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Larch Tree Trail

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

On Sunday, Sarah and I decided to go for a hike. We just stayed close to home and went to Frances Slocum State Park. This time, we hiked the Larch Tree Trail and part of the Lakeshore Trail.

We parked by a picnic area and walked along the Lakeshore Trail, a wide path with some picnic tables. It was a beautiful day. We were cold at first, but it was sunny and as we got moving we warmed up considerably. A few signs of spring were noticeable, which was nice to see for a change.


Frances Slocum Lake

Cattail fluff

We were only on the Lakeshore Trail briefly. It dumped us out on a road, and then we went across a bridge to the Larch Tree trailhead.

A view of the lake from the road

We knew little about the Larch Tree Trail, other than that the pamphlet said it was “hilly.” We entered the woods, and the trail climbed for the better part of a mile. It was gradual most of the way.

Sarah (who got a great new haircut)

At the top, we saw a field just off the path and decided to venture out. It seemed like we might be able to see something from there. We were right. We spent a few minutes taking in the view, and the dog took advantage of the wide open space to do a little extra running. Sarah even laid on the grass for a couple of minutes to look at the sky and absorb some rays.

A nice view (Rob thinks so too)



A nice barn

Sarah laid down on the grass and took this one

I later figured out that we were looking out over Eighth Street. I often ride through the area immediately below where we were standing. It’s funny how different things look from a different vantage point.

The trail turned downhill and stayed that way. I guess “hilly” means it goes up a hill, and back down.

From the top, you can’t see much but you can get a sense that we have done some climbing

Sarah and Rob

Stone walls … in the woods!

After a bit, we went through a large stand of larch trees. Oddly, though, they had obviously been planted there, as they were in neat rows. Regardless, it made for a unique experience.

Larch trees

The trail, still going steadily downhill

More buds

We walked a little further and could see a deer further down the trail, looking right at us. We tried to get closer for a better shot, but she bounded off through the forest.


Soon, we were back at the road. We walked back over to the Lakeshore Trail. We will have to take a picnic here sometime, it would be a great place to relax and enjoy a meal. On the other hand, the field we found would be as well, and it’s a little more secluded.

A great place for a picnic

Sarah took this one … she has a penchant for solitary trees

Buds and sky

It was quite a pretty hike, and I liked that we saw such a variety of scenery in such a short distance (under three miles). I am looking forward to more outings like this: spending time with my lovely wife. Hiking, taking photos, laying in the grass, spotting wildlife. Maybe next time we bring a lunch. Sounds perfect to me.


Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Here are some photos from a recent drive Sarah and I took to the rather quaint town of Tunkhannock, PA, and the surrounding area. I don’t have much commentary, except that I managed to get the car temporarily stuck on an ice patch while attempting to turn around. A guy in a pickup truck came by and suggested an alternate route, which worked out very well.

Tracks by the Susquehanna River

Looking the other way


Another part of Tunkhannock

Weird house

The house across the street

Darkness falls


Still sick, but hiking anyway

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Well, I’m still a bit sick. Things are getting better, but this is getting really old.

Last year, winter was our biggest hiking season. So far, the same is holding true this year. Sarah and I did some hiking during time off last week, and also hiked both days this weekend. I haven’t been back on the bike since my last attempt at riding, but I hope to ride again soon. Hiking is more manageable when sick, as it’s less aerobic and I generally don’t work as hard at it.

Anyway, here are some photos from our hike on New Year’s Day — we hiked the Frances Slocum Trail at Frances Slocum State Park. There was a bit of snow, but not enough to warrant snowshoes. Some spots were slick; we may need to get some crampons, eventually, for hikes like this where snowshoes are overkill, but our boots don’t grip too well.

The park, and this trail, have an interesting story. The short version: in 1778, a group of Delaware Indians kidnapped a little girl named Frances Slocum. The first night, they held her captive under a rock ledge along this trail. But you should read the full story, it’s worth it.

Frances Slocum Lake



Sarah, tackling a tricky, slick part of the trail

Rock overhang


Another view of the lake

DSC_0926 DSC_0923
Snow on rocks

Rock ledge where Frances was supposedly held hostage

The view from near the shelder. I can think of worse places to be held hostage.

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