I've been having some personnel problems at work and last week I had mentioned them to Kali (though I should know better after 25 years in my job). So, for nearly the entire drive to the Reservation, Kali took the opportunity to berate me and tell me to "grow a spine" in dealing with my employees She is, in fact, completely correct. But, in some ways, Kali is like a "junkyard dog"--once she sinks her teeth into something (i.e., my inadequacies as a manager), she just won't let go. So, on and on it went until we arrived at the Reservation.
|At the trailhead|
|At the beginning of the trail--a promising start|
|Perched on a rock shortly into the hike. I asked a fellow who was taking pictures of his female companion to take our picture, too; a better photographer would have asked Kali to move out of the shadow.|
|Aqua blaze: Ridge Trail; Yellow blaze: Highlands Trail on a chestnut oak (Quercus montana), probably the most common tree in the Reservation|
|View northwest over one of the many room-size boulders along the trail|
|This is a trail?|
|Shelf fungi blanketing a fallen log|
|Christmas ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) were abundant throughout|
|A Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) had been hard at work|
|A mossy stone (or maybe someone left my cake out in the rain?)|
|How'd that get there?|
|Long view to the Delaware Water Gap|
The return portion of the hike actually included a steep descent (on the aptly named Switchback Trail) to river level. While the river corridor, as I mentioned, is not within the Reservation, I trespassed to the stream bank where the river had been impounded. Kali, disgusted and tired, decided to remain back on the trail to wait for me.
|Spillway on the dam|
The impoundments have become virtually useless since they have silted up, but they provide wildlife habitat. I'm surprised that I didn't see any Canada geese (Branta canadensis) cruising the surface of this pond.
When I was done taking pictures along the river, I retreated to the spot where I had left Kali, only to find no one waiting. I had been gone about 20 minutes, so I figured that Kali had decided to hike slowly back toward the trailhead rather than just sit and wait for me. But Kali wouldn't have known what direction to turn at the next trail intersection. So, I walked about a quarter-mile along the trail to the next intersection and..no Kali! Grrr! I called out loudly for her, got no response, and decided that I had to retrace my steps back to the location where I had left her. When I got back to the original spot, calling all the way, I finally heard a faint reply--Kali had climbed partly back up the Switchback Trail (out of eyesight) to find a flat rock on which to sit to wait for me, and she had fallen asleep. Grrr! After a "frosty" and hurried lunch, we set off to complete the hike - all uphill (and grumbling) from this point, of course.
|Stepping stones across a wet section of the trail. There's a skunk cabbage spathe (Symplocarpus foetidus) just emerging from the soil to the right of the rock in the foreground|