I Think It May Be Spring!

Thank goodness, right? If your winter was anything like my winter…ugh.

Father Winter was a big tease with lots of potential, but no big exciting events. In Maryland, we would get icy mix, a little snow, then it would melt and we were left with a few damp, chilly days in the mid-40s. Brrr…rrr

Thank you Goddess of Spring for finally taking control!

Last weekend, I led a “newbie backpacker” trip. We had 4 new and 5 experienced backpackers. The newbies had completed two shakedown hikes prior and felt somewhat prepared.

We began our adventure at Shippensburg Road trailhead on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. Saturday started as winter…very cold and windy! We got moving!

As we hiked the seasons turned. A lovely day indeed!

In general, we took this stretch slower, and with more breaks than I would take if I were going alone. Which makes perfect sense for new backpackers. They had plenty of time for adjusting the pack, stretching, resting, and enjoying the woods!

We rolled into Tom’s Run Shelter mid-afternoon, plenty of time for the newbies to set up.

It was a cold night and one newbie had not brought the recommended 20 degree bag. She learned and will pack accordingly next time. Sometimes, we have to learn the hard way. 🙂

Spring rebounded on Sunday! The trail was a slight disaster with tons of water flowing down it and many blowdowns that had to be climbed over, under, or around! Our newbie, who hadn’t slept much due to being cold the night before, just about petered out on the last hill of the day. We got some extra food in her and took it slow…she was determined to finish! She dug deep and conquered the last hill!

Everyone finished sucessfully at Pine Grove Furnace State Park with smiles (and a few emotional tears). I am so proud of these women! We stick together, push through our fears, learn from our miscalculations, and always Hike On!

Caledonia State Park, PA…Put it on the short list!

Caledonia State Park is quite possibly one of the prettiest state parks near Frederick, Maryland.  The air is scented with pine, the creek bubbles and gurgles as it curls its way through the park, and the towering pine trees leave me with the most serene, peaceful feeling every time I visit.

Labor Day Weekend I was invited up by Queen V.  She was spending the weekend at the park and decided to come out of her tent to hike with me!  I haven’t seen her since the backpack in June and was looking forward to hearing about her hike in Sweden.  One of these days I will go on a hike somewhere in Europe…but until then I depend on my international hiker friends, like Queen V!!

Stopped at the visitor center to pick her up, then headed to the Hosack Run area to pick up the Greenwood Road Trail.  We walked through the woods catching up on the summer and on Queen V’s adventure on the Fjallraven Classic.

BoobOnARock and Queen V take to the trail...oh it's on!

BoobOnARock and Queen V take to the trail…oh it’s on!

We were hiking to the Long Pine Run Reservoir in Michaux State Forest.  September was here and the start of the day had been crisp!  I could feel a hint of autumn in the air!

Queen V is a great person to hike with because it is so easy to carry on a conversation with her as we hike.  I am not much of a talker, but it seemed as if the miles flew by as we gossiped, caught up on each other’s adventures, and generally, just rambled about whatever. 🙂

Lunch by the lake. :)

Lunch by the lake. 🙂

The terrain was perfect for my recovering knee (injured last weekend dodging a bee…).  There were no big step downs, which are still giving me a bit a pain.  But more than that, there are so many pine trees that the trail is pretty soft in spots…love it!  We stopped for lunch in one such spot.  Sinking into the ground we started pulling out our goodies…oh, what’s that? Queen V brought Sidekick Pauli’s favorite…summer sausage!  Lucky, lucky dog!

Oh, it's summer sausage time by the lake! :) :)

Oh, it’s summer sausage time by the lake! 🙂 🙂

Thanks Queen V for the photo! Me & Sidekick Pauli in the Pines

Thanks Queen V for the photo! Me & Sidekick Pauli in the Pines

Rounding the reservoir, we found many places for Sidekick Pauli to get her feet wet. 🙂  My dog is getting older now, 8 years old last May, and while she is not much of a swimmer, she does love to splash!  We rounded back around the lake and took another siesta on the rocks.  Sidekick Pauli made a friend with a very little yorkshire terrier who was just smitten with her. 🙂



Sidekick Pauli makes a very tiny friend, Rocko

Sidekick Pauli makes a very tiny friend, Rocko

Thank you to Queen V for including me in her Labor Day weekend getaway!  This was awesome!

Grab a good friend and Hike on!

AT – PA Pine Grove Furnace SP to Trindle Road

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March 16, 2014 Two days and a night at Milesburn cabin with the Trail Dames?  Oh, Let’s go! 🙂 Trail Dames Maryland had rented Milesburn cabin, a PATC cabin, in Michaux State Forest for the weekend. I had signed on for Friday and Saturday with planned hikes on the AT each day. So north on 15, west on […]