Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's RiverHag doing up in Tanglewood?

Looking for the Chemung River, of course! I knew it would be a long hike, so I chose a cool, cloudy morning.That turned into a bright sunny scorcher. No matter, since I would mostly be in the shade. Not so, however. There are plenty of sun-drenched paths. Fortunately they usually run back into the woods.
And then it is a pretty, shady hike. But the trail I needed to walk was very, very long. To visit the River, even from above, would take me about 45 minutes. Not to mention 45 minutes back.
When I finally saw the Chemung, I had to fight the vertigo. The drop is breathtaking. I was already tired, and it was a struggle to continue walking. Good thing I had my fortified camera pod, because I really needed to lean on something.
No kidding. Looking out over the river, I could see that where the rocks began, the trees stopped.
Finally. Fitch's Bridge.

When I reached the overlook, there was no place to rest. The park bench was in pieces, held up with a teetering tower of rocks. I took a quick picture and began to look for landmarks. Ten years ago my sister and I hiked to the very same spot. The view is quite different, because trees now block much of it.Still, it was worth the trip. Looking north, one can follow the river all the way out through big Flats. I took one last shot that focused on the opposite bank, zooming in a bit:Looking straight across, there are pretty farms and some fairly impressive homesteads. Wonder if some of them are new since my last visit?

Tanglewood has changed in ten years. The trails are better marked, and there are more facilities.

I've changed too. Multiple Sclerosis may be a nervous system disorder, but it has really messed with my muscles and sapped me of stamina. What used to be a pleasant walk of about and hour or so now becomes two full hours that slowly turn into torture, with me dragging my bad leg and shuffling my feet. Thank heavens I wore hikers.

There were deer, butterflies, some of the biggest squirrels I have ever seen, bullfrogs and some very large birds that I was too tired to try to identify. An earlier morning, or later afternoon, would no doubt produce different wildlife.

It was worth the trip. I saw the Chemung River from the hilltop.

Little Pond


destroyingangel said...

Awesome. Is that view from Frenchman's Bluff?

And yeah, it's not an easy hike. You gotta watch out for rattlesnakes, too... as if the cliffs aren't enough.

- Deanna

Bill said...

Great site RiverHag! The pictures are wonderful.

If you don't mind, I am going to link you from

pb said...

Not too worried about the rattlesnakes, although they advertise (?) them a lot. It would be an easier hike if I were not disabled. One could spend a lovely morning or afternoon there.

Thanks for the linkage, Bill.