Ascent of Sardinia Benchmark on 2014-06-21

Climber: Jim Jurista

Others in Party:Lydia K J
Minnie (dog)
Date:Saturday, June 21, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sardinia Benchmark
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:1940 ft / 591 m

Ascent Trip Report

We parked at a substation of some kind on the north side of Allen Rd, about 1000 ft west of the Finger Lakes Trail sign in front of 11310 Allen Rd. We walked along the road to the FLT entrance, which uses a small wooden platform to allow crossing from the road onto private property. There was a sign attached to a pole here warning hikers that this is private property and that no access is given from October through December because of hunting season.

We walked to the garage where we found the property owner and asked him if we could proceed. He said Absolutely, Enjoy Your Hike! Very laid back and accommodating man.

So with my daughter Lydia and our dog Minnie (two-year-old sheltie/lab mix) we proceeded to walk the FLT by going back to the tree line and turning north past a large parked RV. The FLT is blazed with orange paint on trees and - at a couple of places - stakes with orange tape. It's apparent that the trail is not heavily used. In some places we lost the track amid the packed fallen leaves, and the blazes weren't obvious. So we just stuck close to the tree line with the large open field to our left (west).

We eventually cut into the field and walked to the high ground. The field had recently been cut (for hay) so walking it was very easy. We posed for self-photos with large rolls of hay, and were about to head back when we heard barking and a four-wheeler nearby. Up drove a man about my age (mid-40's) along with a grown Rottweiler, an ornery looking beagle, and a Rottweiler puppy.

We were concerned (just a bit) for our safety as we knew this was private property and we had not seen this man before. We introduced ourselves and briefly explained our mission and how we had asked (and received) permission to walk on the FLT in search of the high point. The man introduced himself as Jim and he turned out to be very friendly. He said his family has been farming the land in question since the 1950's and that everyone "up here on the hill" looks out for each other. The dogs were all wary but friendly and Jim kept them in check. He said the benchmark itself is buried "six or eight feet" below the field. He proceeded to show us where one of the other benchmarks was placed (inside the tree line to the east) with arrows pointing to the main benchmark location.

We traveled to five county high points today and this was the most interesting by far. It's a nice spot and meeting Jim and his dogs was a treat.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Summer solstice perfection. Sunny and pleasant.

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