From the couch to the trails

Tag Archives: hike

I am so looking forward to getting back on the trail this weekend.  We have not done any Autumn walks.  I really want to see all of the beautiful leaves.  BUT….  yes there is always a but in life right 🙂

My but is my fears.  If you are interested in my list of fears read on….

-I fear that I will not be able to hike as far as I had in the past due to the hiatus

-I fear that I am going to get out on the trail and my foot is going to start hurting and I will not want to walk back —this is the big one—

-I fear that hiking is not as much fun as I remember

-I fear that it wont be as much fun hiking when its too chilly to stop off at a swimming hole

I don’t know about you but when I go into something with no expectations…or do something for the first time it is a lot less scary that getting BACK into something.

So what is the solution to all of these fears?

The prescription I gave myself is from now until Sunday it will be nothing but positive self talk.  And a little extra at the gym to make sure my legs are nice and strong and ready for a walk in the woods this Sunday.

 

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So I did not get to hit the trail this week but I got plenty of outdoors on Saturday and Sunday.  Monday and Tuesday I managed to get in 10 miles of Urban Hiking:)

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Calvert County Fairgrounds at my Scentsy booth raising money for END HUNGER IN CALVERT COUNTY.  They were hosting a blues festival.

Blues Festiva

I started out my weekend with the intention to get out there and sell lots and lots of Scentsy and make myself lots and lots of money.  Well as it turns out, I got there learned a bit about the cause and I have decided that I will donate my entire commission to the cause.  The great part about this organization is that it was all founded by a man named

  • Rev. Robert P. Hahn – Founder and CEO
    Reverend Hahn was inspired to form End Hunger In Calvert County when he learned that while Calvert is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, it still suffers from rising poverty and hunger rates. Upon hearing that the majority of food pantry clients already hold full-time jobs, he was gripped by the vision of what could be accomplished if churches, schools, non-profits, businesses and other organizations joined together. His mission is to not only feed people but to get to the root causes of local hunger and help equip people to self-sufficiency.

The thing I find the most admirable about this is that he

1.  saw a need

2.  made a goal

3. set steps in action to achieve this goal.

I have accomplished steps 1 and 2 a gazillion times…. but man its that step 3 that stops me in my tracks.  How many of us think this would be worthy cause and it would be great to do something to help.  Then…. the next thing you know life starts happening and we keep going about our every day life and we never do anything to help.  So, when I come across someone who actually makes things happen I can’t help but to admire them.  One of the great things about this program is that not only do they feed people…. they also offer training programs to help unemployed and hungry people to learn a trade.  They offer several options in career train, including Electrician training.    I know that we can’t all start organizations but if you are looking to make a donation to help someone in need or if you are in need   http://www.endhungercalvert.org/

This was the first annual Blues Festival of Southern Maryland but they have several other events that have been very successful.  I had such a great time.  Who knew that I was a Blue’s music fan?  I certainly did not!  We got to see two beautiful sunsets as well a zebra.  Yes that’s right I said a zebra….  I know how random right?  And of course my favorite part about events is getting to meet lots of new people.  That is actually my favorite part of my Scentsy business.

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Monday and Tuesday were not quite as fun.  I was picked to do jury duty on Monday.  I know some people groan at the thought of jury duty but I actually LOVE it.  It is guilt free time.  I read a book, drank coffee and just had some quiet time all morning long.  Not to mention I got to walk to jury duty.  It was beautiful morning.  I walked through the Inner Harbor and Downtown Baltimore.

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It was a 2 mile walk each way.  I walked down and back in the morning and after it was over as well as home and back for lunch.  I was chosen to be on the jury so I got to go back on Tuesday.  So another walk down.  It was too hot to walk home afterward so I took the free calculator bus home.   My jury service on Tuesday entailed arriving at 1:30pm and sitting in the jury room for about 40 minutes to be called into the courtroom and told the trail was dismissed.  I get paid from my full time job from my full time job for the entire day PLUS the City of Baltimore paid me $15 a day for my time.  I wish I could get jury duty every day 🙂


So it’s about time that we get some proper footwear and packs to start training for our back packing trip on the Appalachian Trail. My husband has always used his gear from the Army. We aren’t familiar with any boots, packs, brand names etc.

So we set off to find out some information.

We planned on hitting the EMS http://www.ems.com/home/index.jsp in Annapolis and then heading over to the Hudson Trail Outfitters http://www.hudsontrail.com/ . There are just a few miles from one another. But, we got into Eastern Mountain Sports and lost complete track of time. We spent THREE HOURS in the store trying on boots and back packs. The sales associate John was super helpful and knowledgeable. He spent a great amount of time explaining shoes and packs to us as well as adding in little tidbits of helpful hiking and gear information. We ended up walking out of there with SOCKS! Three hours and we bought three pair of socks. 🙂

We thought it best to take the information that he gave us and do a little research of our own. I did find a pair of boots I am leaning towards. They are Asolos Stynger GTX ML.Image

But, I want to try on more and see what is out there. Your boots are your number one piece of gear so you want to make sure you get them right…. or so I have been told. 🙂

Do any of you hiking enthusiast have any brands/styles etc that you find work for you? Or wear you can get good deals on said equipment.


This was the first time since we have started on our commitment to hike once a week that I woke up and DID NOT WANT TO HIKE! It was hot, humid and I was tired. Not to mention the list of things that needed to be done at home.

But, I know from past experience that the list of things that needed to be done at home would still be there when we got home…. And the heat and humidity were part of the deal. So the verdict was …………….SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!

This week’s pick was Jim’s pick. I don’t think he realizes that I know he had ulterior motive but, I went along pretending like I had no clue. 😉

This trail was an unnamed trail. It is actually a horse trail that is right next to the field where he hunts, hence the ulterior motive. So this trip had three missions. See what the farmers planted, scope out the land for deer oooooh and hike. This was fine with me. It is probably best that I know where he is when he is hiking, for safety reasons.

There were lots of choices as far as picking a trail to follow they went off in many directions. Some smaller than others. I am glad he was in charge of where to go because I would have gotten lost for sure. This was unlike most of the trails we have followed before. It was not as overgrown as our attempt at Prettyboy Damn. But part of it were pretty overgrown and there were a LOT of thorny bushes along the trail so pants are a must for this one. Yes, Yes we were in shorts of course. There were many muddy patches as well as REALLY overgrown parts of the trail. I have to tell you I can deal with the mud. I actually enjoy it sometimes….well only when I have a change of shoes with me. But overgrown and thorn bushes do NOTHING for me except scrape up my legs and make me itchy. Another thing about this trail was NO BLAZES. Some of you have hiked before some of you have not so if you are not sure what a blaze is its a marking that tells you where the trail is. http://www.davidalbeck.com/hiking/glossary.html

I found the lack of blazes and Jim’s knowledge of the land quite relaxing. It was nice to just be able to walk. I trusted him to get us out of there and that he did….safely and soundly. MY HERO!!

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If you were curious the farmers planted soy beans this year instead of corn

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which means there will be less deer around Jim’s favorite place to hunt. 😉

All in all I am glad that we went out and did the hike today. It is so great to have a partner who makes you get out there even when you don’t want to. I would have spent the whole week regretting not going if I would have stayed home to clean the house. Having gone, I will not spend all week wishing I had done housework. That’s just the way life is. Sometimes you have to leave the dirty laundry behind and get out there to meet toads.

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This is probably not a trail I would recommend unless you have a navigational system or some familiarity with the land. I would still be wandering around in the woods if I did not have my trusty tour guide with me. Lucky he was there and it only ended up being a 3.2 mile hike.

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Today I was feeling a bit overwhelmed! I happened across this little nugget on Instagram.
A little reminder that it will all get done eventually!

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There are so many trails at the Patapsco State Park we decided to head back and check out a different trail.  Here is a link to the trail maps in the Avalon section of the park.  This just happens to be the most convenient part of the park for me to get to.  So, we tend to explore this area the most.

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/pdfs/patapsco_avalonmap.pdf

We actually paid to get into the park to do this hike.  While out on the hike we did find an alternate trail head in a neighborhood close by.  If you want to start from the street you would park at the intersection of Landing Rd. and Grovemont Drive.

If you would like to see the trail the way we did you would pay for entry to the park and then park by the swinging bridge.  We started our hike on the Cascade Falls Trail (blue blazes) we stayed right on the trail bypassing the falls. —not on purpose—  There was an intersection there was a neat looking little broken down building and the hill looked a little more challenging so we took that path instead.  There were quite a few decent ascents.  Enough to keep you on your toes but not tire you out.

We followed the Cascade Falls Trail (blue blazes) until it met up with the Morning Choice Trail (yellow blazes).  It is right after the blue trail meets the yellow trail that you would start on this trail if you parked outside of the park on Landing Rd and Grovemont Dr.  Anywho we followed the yellow trail around.  This is where the creepiness began.  First my husband insisted on turning over rocks to find slimy things.  He was successful in his quest.  We found slugs and worms.  EWWWWW…..

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I am sure I have told you guys before that I am a city girl and these kind of things do not excite me one bit.  But, I guess boys will be boys and Jim was quite amused at the ickiness of these guys.  I know that you would expect to see worms and slugs on a trail, especially when you are turning over rocks… but we did not expect to see this….

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What is it you ask????  Yeah, I asked the same thing.  I looks like some sort of shrine?  I don’t have a good picture of it but there was a huge piece of hair on the opposite side of the turtle shell from the candle.  I don’t know if it was human hair or not but it sure was a huge hunk of  long blonde hair.  The only other animal that I could think that it would come from would be a horse?

Sooooo…. that was interesting!  We stayed long enough to take pics and then kept going.  Only to come across a series of old broken down buildings.  It looked like they used to be camping areas… maybe…. but they were a little spooky to see just after the shrine.

ImageAgain we only stopped long enough to take pictures.  We walked for a bit until the yellow trail met the orange trail.

The orange trail is called the Ridge Trail.  This can be picked up not far from the trail head of the blue trail (Cascade Falls) near the swinging bridge.   We climbed up pretty high on this part of the trail but it was pretty gradual so it did not seem so bad.  As we we walked along the orange trail we could hear the waterfall.  We could not see it but we could hear it.  It was coming from below so we decided to go off trail to try to find it.  This meant descending a gigantic hill.  It was a straight hill with no switchbacks so it was not so easy on the toes.  Jim taught me a technique though to help save the toes.  It’s a really simple technique and probably obvious to many of you but for me it was THE most genius thing I had ever heard.  Just go down the hill with your feet turned sideways.  HA HA!!  Genius!!!!

Once we reached the bottom of the hill there was a little bit of stream and lots of rocks and down limbs.  We could not see the waterfall yet but we could tell we were close.  We could have gotten back on the grass and walked along the side of the stream but we decided to try our hand at scaling the rocks.  There were not very tall and posed little threat.

This was my favorite part of the hike.  I have been wanting to climb some rocks since we started but I seriously doubted my ability so I did not want to take on a huge venture with out the proper gear.  The rocks were about 6-8 foot tall and had pretty easy footing to spots to follow.  We made it up.  At the top of these rocks there was a small waterfall.  We stopped here to take a rest and Jim cooled off in the water.

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It still sounded like there were bigger falls above so we decided to take to rocks up again to the next level.  Again about a 6-8 ft climb but with a little less footing spots.  But we made it!  The falls were pretty.  Not a large fall but pretty non the less.  Jim said he has been going to this park exploring since he was a little boy and never seen this fall before.  And here it was just a few yards away from the road and the swinging bridge that we have been to hundreds of times before.Image

Next to the waterfall was the blue trail.  It was the part we bypassed on the way in.  It was a very short walk back to the trail head and our car.  🙂

Of course I had technical difficulties while on the trail and MapMyHike did to record our journey (User Error 🙂 )

But we the trail information says that

Cascade Falls Trail is 2.79 miles

Morning Choice is 1.8 miles

Ridge Trail is 2.2 miles

I think that we missed a total of about 1 mile of the trails.  So that puts us at about 5.5-6 miles give or take.

If you are hiking with kids I would recommend going into the park and taking the Cascade Falls Trail.  When you come to the intersection with the steeper hill and the old building at the top of the hill go the opposite way 🙂  This will take you a short walk to get you to the falls.

All three of these trails are easily picked up and easy to follow so you could make this one as long or as short as you’d like.