Echos in the wind

Posted by & filed under the hiking diaries.

Another day, another hike, another diary entry.

Today is my day off from work. I was actually planning on working this afternoon, but I was really consumed by work this week and neglected taking care of my body. So I went for a long hike and then, when I went to sit down – my body barked “too much sitting this week, get back up!” So I did.

Love non-work days, though, because they mean I have time for longer hikes. I’m finishing up the trails on the mountain. I decided to complete the east side. Or maybe it’s more south than east. I actually didn’t know if I was going to do as much as I did. Was playing it by ear on whether or not I’d do the Stage Coach loop (I did). Here’s the map….

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We entered at the parking lot for Echo Lake Rd. Took a right on Administration Road, a left onto what looks like Lower Link Trail on the map, but it’s actually Jack Frost at that point, continued straight on Lower Link, left onto Harrington, right onto Administration Road until it ended, then turned around and walked all the way down to the parking lot. Went up Stage Coach Road, onto Stage Coach Trail, right onto Harrington, right onto West Road, right onto Administration, left onto Echo Lake Road back to the car. Phew! We were gone for about and hour and 45 minutes.

Now, let’s go through it pictorially (and I’ve got a video for you, too!).

The first picture was from home, when I realized that a squirrel had used my hiking shoes to store his nuts.

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One hickory nut. One acorn. Left them there for him. Done leaving my shoes on the porch, though. The squirrels can find another place to store food for the winter.

Here’s the entrance to the trail. It begins on Mountain Road, next to the old superintendent of the mountain’s house. I knew him from church. His name was Russ Vickery. Really nice guy. He used to live there. No one has, since.

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And here’s the house. All boarded up. On state land. Such a shame, it would be a beautiful place to have a home. Or an educational center. They tried to get someone to live there and spend their own money to fix it up (for free rent). I never thought that was such a great deal. Apparently no one else did, either. Because they never got any takers. I know a friend that looked into buying it when she was looking to move. They didn’t want to sell it. So it sits there, a silent sentinel of Echo Lake Road and a reminder of days gone by.

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Here’s my tree picture for the hike! Half of this big ol’ tree had broken off. Oh! I forgot to mention that I spotted red apples on a leafless tree on the side of the road on my drive to the mountain. I stopped and plucked one and plan on planting the seeds on my land.

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Here’s Echo Lake. It really does echo if you are in the right spot. I tried a couple of times. I wasn’t in the right spot.

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The theme of my walk seemed to be water and leaves. And leaves in water. It was beautiful.

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We passed by the entrance to Echo Lake Trail. (We’re on Echo Lake Road.)

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Hard to see this sign, but we’ve reached Administration Road, and we headed to the right, up the mountain.

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The one thing I don’t like is that they re-graveled Administration Road. I keep forgetting that. I think it’s too rough on my dogs’ feet. Koda wound up limping last year because Dot and I walked it a lot. So I tend not to hike it much anymore.

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I knew Lower Link Trail joined up with Administration Road here (although, technically it’s Jack Frost at this point), but I had forgotten my map and wasn’t sure where it ended, so I decided to hit that piece of the trail I hadn’t hiked first, and walk back down Administration Road.

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Jack Frost goes to the right, Lower Link goes straight.

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Shortly after (it’s a very short trail) you hit Harrington, and go left to get back onto Administration Road.

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This is usually as far as I walk on Administration Road. But the map shows it going further. You hit grass and picnic tables.

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It’s a nice picnic area, complete with outdoor grills. And I guess someone left their cigarettes and lighter (if that’s what that is, hard to tell. Wasn’t me. I hate those things with a passion, growing up in a house filled with smoke (from my dad).

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There is a parking area for this spot.

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And on the other side, I had intended to continue hiking, but this sign says they are regenerating the area and humans aren’t allowed. So we turned around.

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This picture is blurry, but it’s a favorite spot for the dogs. It’s a little pond right near where West Road meets Administration Road. They went for a quick dunk. I always want to get a picture but I’m holding onto two leashes and making sure I don’t get pulled in. So no picture of them in the water.

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This is also the point I decided I was going to extend my hike and not head back on Echo Lake Road when I reached it. We hiked to the bottom of Administration Road. This it looking back at it from the entrance.

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Directly to the left of that entrance is the entrance to Stage Coach Road. It’s not a very friendly entrance. Warnings about the windmills and enter at your own risk.

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So I did, but it kind of set me up for weird thinking. Hey, it was sunny. The sky is starting to look ominous up there. It was like the mood setting of a movie! And I looked to the left, where we had just been and it was blue sky still. Freaky. I guess I was a little spooked.

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Here we are at the top, and here is your movie. It’s even hard to tell just how HUGE these things are up close. I was going to try and hike the little trail from there down to Harrington Trail (because I didn’t hike it when I hiked Harrington). But in my slightly freaked out state I didn’t want to go under the windmill. (They aren’t really that intimidating when they aren’t running.) So I left it for another day. We entered onto Stage Coach Trail, which goes by the second windmill (trail sign is in the video).

Windmill #2.

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Eventually we joined up with Harrington, took a right.

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We are missing pictures for hitting West Road, taking the right, and hitting Administration Road and taking another right. We walked down Administration Road until we hit the junction with Echo Lake Road.

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And headed back home. We hiked for an hour and 45 minutes. It was a great way to start my day!

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