The forest today were full of wonderful new rivulets and waterfalls from all the recent rains, which continued off and on throughout the day. I took advantage of a morning pause in the precipitation to continue work I'd already begun on the trail connecting two existing trails on the north and south end of the ridge that forms the highest part of Canary Hill. In the morning I used a saw to clear all existing fallen logs crossing the trail and to completely define its geometry. Though requiring intense physical exertion, in my mind the work was a right-brain art project. I know this because I completely lost track of time. When I got back to the house, I found that many hours had passed and it was time to immediately head to my afternoon housecall. There wasn't even time to take a shower.
When I got back from my housecall an hour and a half later, I immediately set off into the forest again to continue work on my trail. This time I was mostly adding a second line of sticks to "complete" the definition of the trail. I decided to name the entire loop of trail running to the east of the Stick Trail the Canary Hill Loop. This includes nearly all of the former Canary Hill Trail as well as the prong of unnamed trail extending south-east from the southmost bend in the Stick Trail. In a nutshell, everything in orange on the map (below) is the new Canary Hill Loop, though the part completed today is just the 0.7 kilometer section of fairly straight trail running just below the Canary Hill ridge. The views from the southern half of this trail are spectacular, and Gretchen is particularly enthusiastic about having a nice big scenic loop.
The Chamomile River today in an unusual flood stage at the Stick Trail's ford.
Sally is visible to the extreme left.
Forest along the Stick Trail. Click to enlarge.
The fork on the Stick Trail. The Stick trails continues left and the
Chamomile Headwaters Trails starts to the right.
Forest along the Stick Trail.
Sunset along the Stick Trail, circa 3:30pm. Click to enlarge.
Eleanor along the Stick Trail, contemplating the sunset. Click to enlarge.
Eleanor turns to face the camera. Click to enlarge.
The Canary Hill Trail crossing the valley between Funky Pond Hill (foreground) and Canary Hill (background).
A stream normally isn't visible here.
The Canary Hill Trail a hundred feet further east.
The lights of Kingston, circa 5:10pm local time, viewed from the Stick Trail
near the Chamomile Headwaters Trail fork.
When I noticed it was getting dark, I was too far from home to make it home before the gloom descended. Walking through those woods is spooky at night, especially knowing the creatures that live there. It didn't make me feel any cozier that I could occasionally see the distant lights of Kingston from the overlooks along the Stick Trail; seeing civilization in country this remote just intensifies the feeling of isolation.