Hawk Mountain

Kim and I took a hike on Hawk Mountain with her parents and the dog.  We started at the bottom on Reservoir Road, hiked up past the reservoir and along the trail following the creek, then took a right onto the orange-blazed trail which goes up to the Appalachian Trail.  It joins the AT between Pulpit Rock to the southwest (0.5 miles) and The Pinnacle to the northeast (1.5 miles), and we took it to The Pinnacle.

I got a few photos of hawks (actually, Mr. Allen said they're turkey vultures), but they aren't very good.  They're OK, but more than once it happened that as soon as I snapped the photo, the bird got extremely close to me, while the camera was still processing the previous image.

The map at the bottom of the reservoir trail. It's not a blurry photo; the thing really is that blurry and dirty in real life.

This guy was sunbathing at The Pinnacle. He didn't want to move. A bunch of us were standing right next to him, talking and moving around, and he didn't flinch. It wasn't until someone's dog stepped on him that he slowly slithered away under the rock.

Phew, we're safe. Pointy-tail means non-venemous.

Just some random kid, but he adds a lot to the photo.

This is one of the first times I got to use my circular polarizer lens that Kim got me for my birthday last year. A polarizing lens improves contrast especially in sunny scenes, and it seems to make blue skies look much more true to how our eyes see them. In this photo, the sky would not have been nearly so deeply blue -- in fact it would have been fairly washed out -- without the polarizer.

Looking off the northeastern-most tip of The Pinnacle.

That's Kempton in the center, in the distance (those long white buildings are in Kempton).

No bird here, just more countryside.

Heidi was more interested in the random strangers than the view.

On the way back down. That's the Hawk Mountain Reservoir.