Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bennett Hill Envisioning

On November 11th; a day of much importance in my mythology, (Veterans Day, My Dads Birthday and the day on which my progenitors progenitor arrived in this country 150 years ago) we hiked Bennett's Hill.

Every night on the way home as I round corners I can see it coming closer as I pursue home.

It has been calling to me since we moved in...

Meadowbrook Farm Dairy at the base of the trail.

It was a lovely sunny fall day, bIRD and I hadn't been out hiking in some time, and I needed break from worrying the house.

Trailhead leading up the Southern face.

I couldn't find my blue Hiking pack as it is in a box among boxes still and subsequently I had no camera. bIRD loaned me his so I could take a few views along the way...


When we attained the summit plateau I pulled out my iPad to see what things looked like in Hybrid & Terrain mode on Googlemaps. We were having trouble locating the wetland indicated on the map from Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.

Terrain view. Highest point is measured 1135 ft.+/-

We took what we thought was a trail that lead there but in fact it was a deer trail. I turned back to the main trail and bIRD traipsed on into the brush with a general direction. I found it easily enough using the iPad and soon I was alone in stand of pine trees.

Hybrid View.

I called out to bIRD that I had found it and began moving in his direction based on the sound of his voice. Looking up into the sun through the trees and towards him I thought I spied a small 6" American flag in a tree waving with the wind. Keeping my eyes steady I began to walk towards it. Checking my footing; I glanced down and when I looked up again it was gone.


I walked to where I thought I had seen it.



Then, in the quiet of the forest I realized it may have been a vision. iPad in hand; I quickly brought up my writing program and began to type...


Hilltop Visionation:

I saw your colors America
Waving from a treetop
On Bennett's Hill

As I stood alone
In a grove of white-pines
Searching for wetland
Blinded by your sunlight

Crashing through the trees

We walked a false trail America
Circling the summit of our dreams
Taking pictures along the way

Listen to your trains
Blowing the distance
Calling us home to yesterdays

Shaman with treemask speaks
Through wood

"Lost one
Follow the oak
Don't forget to tie your shoe"

down your spine

Into shade
your shalier side

Littering your cliff


To moss
Covered lowlands of my America


The trail less clearly marked

We search

Make our way to the
indefinite future
then onwards

Find our own sacred springs

Encourage flow


Say prayer of rest.



bIRDS vision happen thusly:

Portrait of the bIRD facing west.



hollow log fits neatly over my head
tube view of mountain brush
chill leaf fall clean sky
red-tailed hawk makes one sweep, not interested,
drifts towards escarpment uplift
visions not solutions
keep hitting small branches
legs abandoned to willywaw
grounded sense of terrain
swing turn small circle view
loggerhead mask separates me from any path
only shows ahead, steps toward familiar
shadow-side of the mountain
shadows hide secrets just don’t know them yet
under the floor the child was pleased the father said earth
inside tunnel dark come lighter
not estranged from outside
there is no future, there is no past, there is only now
tribal dancers, generations, all pick up shared rhythm
dance in uneven light, rattles reflect fire
from a sacred spring: roots, broad leaf, tall stem, full blossom flower…
water worn patterns on stone are also life forms
dead oak leaves over deep humus my foot sinks in
mushrooms climb stairs on hill-facing side of old stump
crow caws constant all the way across farm fields to another hill
make moan mock googa-booga noise to attract attention


Alan Casline
November 11, 2010
morning hike of Bennett Hill


WARNING! No Kinnikinnick was inhaled or consumed in the creation of this chronicle of what transpired in poetical form. Some poetic license and minor revisions have taken place since the event.



Here is a map obtained from the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy site at:

We took the Green trail up to the Yellow. There are more switchbacks than indicated and I would rate this part of the trail at 2.5 to 3 Geezers. The loop around the top plateau is fairly flat with enjoyable views. The best views being from the northernmost part of the loop. Then we took the Red trail where it breaks off of the yellow and drops sharply down in a Northeasterly direction. The steep grade here is rated at 5 Geezers. Slippery and smooth going up or down. We went down slowly and carefully.

Having attained the base of the Red trail at it's most northernly point; the trail became poorly marked. We wandered around for a bit until we found a downed Birch with a marker on it. (...A poor choice of tree to mark as they fall frequently and rot quickly...) With no real marker, and rather than resort to the iPad, we simply relied on common sense and followed the base of the Mountain. As it it possible to hike the trail and avoid going on the Red trail my overall Geezer Rating is 3.5 Somewhere between Hard and Difficult. A 3 if you avoid the Red trail, 4 if you take the Red trail down and 5 perhaps if you scale the Red trail up.

Overall Geezer Rating 3.5

There are a number of springs on the southern face and that is what lead us to seek out the wetland on the top. When we found it we were a bit disappointed as it was choked with scrub. We identified a number of species of Pine. White and Pitch being the most prevalent.

Views from the Northern edge gave us spectacular sights of the Valley looking directly towards my new home and beyond to my old home.
Hence the poetic reference. We did actually hear trains but they could very well have come from Selkirk which is also visible from the Northeast side through the treeline.

This trail is popular, I can only assume that this comes from it's easy accessibility and the range of terrain for hikers of differing skill levels. Many people brought along their dogs. They seemed to have the most fun jumping in the water and bounding threw the underbrush. From my experience this is a jewel right under your nose. Check it out with the family or perhaps a second date for a good day hike!


Having written this as a poetic experiment; I am also attempting another. As the content seems to contain elements of more than one of my blogs I have decided to test out a new feature with the Updated version of this App and post it simultaneously to "Glebe Homie" and "Helder~Hiking Adventures!"

I can't say that I will ever have need of this feature in the future but it's nice to know I can do it if I want.



11/11/10- 11/14/10

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

1 comment:

obeedúid~ said...

As usual... Blogger has refused repeatedly to take the proper formatting of my poem. ARGH! This is why I often have to resort to saving in PDF, converting to JPEG and posting as an image.