On Monday, November 30th I looked at the weather forecast and knew that I would probably not be1hiking on Tuesday or Wednesday due to the forecast for rain both days. I decided to get out for a hike after working a little in the morning on some web projects. I finished my work at about 10:15 Am and looked at the thermometer to find that the temperatures was still below freezing! I knew I would have to hike near home because I had track practice in the afternoon. Hunting season also limited the number of places to choose from so I just decided to head for Frick and Hodge Ponds. I got dressed, got my gear together and put an eager Sheila in the car. I headed out the DeBruce Road just after 13:00 AM. When we arrived at the trailhead there were no cars parked in the lot. As we got ready to start our hike, I decided to keep on my Mammut Hoody as it was only 31 degrees. I wore Cindy’s blaze orange hat just in case anyone was hunting in the area and wore light gloves as my hands were cold. We headed out on the Quick Lake Trail at 10:50 AM and turned left at Gravestone Junction to follow the Quick Lake Trail to the bridge over the outlet of Frick Pond. The Quick Lake trail was wet all the way to Gravestone Junction. When we crossed the bridge, I took a quick look at the view and decided the scene was not that different from the many times I had photographed it before. At that point I made up my mind that something very special would have to reveal itself for me to slow down to take pictures. We kept a quick pace as we hiked the Quick Lake Trail toward Iron Wheel Junction. The trail was wet but much of the water and mud was frozen. This was a little uncomfortable because I often took a step which initially seemed sound but then sank into the frozen mud. I started to warm up as I hiked and opened the zippers on my hoody to let some heat escape. At Iron Wheel Junction, we turned left to stay on the Quick Lake Trail toward Junkyard Junction. The walk is all uphill but the grade is only slight to moderate. At about 2.6 miles I looked up to see another new blowdown across the trail. I made a note of the location and the fact that it wasn’t too big. I knew I could easily get it with my saw and the smaller Fiskar’s axe. We continued walking quickly and arrived at Junkyard Junction at 12:05 PM after hiking 3.1 miles.
We turned right at the junction onto the Flynn Trail which is relatively flat at this point. The trail was wet and icy in spots where there is exposed bedrock. At the gate we followed the trail to the right and down toward the shore of Hodge Pond. As we neared the pond we turned right to stay on the Quick lake Trail to the outlet of Hodge Pond. The woods road was rutted and had some water but the muddiest spots were easily avoided. We were soon at the outlet end of Hodge Pond. I decided not to go to the shore of the pond since the scene here was also very familiar. We turned right and started up the hill staying on the Flynn Trail. The walk up the hill seemed to go very quickly and soon we were on the flat part of the Flynn Trail headed toward the junction with the Big Rock Trail. As we were ascending the hill I saw some partridge cross the trail. Sheila saw them also and chased after them. The partridge seemed to hesitate and Sheila came very close to nabbing one! We continued on the Flynn Trail passing through the gate to the trail junction. We didn’t stop at the trail junction but kept walking on The Flynn Trail. From this high point on the hike, the trail descends 1.7 miles to the parking area. We kept up a fast pace on the descent which seemed to drag just a little. The day had grown slightly warmer with sun and almost no clouds. Soon we were headed down the hill to the gate where we turned left to stay on then Flynn Trail. We walked down the short section of trail I had refurbished and then hiked through the woods back to the parking area. It was 1:15 when we returned. We had covered 6.4 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes with only 1 minute of stopped time. The elevation gain was a modest 910 feet.