FLT Map: S. Danby Road (M17) east to Ridgeway Road (M18)
14.6 miles, No GPS, FLT M17/18
Total trail miles completed to-date: 10.3 (1.8%)
I arrived at the parking area mid-morning. The temperature was in the mid 50s, it was cool standing still, but once I started moving I warmed up. I walked a short distance up S. Danby Road before turning off the road and beginning a climb up to Travor Road. After crossing the small dirt road the trail continued along relatively level terrain.
I passed through an old rock wall and stopped to take several pictures. The sun was filtering down through the new leaves on the trees and cast everything in a green light. The temperature had warmed into the 60s now and the spots of sunlight that passed through the trees felt warm. I left the rock wall behind and the trail began to descend. As I continued down the trail I came to wet area where small plants had carpeted the ground in green. A log lying on the ground was covered in green moss.
The trail began to curve to the left and I passed through a section of thick pine trees. The trees cast the trail in shadows and it was darker and cooler here. I heard some noises nearby and stopped to look; a raccoon was ambling along a short distance away. The pine trees gave way to other trees for a short distance and then I found myself back in a “tunnel” of pine trees. The ground was carpeted in needles that softened the sounds. The sunlight dappled the ground in spots.
Soon after leaving the pine tree “tunnel” the trail came to NY 96B. I climbed up from a low area beside the road and crossed to the other side. I walked down the road to Durfee Hill Road and started up the dirt road. After a climb the trail turned right off the road and back into the woods. The trail continued its climb up to the intersection of Heisey and Eastman Hill Roads. After leaving those roads behind the trail continued on to the top of a hill and ridge above Coddington Road. I could see the valley below through breaks in the trees – and it was a long way down!
The trail began to descend steeply and I came to a warning sign. The sign indicated that ropes had been installed to assist with the navigation of the steep section and cautioned hikers to be careful as it could be slippery. I navigated through several steep sections using the ropes to help make my way down. Finally the trail turned onto an old logging road and headed down to Coddington Road.
The trail came out onto Coddington Road next to a house. I stepped onto the paved road and turned to the right. Ahead of me I could see the intersection with Ridgeway Road. I turned to the left down Ridgeway road and came to a little dirt road that led to a parking area just off the road. A long grassy area opened out at the back of the parking area and a picnic table sat nearby. I decided this would be a good place to stop and have lunch.
I sat down at the table and ate my lunch and rested. The sun was warm and I took my time and enjoyed the weather. After finishing my lunch I walked a short way back into the grassy area looking for the FLT blazes to see where the trail went; I would start my next hike from here. It was time to head back and I had a steep climb ahead of me.
I walked back to the intersection and stopped to look up at the top of the hill; that was where the trail was – what a long way up! After taking a couple pictures I turned down Coddington Road. I turned up the old logging road next to the house and began the climb. After a good climb up the old logging road the trail turned left and began its steep climb. I took a moment to catch my breath before heading up. I was glad for the ropes because it was quite steep in many places.
Finally I was back at the top of the hill. It was a tough climb and I need to rest before heading on. I crossed Heisey and Eastman Hill Roads again and then back onto Durfee Hill Road. My feet hurt and I was tired and sore and I could feel every stone through my boots as I trudged down the road.
I crossed NY 96B and passed back through the pine tree “tunnel”. The sun was lower in the sky now and it was darker here. Perhaps it was because the pine needles on the ground softened the sounds, but I began to feel nervous. The hairs on the back of my neck rose and a chill run down my back. I stopped and listened and looked, but there was nothing; everything was still and quiet.
I pushed on through the pine trees and past the area where I had seen the raccoon earlier. As I climbed the hill the sunlight brightened and my feelings of nervousness passed. I was getting very tired and sore; I wanted to stop, but I had to keep going. “Just one step at a time”, I kept telling myself, over and over.
I continued my climb to Travor Road slowly until finally I reached the road and crossed over. Now all I had left was a gentle descent down to S. Danby Road. I pressed on slowly and then the trail opened out onto the road. I had never been so happy to see a dirt road. Tired and sore, I trudged down the road to my car.
I arrived home aching and sore and I had difficulty getting out of my car. My feet felt like they were on fire and every muscle in my legs hurt. I shuffled my way from the garage into the house. After a hot shower, which only marginally relieved the muscle pain, I got dinner with a side of pain meds. I sat down in my recliner, ate my dinner, and was asleep very soon after.
The next day I could barely move. Walking down the stairs in my house was a difficult task. I took more pain medication and spent most of the day sitting in my recliner; which irritated me somewhat because Sunday was another nice day and I wanted to be outside.
It took nearly a week before all of my aches and pains were gone. Gradually my endurance and level of fitness increased and my aches and pains, and recovery times, decreased. I also began running more and longer distances between hikes which helped to increase my fitness level. In 2016 I completed 5 hikes each approximately 20 miles in length and only had some minor tightness the following day.
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