Well, happy new year and happy outdoor adventuring to everyone! Here is hoping your toes are warm, your furnace is cranking, and the pipes haven’t burst at your house.
I kicked off the new year with the Trail Dames, heading out on the best possible day last week…yay! Temps rising into the twenties!! What an absolute delight.
I led the Dames on a 6 mile loop at Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland. This is one of my favorite hiking spots and home to Camp David for you political junkies. Occasionally, the trails are shut down when the President is at Camp David. This isn’t very often with the current administration. So stomp on down the trails, no secret service to stop you!
Our route started at the Visitor Center. We were all giddy with the blue skies and promise of increasing temperatures, despite it being 17 degrees as we pulled into the lot and greeted each other. The Visitor Center opens at 9 am…important information if you like to hit the bathrooms before heading down the trail. Dames LOVE bathrooms at the beginning of a hike!!! 😀 😀 😀
We started uphill first heading in the direction of Thurmont Vista. This warmed us up! We took our first break at the Vista, then continued around to Wolf Rocks.
We made a half – ass effort to investigate the top of Wolf Rocks, but with ice and snow covering most of the rocks we retreated without argument and stomped on to Chimney Rocks. We took a longer break at Chimney Rocks. It is a nice spot for a break since there are many rocks to sit upon.
Kudos to the park maintainers because they have now blazed the trails in a variety of happy colors and put in benches for restful contemplation of the universe in many spots along the trails.
Leaving Chimney Rocks, it was all downhill, steeply, to park headquarters, then a rolling mile back to our cars. It was a beautiful way to kick off 2018!
May all your hiking goals be met this year (in spite of the frigid start). Hike on!