This day. Oh goodness, THIS DAY!
Hiking at Catoctin has never been this much of an adventure…but I WAS with Bag Lady and other Trail Dames…
I arrived a little early and saw that B^2 was already in the parking lot. I gave her a quick wave and told her since the visitor center wasn’t open I was going to drive up to the Hog Rock picnic area to use the privy.
Got back lickety split and met up with the rest of the dames. Just about the time we were to start down the trail headed towards park headquarters a large group of boy scouts took off ahead of us going that direction. I love the scouts, but not this morning. We made an quick and decisive change of plans and headed down to the falls first!
So we plodded along…la de dah along the trail.
We crossed MD 77 (could the NPS put a crosswalk here PLEASE) precariously…Visited the falls,
yes, they were lovely, and started up the hill to Hog Rock. Calling ahead to a new dame who was hiking with us this morning “Hey Christine, when you get to the Hog Rock overlook wait for all of us to catch up!” Her initial response, laughter, to communicate “are you fricken kidding me…I am NOT going to be the first one to reach Hog Rock!” Well, she certainly wasn’t last, that would have been me. But you know, I was acting as a “sweep”…yeah, that is what I was doing back there slow as molasses climbing up with precarious placement of each foot while holding Sidekick Pauli’s leash in one hand and holding the other out in order to remained balanced! haha! 🙂
We took a nice break at the picnic tables just after Hog Rock. I had overheard Bag Lady really talking up the privy as one of the cleanest she had seen. So we were all waiting to take a pit stop there instead of the woods. We claimed a picnic table and I proceeded to get Sidekick Pauli some water and snack.
Christine calls out from the highly anticipated privy of the gods “It’s LOCKED.” “Whaaaaaat??? I was just up here this morning. How could it be locked?” I called back. “Seriously, it is locked” she replied after banging on the door to see if anyone was inside. Well, of course, this was a serious matter.
L headed over to the privy to take charge of the situation that was obviously out of hand. A locked bathroom? Absurd!
Two seconds. L had the fricken thing open in 2 seconds. How? Don’t know! She would NOT divulge her secret!!
Now you know Christine felt pretty silly about not being able to open the door. She was a little quiet as we ate our lunch. The rest of tried to make her feel better by debating how the door had gotten stuck in a way that made it impossible to open. I finished up my peanut butter sandwich and headed up to the now unlocked, unstuck bathroom. I confidently strode up to the privy with Sidekick Pauli ready to pull open the door to queendom. I reached and grabbed the super clean handle, pulled and …
UGH! Locked? LOCKED??? Surely it was just stuck, the other dames would never need to know about this travesty…pulled, jiggled, rocked…KICKED! I stomped around and faced the dames. I gave a sharp directive, with my teacher voice in full employ, “L, GET OVER HERE AND UNLOCK THIS DOOR!!!!” Right on cue, the whole table of dames burst into laughter. Good grief.
After getting the door open AGAIN, we wedged a stick in the door to keep it open for the next unsuspecting hiker.
Fast forward past Thurmont Vista and Wolf Rocks. I had planned for us to take our next break at Chimney Rocks as it has a very nice view. We get there and there is a herd of young boys and too few adults…oh goodness, the LNT police would have been having a coniption. We stayed only long enough to get one of the harried adults to snap a photo of us. We then moved down the trail a bit before breaking for a snack!
Then it was time to descend the mountain to park headquarters and through the woods back to the visitor center. Which would have not been a problem if the said trail had not been a creek! Much of the way down, the switch backs were running full of water from mountain springs overflowing from recent rain storms. Holy cow! Rocky streams at that! Bag Lady was straddling the stream/trail in order to keep from getting too wet…yes, I got video. 🙂
Super fun 8.5 miles! Hike on!
Me and my fiancé did this hike a few weeks back and encountered the exact same thing with the privy! We figured it was still locked for the season and hiked on. I would say I’d keep it in mind for next time but I’m pretty sure that was the last time we’ll be hiking in that area for a long while.
Awww…sorry you all were locked out!! Two things I think the NPS needs to take care of …. the privy lock and a vividly marked crosswalk on Rt. 77 near the falls!
I agree. Crossing the road there was a little sketchy.