hike.)

West Road, like North Road, has a back side of the mountain entrance. I’m pretty sure that the entrance is in Westminster, not Princeton.

westroad (1)

Big area to park.

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I was pretty bummed to see this. Perhaps more than just hikers park here. It is out of the way. Just hangin’ and dumpin’ my trash….

I should have picked it up on the way back, but completely forgot about it, because….well, you’ll have to wait for that part.

Here is the trail head, closer up.

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The dogs are ready to go!

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One thing about these wider roads. They aren’t just appealing to people who are walking two dogs. Horseback riders love them, too.

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(I never see any of them while I’m on the trail, just what they leave behind.)

West Road is kind of a damp trail. So lush. This is a huge wall of rock.

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Two thirds of the way on the road, we hit a little off-trail to Siplas pool. It’s a fun place to go with the dogs.

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Only, this time of year, it wasn’t a pool. Bummer. No swim.

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This is usually full of water up to the top of the stone wall. Only now you can really see the trees that line the bottom! There was a little water on the down side (right side in this picture) of the wall. So the dogs did get their drinks.

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Once again, I feel the need to apologize for these iPhone photos. Sheesh.

Here’s my obligatory tree photo. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know my fascination with trees.

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But, because of the picture quality, it’s hard to understand my fascination with this. In real life, the contrast between the white dead branches – tree bones – against the green of the living trees was like a story. A tale of two trees….

Harrington Trail crosses West Road. Or West Road crosses Harrington Trail. Take your pick.

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The one good thing about the iPhone is you can take panoramic photos. I wanted to get the signs on both sides of the trial.

And then. And then. I had my moment that you can read about in the post I linked to at the beginning.

the light

Soon after that we reached Administration Road.

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And we turned around to head back.

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This is the end of the photos, because here is what happened. Part of the reason I picked this road was because I had a limited amount of time before work and I had a (phone) meeting with my manager at 9am. But I guess I got a little distracted taking photos and by in my moment in the light. I had checked the time when I started, and what it was now, and I was in serious jeopardy of being late for my meeting.

So what did I do? I ran back most of the way with the dogs. I say most of the way because I am not a runner so I had to do it in spurts. But to give myself credit, there were some long spurts in there. And to take away the credit I just gave myself, that’s because much of it was downhill.

But I made it back with time to get back via the car (10 minutes). Only I completely forgot about the trash at the trail head. For all I know it’s still there.

So, this hike had it all. Relaxation, take-your-breath-away moments, momentary panic, and suspense (will I make it back in time?). What better way to start my day?!!!

 

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