Alright. How many of you are just done with this winter? Yeah. me too! I write this as yet another impending snowstorm looms…
I have started to turn the corner on my winter funk though…thank god! Last weekend I had an absolutely terrific day hiking on the C&O canal between the Monocacy Aqueduct and Point of Rocks with the Maryland Trail Dames. We had great weather with temps in the 50s, and even though there was snow on the trail, it felt like spring was just around the corner. 🙂
There was only one thing missing last weekend. Sidekick Pauli! Oh, it is seems so long and many snowstorms since our hike to White Rocks. I can tell she is bored out of her mind (as am I). So I took her along with me today to the Appalachian Trail Conference birthday party (89 years btw). The ATC was having a cake contest with the theme being “Leave No Trace” … I had heard a week ago from Dirigo (who volunteers there) that there was only one entry in the contest!!
Obviously, I couldn’t take her into the building with me but I planned on hiking before and after the party in Harper’s Ferry. I got to the ATC about 11 am and was pleased to see MANY entries in the cake contest! They were all very cool, but my favorite was a cake complete with an AT shelter!
I cast my top three votes, found out when the judging would begin and decided I still had enough time to take Sidekick Pauli on a loop down to Jefferson Rock around through the lower town and then back to the ATC.
The weather was decent with temps now in the upper 30s or low 40s. As we walked along the clouds started to break up giving way to glorious sunshine…hallelujah!! Yes! So happy for this!
We got back to the ATC and Sidekick Pauli was happy to take a nap in the car while I went into the ATC for the judging and then eating of cake!
Afterwards, we headed up to Bolivar Heights. We hiked along the ridge taking in the view down to the river. Stunning. We walked as far as possible along the ridge, then noticed the trail turned to the right and down the hill. Hmmm, I paused, not sure whether I wanted to go down or not…well I had all day…what the heck, let’s go! Down we went, coming out into a field. I didn’t have a map so didn’t know exactly where I was, but who cares, it was sunny, it was pastoral, and across the field I could see a national park service parking lot and a bathroom…Ha, ha, life is good.
Along the path there are occasional signs to explain the movements of the Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War. Even if you have ZERO interest in the Civil War, you will find yourself reading every word trying to imagine a different, desperate scene of war in those pastoral fields. Very humbling.
After about a 10 minute walk across the field we found the parking lot was on the other side of the road so we continued and carefully made the crossing. A sign stated we were now at School House Ridge…making a mental note to return here I turned around and headed Sidekick Pauli back up the hill to Boliver heights.
This was feeling good. I had energy again! I could make it up the hill! Oh, so exciting to be out on a trail and breathe in real air (as opposed to stuffiness of my house)!
By the time I reached the car I was humming the theme song to Ken Burn’s “The Civil War”…Sweet day! I think I might be able to handle the 5+ inches of snow & ice headed our way now. And yes, by actually typing that I hope that I have actually jinxed the whole ridiculous event.