Winter Hike to White Rocks and The Perfect Hiking Partner

Isn’t it funny how we can just pass by amazing things and not give them the respect they deserve because we are in a hurry, or have a different focus, or just don’t see them as wonderful as our ultimate destination? Well, not this time kiddos!

Overnight I was overtaken with an urge to hike up to White Rocks. White Rocks are about 3.6 miles north of Gathland State Park in Maryland on the Appalachian Trail.  I have hiked past this beautiful spot on the trail twice and never stayed too long since I was on my way to somewhere else.

Both times I hiked past I was coming from the north, so today I decided to start from the south at Gathland.  This is an easier climb than coming from the north, although about twice as long.

Sidekick Pauli was excited to be joining me! She jumped into the back of the car and snuggled down into the sleeping bag getting in a last minute snooze before her hike.  Once at Gathland, she was all fired up to head down the trail!

First white blaze of the day!

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The trail begins with a steep climb up the hill then levels out somewhat.  Here’s the thing.  The path up to White Rocks is always climbing…but it feels very flat and is easy walking for most of the way.  I say most of the way because just before you get to White Rocks there is a bit of an incline and it is rocky.

The woods were enchanting and the forest floor was sprinkled with what looked like powdered sugar. The sun started to break through the gray morning clouds and the brisk winds settled into the occasional light breeze as we made our way up the trail.  The crunch of my boots on the icy ground became like a soothing mantra and we were soon drawn into the lull of the trail.  So it was a surprise when at one point I looked up to see a backpacker coming my way!  I stopped to chat with him for a bit…he said it had been quite chilly last night…I bet!

We continued on to White Rocks and got there about 10:45 AM.  It faces towards the east and was splashed with sunlight! The winds had died down completely making it a lovely place to stop for lunch.  Still a bit chilly, but milder than expected. 🙂  So me with my PB&J and Sidekick Pauli with her treats settled down for lunch on the rocks.  I don’t know if you hike with a canine companion…but nothing beats it…nothing.  This is one hiking partner that is happy no matter what!  This day was for sitting and appreciating what White Rocks had to offer us.  Another hiking partner might have made me feel a little pressured to cut my visit short when the winds picked up a little making it chilly.  But not Sidekick Pauli! Sidekick Pauli snuggled up against me and I put my arm around her and snuggled back.  Fantastic hike with the BEST DOG EVER! 🙂

About BoobOnARock

Hiking, the woods, books, my son, my cats and dogs, math, hanging with my sweetie and making fires. what else is there? oh yeah, falling in the woods every once in a while...it is a talent of mine.

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