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