Ha! For a change I beat Caren Jew to the parking lot at Black Rock Mill (ok, only by 30 seconds) on this the first morning of Daylight Savings Time. Starting just before 8am we trot up Black Rock Rd to the Button Farm entrance of Schaeffer Farm (as we did in the darkness on 2010-08-22 - Schaeffer Farms). Halfway up the hill there's a scuffling noise above us. Caren touches my shoulder to stop me. Thud! A gray squirrel plummets to the ground two steps in front of us. It's dazed for a moment, then scrambles to its feet and scampers up the tree trunk. "Maybe there was some amorous behavior going on up there?" Caren speculates.
We follow the white trail along the periphery of the park, then take yellow, blue, and orange segments in a big loop. In an attempt to keep my new shoes (Brooks "Defyance" 12.5 EEs) dry I tiptoe across streams on stones as Caren runs through the water. A round metal object catches my eye and I pick it up, imagining that it's a coin or button. It turns out to be the corroded brass bottom end of a shotgun shell.
As we try to find our way back to the gate I take a wrong turn. We follow orange blazes that zig-zag through a gully that might be technically challenging for a mountain biker but that Caren finds uninspirational. Suddenly we're back at the same trail intersection where we were 10 minutes earlier. Ugh! After some studying of the map Caren leads us in a short scramble through brambles toward an old farmhouse, apparently now a campsite, and thence to the Button Farm gate where we entered more than an hour ago. The run down to our cars goes too fast, so we add an extra couple of blocks up the hill on the other side to make a full 90 minute excursion.
(cf. GPS trackfile) - ^z - 2011-03-23