Guest Blogger: My Mom

Hello followers of http://www.followingyournose.com! This week I have a special blog written by my mom, Susan, about a hike she recently went on with my dad, Peter, in my hometown, Buffalo, NY. Enjoy!
  
So I’ve been asked to write a guest post for FollowingYourNose.  I know I won’t come close to filling Allison’s trail shoes, but what the heck – I’ll take the leap.
The weather on Thursday was so perfect for a hike in the woods that Peter and I were inspired by Ally’s example to follow our noses.
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We consulted the guide book written by UB alumni Randi Minetor that had been a recent gift from Ally to her Dad and decided on exploring Erie County Forest on Genesee Road in East Concord, NY, a drive of about 30 minutes from our house.
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We chased massive billows of cloud formations on a road that dipped and swooped at what seemed like a 90 degree angle to the point where I thought I was riding a roller coaster!  It was a relief when we reached the trailhead.
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The buildings at the trailhead, a warm up shelter and a sugar shanty, indicate the year round appeal of this park.
Early in the spring, the trees ooze with delicious sap for maple syrup, and in the winter people come here for cross country skiing and snowmobiling.  A stop there will reward you with a free Erie County Park System Passport, a perk that was new to me.  Inside is a one-page description of 19 great places to hike.
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Peter was thinking of colder days when checking out some nice firewood…dsc02947

This half of the trail, called the Silent Woods Trail, is just under 1 ½ miles and well marked, so pretty easy. 
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It might be a cliché to compare a pathway through towering trees to a cathedral, but clichés exist because of their truth.  
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The trail is silent of any man-made noises, but happily they’re replaced with bird song and the soft music of Dresser Creek chuckling over the rock bed.
The “No Horse Area” signs indicate there are horse trails here, just not everywhere.  
dsc02952 Darn – if I’d known that, I wouldn’t have left my horse Patches at home.
We puzzled over the blue pipes we saw along the trail at around 7 feet high, but then realized they carried the sap from the trees to the sugar shanty. dsc02949 Next time I’ll pack some pancakes in Patches’ saddlebag.
Our hike was pretty tame compared to Ally’s 14-ers, but check out the bear tracks! Those are definitely bear, not dog, tracks.  Peter spotted what he thinks might be deer tracks, also not dog prints, and he also spotted the only wildlife we saw, a toad. img_3520.jpg
When we completed the loop back to our car, we were ready for our picnic lunch.  Nothing like fresh outdoor air to build an appetite.  Delish.
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We were going to hike the second half, the Old Scarbuck Trail, across the road, but we were confused at some discrepancies between the book and the trail markings, so we left it for another day.
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So that’s one hike marked off in our new Passport, 18 more to go!
Thanks Mom for the enjoyable post about Erie County Forest! I love the parks passport, so cool. I’m craving some pancakes right about now with some fresh maple syrup. I never knew you had a pet horse either! 

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