Went out with a couple of new hiking friends last weekend. I got invited to do what I love most and just could not say no. In a happy addition they were going to one of my favorite, local places. We spent the day on the Mason Dixon Trail along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. We did about a 10 miles out and back, with the first few miles in the dark using a head lamp. The leader of this hike is Glynn, and he is a ‘get it in’ type fella. I am much more about looking around, taking pictures, and searching for hidden treasures in the form of geocaches. We were done by 10:30am, WOW! The other 2 split, but I stuck around for another 5 hours and about 8 more miles. I also found a few geocaches along the way that I have wanted to search out for a while. It made for a great half-day, close to home adventure. Here are a couple pictures of the sunrise over the Susquehanna River with some mist I really enjoyed.
My buddy John and I went to the Pinnacle in Holtwood, PA for the last new moon a couple weeks ago. This is one of the highlight spots of the Conestoga Trail. The hopes were to find some place dark enough for star photos. We did not get anything amazing because the clouds kept coming through. But we did end up with a couple of lightening strikes and some nice dark sky shots. It wasn’t the greatest, but we had a lot of fun goofing off and I did end up with a few decent photos.
Located on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos Islands is a barrel on a stick just inland enough to not be impacted by the tides. This barrel (or one like it) has been used as a post station dating back to the whalers of the 1700’s. Sailors would drop off post for home and pick up anything that was heading to their next destination for hand delivery.
This practice still happens today, but in the form of postcards from tourists. Anyone that stops by is encouraged to leave a post card behind, and take any that are addressed to someone ‘near’ your own home. We took 2 postcards with us addressed for Maryland. Not close, but not far either, it is just Maryland. I am happy to say that we did our duty and dropped off our postcards last weekend during our drive home from West Virginia. The story of how it went down couldn’t get better if I sat and wrote a script of the perfect scenario.
We took 2 postcards from the Galapagos Islands that were in the same handwriting and addressed to 2 homes that were about 15 minutes apart, Gaithersburg and Derwood, Maryland. I wrote up a little note that explained who we were and what we did, in case nobody was home. We stopped at the first house and rang the doorbell. Nothing. Quite a disappointment. We left the postcard and the note in between 2 Amazon packages on the front porch. We loaded up to head to the next address. Someone was outside as we pulled up. I asked if so-and-so lived here and she skeptically said yes. As quickly as I could I explained I was here to hand deliver a post card from the Galapagos Islands. She caught on quickly and said it was from her son, to his sister, the lady’s daughter. She got really excited, started laughing and invited us in. As we were walking in the house I mentioned having just left another post card behind at another address in Derwood. She got a crooked face on while thinking and then exclaimed, “That’s my parents! They are inside right now!”
So we went inside for a few minutes and a few pictures. She text messaged her son in Boston while we were there to let him know his post cards showed up. It was truly a magical moment that gave hope to any happiness in humanity. So glad I was able to be a part of something so unique, special, and that brought so much joy to a bunch of people.
Recently we went to the mountains of West Virginia to a place called Nelson Rock. Nelson Rock is set up like an outdoor adventure park where hiking meets rock climbing. It is a feature made popular in WWII by the Italians in the Dolomites called a Via Ferrata. It is a series of steel cables, ladders, and fixed anchors around a mountain that allow human beings to climb around ‘easier’. It was amazing, the best thing I have ever done. It is a perfect combination of doing something that feels risky or adventurous while still remaining completely safe…that is if you are not afraid to look down into the abyss. I can’t wait to do it again and again. More than anything, I can’t believe my wife did this! I am so proud of her.
While we were down in West Virginia we also visited Seneca Rock. Someplace I have wanted to go for a long time, but found it hard to drive 5 hours 1-way for a short walk up Seneca Rock. We were only 20 minutes away and also checked out Seneca Rock. It was great, especially the rock scramble after the path to the top.
Here are some pictures if you are interested.