Monday, March 21, 2011

William H. Champlin Jr. Forest Preserve 3/20/11

"A Late Day Jaunt" (pictures)

Plans for hiking on Saturday ensued during the week as always and the weather was looking pretty good. Laurie and Russ were hitting Mt. Carrigain with some friends and invited us along. Not really up for a long 4000 footer hike, especially on snow shoes we passed up o it. (Too bad too, they turned out to have a great day and got to see a Black Hawk Helicopter hover over Signal Ridge!!) I went to bed Friday night not knowing what we would be hiking in the morning but confident it would be a nice day. Well the morning proved to be cold and it was blowing a mix of snow and rain on us. YUCK! We moped around a bit, just enough to not want to hike anymore! I had a house rental that needed to be cleaned anyway so we decided to get all our work done and try for Sunday. Well Sunday morning was again cold...clear, but cold. And we just were NOT in the mood! So, after some walking around in Lowe's I headed off to get the rest of my work done.

The end of winter was turning out to be a bummer-of-a-weekend! I finished my work late in the day and called Scott. At the end of our conversation Scott mentioned we should meet in Gonic for a short walk. Funny, I was thinking this earlier! So we planned on meeting instead at the SPNHF William H. Champlin Forest Preserve across from the Sky Haven Airport in Rochester. I arrived in the parking lot ahead of Scott and decided to pick up some of the trash. I did this in the summer and was glad to see it hadn't gotten too bad since. Aside from a large suitcase sitting out in the field....are freakin' kidding me!? Scott pulled up and we headed down the trail at 6:20pm, the sun beginning to touch the tree line. Through the wet field, I stopped to take some pics of the Milk Thistle Pods.

The logging roads to the lower marsh were intermittent with snow and standing water. We went as quickly as we could without getting wet! At the pine grove just before the marsh I noticed a dozen or more bullet shell casings in the snow with the letter 'F' marking. We arrived at the marsh at 6:38pm just as the sun was setting. Perfect! A few pictures, most of which didn't come out all that great and it was back to the vehicles before it got dark! We got back to the field, picked up a stinky "doggy bag" and plastic bottle and headed out just as it was getting dark at 7pm. A nice brisk walk to end the weekend! And the best part, "hiking" equals Chinese Food and a Coke N' Rum! :) HAPPY SPRING!!


  1. Sounds like a nice short hike, perfect place to take a 6 year old. Too bad about the trash. Not too surprising being so close to Rochester, but too bad anyway. Also nice to see I'm not the only one who likes to pick up after the slobs. I always try to bring a small bag with me on a hike. Even more so if I have my daughter with me to set an example.

  2. Yes Jeff, a great little walk. Just enough to make it feel like you did something! Good for you for picking up trash, somebody's got to do it! It's awful how many people just don't care about polluting :(