What a delightful day with the Maryland Trail Dames! This day was December 21, the winter solstice, and it was WARM! Yes, a balmy 65 degrees!
We met at the lot on Rt. 7 in Snickers Gap, then Dirigo shuttled us back to the Blackburn AT Center to begin our hike. The first uphill from Blackburn is a great way to warm up on a chilly, but sunny, morning! 😉 Once at the ridge we headed south and found ourselves hiking along a rather rocky ridge. However, that didn’t last too long and soon we were back on level, if not a bit muddy, terrain. The sun was blotted out by clouds for a while, but even that couldn’t stop the warm breezes! This was a beautiful day for a hike…what luck!
We passed Wilson Gap in a little over a mile. The trail again started to show signs of melting snow as the path was a bit waterlogged. I crunched through spots of remaining ice and stepped around puddles as we made our way to Snickers Gap.
I had completed part of this section prior to this hike and knew there were some creeks we had to cross. Now, creek crossings are not my thing…so of course I was already worrying about how much water might be flowing as a result of this major meltdown of snow and ice! It turned out the first stream was nothing to worry about! I could hear the water rushing under the rocks, but it was not visible and the rocks were dry! Excellent! That is the way I like to cross a creek!
Then it was up, up, up to Crescent Rock (or Raven Rocks) …we couldn’t decide which it was called. Didn’t matter! All that DID matter was the amazing sunny rocks and the view! We took a few pictures while the wind was whipping around, then decided to continue on to find a more suitable (warm) place to take a break.
Little did we know what was in store for us! Dirigo and Python surprised us with S’Mores!!! 🙂 🙂 I love S’Mores…but I didn’t eat any as we still had about 2 miles to hike and with my tenderfoot stomach I didn’t think it would be a good idea! But I sure enjoyed sitting by the creek and being part of this amazing group of women.
I cannot promote Trail Dames enough! If you are a woman over the age of 18, you need to join us! We hike at a pace that is reasonable for everyone…this is not a fast hiking group…unless everyone with us wants to go fast. Trail Dames is a supportive place for women to grow into hiking and find their inner superhero. Love, love, love these women!
That was not the end of the surprise. Dirigo and Python had some gifts for me! This was for being a hike leader with the Trail Dames. Shoot, I don’t need anything for that! I love leading hikes and look forward to all the new dames that join us! 🙂
But I’ll take the gifts! 😉 Google, one of the women with whom I hiked the Georgia AT section, sent a gift of dehydrated watermelon…totally delicious and addicting! Dirigo and Python bought me a gift membership to PATC!! These gifts were perfect! I had been planning to join the PATC but money has been a little tight lately. Thank you, thank you, thank you Dames! 🙂
The second creek crossing was a bit trickier, but still not too bad! Then it was up and over a few more fun hills before we made it to Snickers Gap. Once there we had to cross Rt. 7 to get back to our cars…definitely the most dangerous part of our hike. Always an adventure to end your hike with a rousing game of “Frogger” (those of you from the 1980’s will understand).
This was the last hike on the AT for 2013. I have now completed 237 miles of the trail! 🙂 Looking forward to completing a lot more of PA and VA during 2014! Hike on and always remember to hike your own hike! 😀