Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gambrill State Park Hike

I am sure that you have noticed by now that we are doing a lot of hiking. Every weekend actually and it is WONDERFUL! We are actually starting to train for longer hikes, planning on some once the weather gets a little bit nicer and camping out overnight won't be the most miserable experience in the world, and our water sources won't be frozen. Western Maryland actually has some amazing hiking trails, so we ventured back over that way last weekend to Gambrill State Park. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day with crystal clear bright blue skies, though a bit on the chilly size starting the hike at 20 degrees. Fortunately our gear makes it more than comfortable. The woods and the views were absolutely breathtaking that day, so please enjoy our perspective below.
Ready to go!

Such a serene trail

Vista overlooking Western Maryland

Beautiful even without the green

Panorama of the valley, make sure to click on this picture to enjoy its full beauty!

Hike out to the overlook

The overlook of Western Maryland 

Such brilliant blue skies!

The woods are so serene

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Catoctin Mountain Park Hike

Another not so terrible day of weather results in another wonderful day of hiking. This time we ventured out to Catoctin Mountain Park, which is part of the National Park Service, out past Frederick MD. I have always dreaded winters in the Northeast because they are so NOT beautiful. The skies are grey and, without the leaves, everything in nature is grey or brown. Snow does make things quite beautiful, but it never lasts long here in the mid-Atlantic states. It's just dreary. Well these hikes are changing my perspective a little bit, but that is probably because I am just madly in love with nature anyway.
While I do enjoy hiking a lot, I definitely am not a fan of the hikes where you walk to a particular point to just turn around and come back. I am more of a loop or destination girl myself...I constantly want to see what is around the corner, wondering what's up ahead, so Adam has been appeasing this by finding us large loop trails. This hike was 11.2 miles, but we missed a turn somewhere on the way back, so it probably ended up being more like 13 miles, and I really felt it at the end, as it was no easy hike. It was an absolutely terrific time though (minus the mild panic crossing the will see). We both slept like babies that night!

My hiking partner, we're ready to go!

Keeps the hiking interesting

The water was clear all the way to the middle of the pond

Flowing water is always beautiful to get across to the other side

I'm sorry, what!??! You expect me to cross on the fallen tree!?!? How rotted is the tree!?!?!

Ok fine, but you better be ready to rescue my butt if I end up going in! Here goes nothing...

I made it just fine, Adam crossed much more quickly and less dramatically than I did!

It is so interesting how the water freezes

This stream cross was a dream come true after the previous one!

Valley view down into Frederick

More cool ice sculptures by Mother Nature herself

Zoomed in

They called this section "Rock City", it went up and up and up for a long time

Warm enough to shed the down coat and gloves!

The water was still flowing underneath

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pataspco State Park Hike

I hate cold. I REALLY REALLY hate the cold. As I have stated many times, I do not function well under 75 degrees. More than I hate cold, I hate being cooped up inside. Adam and I both really enjoy being outside, being active, playing in weather be damned, we escaped into the frigid landscape that Mother Nature laid before us. It was only about 20 degrees but we had proper clothing so it was actually a fantastically enjoyable day and it really felt awesome to go play outside for a long time, and we accomplished a 10-mile hike in the process.
Patapsco State Park is one of the MD state parks near us and it is truly wonderful! There are SO many trails to navigate that are well marked, cover a variety of terrain, and keep you interested. Adam and I have decided to really start getting into hiking because we love being out in the woods, but have to keep moving enough to stay warm, so this fits the bills perfectly. There is just something so serene and peaceful about just walking through the beauty and quiet of nature (even at such ridiculous temps) and it just brings an overall calm to life.

Hiking up around Cascade Falls

Cool ice formations at the bottom of the Falls

Mother Nature can make anything beautiful

The Falls doing their best to keep flowing in the cold, a valiant fight!

Cascade Falls

Not quite like the waterfalls in many extra layers required

Awesome ice

Leading the way