First Day Hike 2020

Happy New Year!!

I couldn’t have made a better choice for January 1, 2020 than hiking with the Maryland Trail Dames.

We met at the Wilson Mill parking area at Little Bennett Regional Park in Montgomery County, Maryland. A lovely morning, to be sure, with bright blue skies and temps in the 40s. Gorgeous!

The only negative was an occasional cold wind that sent a few shivers through me.

Luckily, I had my windbreaker.

The trails were deserted when we started hiking, but after about an hour we encountered a few other folks out for a stroll…or in one case, a run.

Finishing our hike, one of the Dames, who I refer to as Rebel 1, had brought cookies, coffee, and tea! I have already signed her up to help with Trail Magic when the bubble hits Maryland this year. ūüėĄ

Then to top it all off…an Eagle swooped above us! What a great omen for 2020!

Hike on!

Beat the Heat at Little Bennett Regional Park

Can Mother Nature cool her jets? ¬†Everyday brings a new level of heat disgust! ¬†My last hike was two weeks ago and we were chased back to our cars by a thunderstorm. ¬†Since then it has just been oppressive. ¬†I know it’s summer, yada, yada, yada…keep your logic to yourself!

I needed to get out, but also needed motivation. ¬†This is where being a hike leader with Trail Dames is so, so, personally satisfying. ¬†I scheduled an early morning hike at Little Bennett Regional Park in Maryland. ¬†And six other crazy women signed up…so at 6:20 AM I pulled into the Hyattstown Mill trail head parking lot in Hyattstown just across the street from the fire department. ¬†It was already a steamy 80 degrees, but otherwise a gorgeous morning that had surprised me with an amazing sunrise on the way down from Frederick.

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From the Hyattstown Mill Trail Head Parking…with a colorful filter. ūüôā Cute little town.

As soon as everyone arrived, some still trying to wake up, we started down the road to pick up the trail.  The trail used to be the old Hyattstown Road that went from Hyattstown to Clarksburg and it still resembles a road.  Wide and paved with gravel it was an easy walk to the cut off for the Bennett Ridge trail.

There was a 10k going on in the park this morning.  As such we navigated past water stations, yellow tape marking off trails, and eventually the runners.  They had their work cut out for them on this muggy morning!

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Along the old Hyattstown Road

We followed the Bennett Ridge trail to the campground (pitstop), then backtracked to Beaver Valley.  We headed downhill and encountered a bubble of runners from the 10k coming up.  Oh! They looked a little whipped, but were in good spirits as they scuttled up the hill.

 

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A 10k runner in beautiful Little Bennett

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Another runner in the 10k. How can I not love this park? So lovely!

Beaver Valley winds around to the Western Piedmont trail, which we took back in the direction of Hyattstown.  This is also part of the old road, so we were on flat, wide terrain again for a while.  As we approached the section of trail where Pine Grove trail comes in, runners were exclaiming that they were getting stung.  We slowly walked forward.  I watched the next runner carefully, trying to spot the bees.  Runner yelled, another win for the bees.  I saw the bees and following their track I spotted the hive.

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Look closely above runner’s head…the HIVE! Yep, this guy also got stung. It was just easy pickins for the bees.

Holy moly! A huge hornet operation just above the heads of the poor defenseless runners! ¬†I looked around and decided this was a time when it was perfectly okay to go off trail. ¬†I led the women who chose to follow off, up, and around the nest…no stings. ¬†Hooray!

A few women had decided to take their chances and stay on trail…sucked for them, stung!

The final piece of adventure for this trail was wading across Little Bennett. ¬†I chose the deepest part, because, well, it was hot, and I mean seriously, if I’m taking the time to put on water shoes, then dang it, it better be worth it!! And it was! The water came up to the bottom of my shorts and felt so cold and ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

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A good cool off!

Long before the daily heat advisory went into effect, we were back at the cars and ready to head home for showers.

I looked forward to coffee and chilling out in the AC… Hike on!

 

 

The Tuesday Stomp! Little Bennett Regional Park 7/30/13

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Little Bennett Regional Park has a great trail system for both beginning and more experienced hikers.¬† Some of the trails are restricted to “hiker only”.¬†¬†The majority can also be used for biking and horse riding.¬† Despite this, all of the trails are pretty well maintained by the friends of Little Bennett, http://www.friendsoflittlebennett.org/. Sidekick Pauli and […]