More Stewart State Forest
December 2013
I had a couple more go's at Stewart State Forest these past few days. It is fast becoming a favorite park of mine. It has plenty of trails and points of entry but most of all it has plenty of quiet. I do not need to "escape" from anything -- life has been generally good -- but being alone with Nature during long walks restores a balance that I'd say cannot be achieved any other way.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
We had two successive snow storms.
Snow stayed on the ground...
...for about a week...
...until the rains came and washed all the snow away.
Many trails are narrow and wooded...
...but occasionally a clearing (to my delight) would crop up.
I saw two men on snowmobiles along this trail. I thought it would be a good idea to let them know I was out there, in case something happened to me. So coming out of the woods I waved at the lead guy. He snapped his head toward me when he perhaps saw my movement (he was wearing a full helmet with tinted visor so I can't see his face) and maybe was even startled at my sight -- a hobo in the snow emerging from the woods -- but then nodded in acknowledgement. He was going so fast I wondered if he was able to make out the extended tripod in my arms and had not mistaken it for a shotgun. The second guy never saw me when he passed.
I guess you can say Stewart State Forest has everything -- including trash. Thankfully, though, this is the only one I found.
Looking back to one of the trails I took.
Being alone in the wilderness means being extra careful. Even simple crossings like this needed time to figure out how to cross it safely. Stepping on a loose rock or slipping off one could mean a broken ankle with no one around to help me up.

I'm sure there's cell coverage. After all, Stewart State Forest is adjacent to Stewart Airport -- a
Stewart State Forest is no Central Park. But just like when I'm in Central Park, I kept folding up my tripod thinking I'm done only to unfold it again whenever I saw scenery like this.
Here I am dressed appropriately for the harsh environment. Temperatures were low and there was a breeze. I sometimes had to negotiate my way through thorny shrubs and wet grounds so I dressed in layers with the outermost layer made of only the toughest materials. That means no doubleknit pants, Nik Nik shirt, or clogs for me. BTW, I hope you like my new highlight...
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