10 October 2014
PLUMLEY LAKE LEAN-TO to DUCK HOLE LEAN-TO (16.2 miles)
We left the shores of Plumley Lake late in the morning. It was raining lightly and cold, but occassionaly a bit of blue sky peaks through the clouds. We spent the morning walking through abandoned pine plantations, and reached Shattuck Clearing at 4.2 miles. The Clearing is the site of a former ranger station, now overgrown. We paused to look for signs of the land’s previous use, and then followed the trail followed along the route of the Cold River, crossing it on another impressive suspension bridge. My feet would have benefited from a long soak in the River, but we were too cold and too pressed for time to stop.
When the trail was not running close to the water, it was mostly on old gravel roads. Evidence of old logging camps was scattered along the way. This steel…thing came my home city – Buffalo, New York!
Along one of the roads, a strong west wind had blown down dozens and dozens of trees on the edge of a dense birch-fir forest. They must have been down for a number of years already, because there were clear herd trails around each blow down.
In the afternoon, we paused at a few lean-tos and read the trail registers. This entry, written by a young hiker, was our favorite.
I read the entry to my dad when we returned back home. He said, “Well, that about sums it up. It hurt a lot, but I had fun.”
The sun was just beginning to set when we arrived at the second Duck Pond Lean-to. The lean-to overlooks a meadow of golden-rod and then the dam-that-was (destroyed, finally, by Hurricane Irene). It was a beautiful, quiet view, and we felt wonderfully alone.
109.7 total miles