Strenuous and gorgeous hike in Ward Pound Ridge

From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010

We got up at 5:00, hit the road at 5:55, parked in the Michigan Hill Road parking area at Ward Pound Ridge, and started our big hike at 6:35. We made our way east, then south along the high ridge over the site of the former fire tower and down to the trail crossing near the pond. We wound our way upward and westward along the new NR trail and took a break at the overlook near Raven Rocks where we saw a buzzard in a tree last time.

From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010

Just west of there I began seeing distinctive little divots in sandy patches of the trail. Each one looked as though an insect had carefully excavated a small inverted cone. It reminded me of the pictures I’ve seen of sand lion traps, but I didn’t think that we had sand lions in this part of the country. It turns out I was wrong! When we came across some more, I dug around at the bottom of the divot and brought out a little insect that looked like the Ceti Eel from Star Trek II! It would play dead, flip itself over, and then burrow right back into the sand! I found several of them, and got the best shots I could as they were burrowing.

From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010
From Hiking in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with Grace – September 4, 2010

We made our way down into the valley, up the steep rock staircase, over Spy Rock, and then the trail leveled out as we went northwest and then north to the car. Grace had to make a call, so I spent an hour hiking southwest to the overlook near Leatherman’s Cave. It’s the most beautiful vista in Ward Pound Ridge, and today’s sky did not disappoint.

I came back just in time to meet Grace, and made one more trip with her to the overlook. We got back to the car at 1:30, which means that I hiked for about six and a half hours and Grace hiked for about five and a half. Go us!

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