In the darkness remember the light
The darkness is only a passing thing
On December 18 I hiked the Kisil Point Trail in Letchworth State Park on a glorious day with lots of sunshine and lots of snow. I developed the film, scanned the negatives, and I started posting the images on my photography sites.
Then yesterday’s attempted coup happened and the pair of happy sunny photographs I had already posted felt incomplete. I’m no great political pundit, but sometimes one has to speak up and try to contribute something appropriate and helpful.
I jumped ahead to the photograph you see here. It was late in the afternoon. I was still on the low end of the point and the sun was about to sink below the horizon. I set the exposure to something I hoped would not lose the sun flare in one big ball of fire and took this photograph. I posted it with the caption, “The darkness is only a passing thing.”
Yes, the first thru-hike I ever read about was Frodo’s and Sam’s from the Shire to Mordor and back.
In other news
I still have my place-holder April 1 northbound registration with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, but I don’t think that is going to happen. My more likely start date is early 2022. I want to thru-hike the entire trail in one pass, and I want to be able to enjoy the community, both on the trail and in town. That mean delaying until the pandemic is no longer hanging over our heads. I recognize that others are planning to thru-hike safely and responsibly in 2021, but it’s not the hike I want to do. I will celebrate my seventy-second birthday on the trail.
To Kisil Point and back
My Trek posts between now and whenever are going to sound a lot like “What I did on my summer vacation.” You can expect some gear talk and camera talk along the way, and a bit of philosophizing as I seek to keep up and build up my strength and stamina.
Winters up here by Lake Ontario tend to be dreary. December 18 was anything but. Temperatures were in the upper 20s, with only a light breeze and with lots of sunshine. There wasn’t enough snow to merit snowshoes but I was happy for my Microspikes. (I did not buy them, by the way, just for snow and ice. The only time I’ve had my feet go completely out from under me this year was going down a short but steep incline with wet leaves on a mild Autumn day.)
It took a little over an hour to drive to the trailhead. I started up the trail at noon or thereabouts. Kisil Point is at the end of a long ridge between the Silver Lake Outlet and the Genesee River. The trailhead is just past the Park Road bridge over the Outlet. The trail first climbs up the west end of the ridge, along a level stretch, then down couple levels to Kisil Point. From there it descends steeply down to the river flats below. I don’t think it would require technical climbing to get down, but it was a lot steeper that I wanted to tackle in the winter with a pack and, especially, by myself. Maybe next summer.
As it approaches the long level, the trail parallels part of the park road leading to the family camping area. It passes through a lovely but long-unused picnic area. When I was back there a week ago, with no snow, I was glad to see the dilapidated picnic shelter was getting a thorough rehab. After the picnic area the trail splits. The outbound leg follows edge of the Genesee River gorge. The return leg follows the Silver Lake Outlet gorge. The trail rejoins at east end of the long level.
As I started back westward from the point, the sun was getting low in the sky. I watched it dip below the horizon a couple times only to have it reappear through the trees as I gained elevation. It was after sunset by time I got back to the car. As long as I know where I am going I rather like hiking or paddling from day through dusk into the dark. It’s like that long yoga exhale.
I took the photographs with the Argus C3 35mm camera with Ilford HP5 Plus film, one of my favorite combinations.
Steve / pearwood
Soli Deo Gloria
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