We had a nice barefoot hike on Labor Day. I, along with four others, explored the hidden wonders of Cantwell Cliffs. It gave me a chance to show off some of the locations I’d found previously.
One of our hikers was Lee Parker, the Chautauqua Barefooter.
We had a total of five barefooters. Since we were on one of the more obscure trails, we really didn’t meet anybody. But we did get a look at some of the nicer formations in the State Forest part of the park.
This is one of the few locations where the Blackhand sandstone has formed a connected column.
There is also a small recess cave there. That’s Lee on the right and Jen looking at animal tracks in the rear.
There are always slump rocks around (where a piece of rock has separated from the main body). Often the crack fills with dirt so that you can ascend quite high in the crack.
Here’s Lee in the recess cave again.
The trail was just delightful to walk on: fallen leaves and hemlock needles. Yeah, there were a few nuts, but they weren’t too bad.
Here’s a web from the notorious CD spider.
We stopped for lunch at the tip of the major gorge down there.
Lee had the GPS on his phone turned on. At the end it said we went about 6 miles, but I don’t believe it—I think it was closer to 4.5. I’ve overlaid the output of the phone onto one of my topographic maps, and here’s the result. (Click for larger version.)
Lee sat eating his lunch the whole time we were at the major tip there, but it shows him jumping around like a madman. It’s pretty good on the whole, but particularly on the edge of the rim there, I think it has problems finding satellites and gets jumpy.
Here’s another look at the cave behind Lee.
That’s a lot bigger than it looks. If you look at the picture carefully, at the bottom you can see the second layer of another recess cave behind the first.
This shot, with Josh and Jen, gives a better perspective on size.
That’s perfectly safe to walk on. The flat part of the rock is probably something like 40 feet wide. Here Josh and Jen are looking at the small pool that the waterfall is dripping into.
About a month ago that was flowing pretty well, but we’ve been pretty dry lately so now it is just drips.
Finally, after lunch we ascended back to the top. Here’s the view looking out over the tip from the top.
It was a very nice hike. At the end, we did encounter a few people, but somehow they didn’t say anything about meeting a horde of barefoot hikers.