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Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

If the ‘writing’ and posting to this blog does indeed have roots, I am not aware of them. Random doesn’t happen with forethought.

I can say, roots be damned, that I do, as the mood allows, like to string a few words together. Some call it writing. That’s a classification more sophisticated than what happens here. I prefer to call it cuneiform or scrawling.

Travel is a topic as good as any to scrawl about.

As a strange habit, I shoot poorly composed photos of paths leading off into the distance. It is either inspirational or tedious. You can find a sampling of this nonsense on The World page.

I posted a few new ones to the page and included them below.

Fort Santiago, Manila, Philippines

Fort Santiago, Manila, Philippines

Harvard University, Boston

Harvard University, Boston

Capitol Crescent Trail, Maryland

Capitol Crescent Trail, Maryland

Mt. St. Helens, Washington

Mt. St. Helens, Washington

Billy Goat Trail, Maryland

Billy Goat Trail, Maryland

Harper's Ferry and Shenandoah River, West Virginia

Harper’s Ferry and Shenandoah River, West Virginia

Freedom Plaza, Washington, D.C.

Freedom Plaza, Washington, D.C.

Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Upper Dark Hollow Trail, Virginia

Upper Dark Hollow Trail, Virginia

Tourist Information Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tourist Information Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Quad biking, Kenya

Quad biking, Kenya

 

Get back to your roots.

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Billy Goats Gruff

When you take a Monday off from work in the Fall, you can do anything. Sleep in. Take long walks on the sidewalk with your dog. Binge watch a TV show. Explore the city. Read. Write. Clean your apartment or house. Jump out of an airplane. Volunteer at a local charity. Cook something nice. Plan a trip. Reflect. Buy new clothes. Go for a run. Relax at a local coffee shop.

Infinite possibilities. Infinite permentations.

Not really.

Hiking is the right choice.

Head over to Great Falls, Maryland and take on the Billy Goat Trail (Sections A and B) and a bit of the C&O Canal Towpath.

Billy Goat Trail

Billy Goat Trail

C&O Canal Towpath

C&O Canal Towpath

Potomac River

Potomac River

Rocky path ahead

Rocky path ahead

Yes, that is the trail

Yes, that is the trail

Again, yes, that is the trail

Again, yes, that is the trail

On Bear Island

From the beach

River 1

Red leaves

River 2

River 3

C&O Canal Towpath again

Stay colorful.

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Last April I trekked (trudged?) my way through the One Day Hike (ODH) on the C & O Canal Towpath. It comes in two forms. Either 100 kilometers (62.2 miles) or a more respectable 50 kilometers (31.1 miles). I choose the latter.

The 2013 One Day Hike takes place on Saturday, April 27. Registration begins on February 1.

I’m game for round two. I’ll stick with the 50 kilometer hike, thank you very much.

Who wants to hike 31.1 miles with me?

Let’s spy on last year’s ODH. Step gingerly if you blister easily.

Hiking 31.1 miles in one day – You can’t just decide to hike that far on a whim. You need to have ‘trained’ by hiking long distances. The furthest I hiked in preparation was 16 miles. Despite that, the biggest issues are not stamina. I could have gone further. One issue is using the same motion and muscles repeatedly for hours on end. The terrain is flat, so there is no variation for going uphill or downhill. It leads to cramps and aches and protesting muscles not happy with the extra abuse. If you don’t train those muscles to accept that wear and tear, you won’t make it. Another issue is things rubbing together (like clothes to skin). Let’s just say there were some interestingly raw areas on my body. And painful for days afterwards. I’ve heard worse stories from the 62.2 mile hike. Things only your proctologist should know about.

The trail – You start at White’s Ferry (for the 50K) and follow the C & O Canal Towpath all the way up to Harper’s Ferry. Then you keep going. Hike through the town and go uphill for the last 1-1/2 miles (truly brutal). It ends at the Bolivar Community Center. After eating the food prepared by volunteers, we returned to Harper’s Ferry (hitched a ride) and stayed at a hostel for the night.

Volunteers – ODH is a well-organized and well-oiled event. There are tons of helpful volunteers, some that have contributed from the beginning (the first 100K was in 1974). The volunteers help you register, they hand out trail snacks (yummy) or water, make sandwiches and soup, provide first aid, care for blisters (yes), patrol the trail looking for people who are hurting or in need of water, record when you arrive and leave the rest stations (they track your total time and ranking), make chili and other foodstuffs for the end of the hike meal, and much more! Thanks volunteers, you are awesome.

Rest stations – There were four rest stations peppered along the trail (roughly 6-7 miles apart). Each station had different snack, food and water options. The first station had sandwiches. Another one had coffee and soup. There were chairs for relaxing. Portable johns nearby. Each one also had a first aid tent, including someone there to manage your foot blister situation. I didn’t get any blisters, but I did use some preventive moleskin on key foot hotspots. Talk about roughing it!

My time – It’s not a race, but it’s nice to see your pace and time at the end. Start time was 10:00am. I finished at 8:25pm. Take out over an hour spent at the different rest stations, and it took me around 9 hours.

Photos

One Day You Could Be Hiking

One Day You Could Be Hiking

Let's Begin

Let’s Begin

Trail 1

Only 29 miles to go...

Only 29 miles to go…

Rest station with volunteers

Rest station with volunteers

Rest Station

Rest Station

Bridge

Find the path

Find the path

A hostel bed to pass out in

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Here are a few photos from a few hikes I took in Virginia and Maryland, along different segments of the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Spring

 

 

 

 

 Winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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