Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My siblings, friends, and ex-husband will laugh at this understatement:  I am hardheaded.  Stubborn even.  My dad sometimes calls me The Mule.  Due to this cranial denseness, I sometimes make the same mistake over and over again.

And no, I'm not referring to dating here. 

Twice, I've chosen a trail based on its description of pretty sights and not paid attention to other important details.  Such as the words moderate difficulty and steep.

The weekend before Memorial Day, the boys were with their dad, the weather was beautiful and I was wanting a walk.  I convinced a friend to go for a hike in Patapsco Valley State Park.  It's a huge park I've visited before, but I wanted to scout some of the trails to see if they were doable with the boys.  I skimmed an online description of the trails and picked the Cascade Trail because the website said it "allows visitors an opportunity to view beautiful cascades and rapids."

Note for future knowledge:  when a trail mentions cascades or waterfalls, this means water must run or fall from a height.  Therefore, your trail will likely climb that height.

I failed to think this out.  I also failed to read the text stating sections of the trail were too steep for mountain bikers.  Let me say part of that again:  MOUNTAIN bikers.

Photos never do an incline justice, but this was the view in front of me about half way up the ridge.  The path winds behind that rock and continues to climb.

I'm sure this trail is simple fare for veteran hikers. It's only 2.2 miles and we passed people who were actually jogging.  I, however, am not an advanced hiker.  I was red-faced and wheezing.

But, I made it!  Without a defibrillator!

And despite all the huffing, puffing and occasional whine, it was a beautiful hike.  The water in the creek was cool and tumbled over baby cascades.

I saw the greenest bug I've ever seen.  Matt would have loved him/her/it.

There were remnants of history throughout the park.

Can you imagine commuting over this?

There was a mill town on one side and flour mill on the other.  The workers crossed this swinging bridge every morning.

The boys would also have loved the Thomas Viaduct, seen here in this classic, out-the-car-window shot.

Later this summer, we'll be Park Questing here.  Fortunately, I've already read that trail description.  It's wheelchair accessible. 

I take that as a good sign.

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