The Cormorant’s Advice

When Goldenrod makes her entrance Summer is surely put on notice. Add a clear, crisp morning in late August, woodland sunflowers, and a few stray leaves starting to show a tinge of orange and it seems Summer best hurry to finish her conversation before being thrust unceremoniously out the back door!

I haven’t said goodbye to her, yet. This is my last really carefree Friday for a while, so, let me visit with my friend, Summer, before she bids farewell.

Meandering about Harper’s Ferry I am engulfed in the transition between summer and fall…and lost in an oh, so blue, sky!

A kindred spirit, in form of a deer, stopped to bid me good morning.

A train barreled by pointing out there is no time to lose and I must keep pushing forward.

The Shenandoah, moving swiftly past, agreed with the train. “Make haste! Summer is packing up!”

Standing firm, between the north and south banks of the river, stood a cormorant, perched on a rock perusing his options. “No need to be bamboozled by that rackity clack train and this impatient river” he called out, “they are set in their path and cannot change course.”

I took the cormorant’s advice. I took the long way, the curvy way, the way I did not know. The un-set path.

Hike On!

Lovely Morning at Antietam

Well, this has been a winner of a morning in western Maryland! Crisp, I kid you not, CRISP air greeted me as I followed Sidekick Pauli out into the yard this morning. Like Autumn…what an absolute blessing after the pea souper of a week we have had!

Sweetie and I headed over South Mountain for a walk at Antietam National Cemetery. I have been to the battlefield many times, but never the cemetery. It did not disappoint.

I sought out the graves for Indiana soldiers killed in battle and perused for last names that I knew from home. The only one I found was ‘Evans’. I moved on through the pines and circled around to the other side of the cemetery. Here I found a grave that seemed oddly out of place.

This grave belongs to Goodloe Byron, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971-1978. His term ended when he died of a heart attack while running on the nearby C&O canal. He was an avid runner having completed several marathons…and seemed to believe he could eat whatever he wanted. Unfortunately, not so.

He ignored warnings from his physician who told him that treadmill tests from 1974 to 1978 indicated his coronary arteries were gradually closing. The last treadmill test in January 1978 indicated severe abnormality and was positive for heart disease. The physician advised Byron to stop running until further tests could be done.

Hmm, okay…let that be a lesson to us all!

Anyway, interesting story, but still not sure why he is buried with civil war soldiers.

Exiting the cemetery, we drove down to Burnside Bridge and stolled down the Final Attack trail and Union Advance trail.

Refreshing cool breezes kept us perfectly content with life as we rounded through sunny fields and then into cool dark woods. We found plump ripe rasberries, a variety of wildflowers, and blue birds.

Ahh, this is the kind of morning that makes me want to live forever! Heed that lesson from G. Byron’s premature death and Hike on!

I can smell summer from here!

I am in the last week of my semester, both at my own community college where I teach math, and at my grad school where I am working on  second masters (for promotion…and the learning…).  Four days, peeps, FOUR DAYS!

I am ready for a break and am patiently crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s until Friday when I can officially close out this semester. It’s soooooo close I can barely stand it! 

My days have been filled with math, math, math, along with brief intermissions by the great outdoors.  No time for a big post today. Just want to share some pics of recent hiking adventures! 

Ahhh summer, I see you coming and I am all set…hike on!

C&O Canal near Shepherdstown, WV

Me (BoobOnARock) & BearSpray at Bob’s Hill overlook

Leading a TD Hike – Crossing Burnside Bridge at Antietam National Battlefield

Me (BoobOnARock) &Sidekick Pauli at Monocacy National Battlefield

Lunch spot at Sky Meadows SP

Leading a TD Hike on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland (between Pogo campground and Wolfsville road)

A Morning at Boliver Heights Battlefield

The mysteriousness of a heavily fogged in morning.  It feels both calm and spooky, like something is about to happen.  Battlefields are especially moving in the early morning and add in the fog…well, walking through it, having it swirl around me and swallow me up…left me feeling as if I had entered a magical place where it was possible to transcend time.

image

Looking towards Schoolhouse Ridge

Sidekick Pauli walked with me this morning up the the hill from Schoolhouse Ridge.  I looked back at the car once finding it hard to see in the mist.  I looked back twice and it was gone.  A thick misty white wall moved across the field in no hurry to rise into the sky.  We headed on up the hill and eventually emerged from the fog. How beautiful the opposing Schoolhouse Ridge looked.  We turned back to enter the woods and climb up to Boliver Heights.
image

The climb was gentle and several deer greeted us with a quick glance and a flip of the tail as we made our way up.  Then the beauty of the ridge!

image

Sunrise at Boliver Heights

Looking down to the Potomac & Shenandoah Rivers … rivers still hidden at this early hour.  Absolutely stunning!

image

Looking down into Harper's Ferry

Headed back down into the woods after walking along the ridge enjoying the views. The trail here was a little rough with several blowdowns. At one point I wondered if I had gotten off the trail, but there was a definite path in front of me so I continued.
image

Coming to a fork in the trail, someone had tied ribbons to indicate which way to go. Downhill, well, that makes sense. So down we went! More blowdowns, then into a pawpaw patch we followed the ribbons.
image

image

“Yay!” I thought, catching site of the field as we climbed over our last log. Entering the field, we were about 100 yards away from a farmhouse. I heard a man’s voice yell up to me, “Are you lost?” Um…um…awkward! I didn’t think so, but apparently this was someone’s private property!! After talking, well, yelling back and forth with the guy, we had no choice but to follow the ribbons back up the hill! I don’t know who marked that trail, but ergh.

image

Dead end!!!

image

Back on the ridge, but the fog is gone

A lovely morning to explore, though! And hey, eventually I will find the right trail down the hill! 🙂

Happy Friday and take the weekend to hike on!