This “pop up” hike was thoroughly enjoyed by 6 ADKers and led by Randy Barker. The group easily descended to the creek at Valentine’s Flat at 6 pm and excited right on schedule at 8 pm. We noticed about 8 people enjoying the creek at our start (they seemed a little annoyed by our presence) but they quickly vanished from our view as we made our way to the right. We walked to a juncture where we posed for photographs with the background of impressive cliffs and gorgeous blue skies. Carefully crossing the creek and heading to the left we then accessed a path through a wooded area of giant trees and diminished light. All along the way, the group marveled at the beauty of the gorge and remarked that the weather was perfect! Some fossils were seen and there was little garbage – that’s a good sign that people are respecting the LNT concept.
Heading back, we enjoyed a rock skipping contest and it was a slam dunk, dunk, dunk, multiple times (too fast and too many to count) by John B. He told us he spent many wonderful summers skipping stones at a family property near Springville as a kid (and gave us his advice to choose flat and round shaped rocks). Wish we had taken a video to show his impressive rock skipping skills!
Post-hike at Randy’s beautiful home included an impressive camp fire with yummy snacks and John was presented a fine trophy for his athletic achievement.
Looking forward to future hikes in the Southtowns with Randy in the coming months.
– Pam Sander and Sue Kolasz