2015-04-21 42 -78
Crab Hollow State Forest
Finally a location that is reachable AND accessible in Allegany County. Will take the dogs for a hike after work and (hopefully) scratch off Allegany County on my Reverse Regional Ribbon.
After I finished at work, I noted the weather was cool and partly cloudy but windy. So I threw on a sweatshirt and light windbreaker and got the dogs in the car and we were on our way.
Once I was on the thruway, I noticed that there were some pretty dark clouds to the South and East and I had some mild concern, but Allegany county has given me a LOT of trouble so far and I was going to get this one!
However, as we got closer and closer to the hash, it looked more and more like we were heading into the really dark clouds and I could also see the downpours from those clouds. If you have ever seen a heavy rain cloud in the distance and noticed a kind of mist/fog below the cloud, that is not really fog but heavy rain. I think I may have even seen a lightning bolt, but I wasn't sure. I was now hoping beyond hope that my destination lay in the middle of the clouds were it was clear and blue sky, but I wasn't counting on it.
On one of our last roads up to the hash, I did get to see a Ruffed Grouse fly across the road in front of me which was nice.
Getting to the road next to the State Forest, we were pretty much right next to this massive dark cloud and I was shocked that we hadn't felt any rain yet. We were about a half mile from the hash and I decided we didn't drive over an hour to turn around now. I figured we would get soaked about half way into our walk and be cold but happy to make it.
I walked fast and the dogs enjoyed their run and somehow, the rain held off right until I was doing the GPS dance which required some time(maybe due to the heavy clouds) but I ended up getting down to under 3 feet. As I started to take pictures, the rain started. It was heavy drops of rain, but it was just sprinkling. I placed my marker and finished taking my pictures expecting buckets of rain any moment and started back.
With my good camera protected in the car, I was unable to take any decent pictures of the clouds as the contrast was too much for my camera phone to make sense of.
I can only describe it as utter shock as over the next 5 minutes, ALL the clouds disappeared and suddenly it was beautiful blue skies and sunny. With the change in weather, I decided to walk around the forest a bit longer to give the dogs a longer run. There wasn't much to see but we made it back to the car after about 45 minutes of walking.
On the way home I saw a large tom (male) turkey in a field.
We then made a stop at the Tim Hortons (a donut/fast food kind of place) in Springville for dinner, where I had a Chicken sandwich, donut and hot chocolate. The dogs got a plain tim-bit (donut hole) each as a treat(they got their regular dinner at home).
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