I bagged my second chocolate shake of the season from Gilligan’s in Sherburne on Sunday. It was part of my quest to dramatically increase my chocolate shake intake this spring/summer, and it also was a reward for my strenuous hike in the Otselic State Forest earlier in the day.
I had set out on Route 26 in search of the Waterfalls of Pharsalia, which according to the trusty CNY Hiking website, I should have been able to access a mile east of the state road, on Stage Road. But I drove up and down a couple of times and as much as I implored Tuck the New Dog to keep an eye out, we never did spot the Finger Lakes Trail markers that are supposed to lead to the falls. It could have been operator error, but I looked pretty hard without success.
Undaunted, I drove back north on Route 26 where I had passed a Finger Lakes Trail sign at a fishing access point for the Otselic River. We walked along a dirt track and saw the trail head at the end of a larger dirt road. It was a steep 500-foot climb right off the bat, and we were then skirting along the side of the hill on a fairly rough trail as the river tumbled and churned below.
I was soon reminded how significant a change in elevation can be. Down at the fishing hole, there was no snow to be seen. As we climbed, however, there were larger and larger patches of snow, and eventually we reached Partridge Hill Road, which was completely covered.
We walked through a couple of inches of snow and descended slowly through what the DEC says is a mix of red pine, Norway spruce, and native hardwoods.
There was not much color yet, but it was a great day to be outside and to prepare for more serious hikes to come this summer in the Adirondacks. And, of course, it was a legitimate justification for a chocolate shake at Gilligan’s.