Friday, September 30, 2011

Bear Mountain Climb and Apple Picking

Apple picking has become somewhat of a tradition with us each autumn. Usually we go at the end of the season but this year we went early. We combined the fruit hunt with a planned hike. We got to Bear Mountain about 10am but the road to the top was closed. So we parked at the base by the lodge and set out to walk to the summit. Vertical elevation is only about a 1,100 ft. but the route is tortuous and rather long. After we got off the path from the base it became very steep and rocky. The trail was well marked but often there was no obvious path to follow; only a collection of moss and lichen covered granite, marble and schist to walk over or climb up. 

Riley and Max were always in the lead and yelling back encouraging comments to us old folk. Max especially was a very good trail blazer and mountain goat. There had been quite a bit of rain recently so the creeks were running fast. We got to the top about noon and sat down enjoying the sun and a picnic. Riley spotted a large hawk perched close to where we were sitting and tried to get a better view. The raptor flew away before he could get a photo.

For the way down Charles tried in vain to find the Appalachian Trail (he was WAY off) so we followed the same trail back down. It wasn’t any easier! Our next stop was Outhouse Orchards, about 45 minutes away. It was still too early in the season for the leaves to be turning so there wasn’t much color in view. The orchard sells fresh hot donuts and cider. This afternoon there was a line waiting for them to cook! We waited for about 20 minutes for a dozen cinnamon donuts then stuffed ourselves. We walked up into the orchards and admired the fruit trees laden with a very good crop.

Miranda made a fabulous apple pie when we got home.

That and the bottle of Aleve were very welcome.

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