Conservation Trail “Trail Angels” and April Surprises!
Days 8-11, April 8-14, 2020
We left the Alleghany and headed north to the Cattaraugus creek area, Erie County Forest and Holland. We hiked up lots of very, very steep old logging roads, some really mucky and some re-routed trails that took us by surprise. We entered the Lake Erie watershed too and walked some country roads due to closures of some trails by landowners. We even managed to get lost a wee bit when the kind landowner came out to greet us as we were studying our map in confusion and then actually walked back up the hill with us to show the “way” again! Most landowners have been welcoming, some even with nice signs and one with a little bench to sit and rest our weary souls! Although trail was closed due to logging, but we did it anyway because it surprised us and our car was parked at the top of the giant, steep hill upon which this lovely bench sat) Others greeted us as well as we began to near more farmland and gently rolling hills on towards Holland.
SURPRISE! Day 9 from Rozyk Rd to Rt 39 although we did dress warm (it has been 38-45 most days with some sun)we NOT prepared to hike in deep snow when we began and the winds were howling, but on we marched…. Monsters and all we did meet! We even found some bear scat and it was FRESH!
Just the day before the snow we were welcomed with warmer weather another “Trail Angel”, Andy. After a rough day hiking 10 miles up and down mucky old trails, I sat to wait for David at trails end while he “bicycled back” to the beginning to pick up the car and come back to get me. Now this bike back was tough as it was up and down some good steep roads and the wind was in his face. It was to take him about 30-40 min to bike, then another 15 min car ride back for me. HOWEVER, when he got to the car, he discovered he had NOT TAKEN the car key with him, but had the older Subaru key instead on his key ring; he tends to keep the newer car key SEPARATE and had left it in our backpack, which, unfortunately was with me! So, this would have meant 2 more bikes back and forth for a total of about 24 miles of biking and still a car ride to me, which would have meant about total of 135 min. to come back for me, not to mention how exhausted he would have been! I had discovered the key in the pouch as he was leaving and yelled and yelled, but he did not hear me, so I began to walk RT 240 to help him cut off some of this return bike.
Low and behold, Andy, a local man with a pickup truck who lived just up the hill from our car came along with David and the bike in tow and not only did he come for me, he drove us both back to our car! We would not have gotten home until around 9-10 pm that night if he had not come along and helped us, even with all the virus scare! LESSON LEARNED; check your pockets before you set off!!!!!! Now we can laugh about it, but imagine how David felt when he got to the car and realized all this
We are now hiking in the rolling hills and farms around Holland and onward… till next time, farewell and stay safe!
-Submitted by Joanne and David Magavern