Saturday, July 28 , 2007
My friend John at Thurmont
|I met my friend John in Frederick today
after the wedding ceremony of another friend (my oldest daughter's
first grade teacher), and we went to the Catoctin Mountain State
Park in the northern part of Frederick County, Maryland. The
President was at nearby Camp David for the weekend, so much of the
park was closed off to visitors. We had been talking about getting
together for a hike over the past few months, but only now did our
schedules coincide so we could pull it off. The weather was hot
with the threat of thunderstorms, but we were willing to risk
I stopped in at the Visitor's Center to learn about the
President's visit and the park closures. But they did not have any
affect on our plans. Standing next to two very attractive female
hikers, I listened intently to the ranger who described a
moderately challenging day hike to the ladies. John and I set out
before them with a good initial pace, but we felt the climb
upwards pretty soon after beginning our ascent. We decided to take
a circular route past Thurmont Vista, Wolf Rock, and finally to
Chimney Rock. From there, we'd snake along Route 77 and make our
way 4.5 miles later to our car at the Visitor's Center.
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|The order from
the park superintendent
closing a large section due to the presence of
George W. Bush at Camp David
|The area of the
park off limits to visitors and the region we hiked (the lighter
shaded area). Our destination overlooks are listed and marked
with a red dot.
We could feel the stress of the hike up the mountain as soon as we
started out. I could feel the effort in my hamstring muscles. which
don't get enough attention in my strength training sessions. I also
confessed to John that I need to do more stretching before exercising,
which is something upon which I need to improve. The upwards climb also
put us into cardio mode, but things got easier as the trail leveled out.
Our total distance ended up being about 4.5 miles in about three hours.
We made several stops, one of which was to give John a chance to attend
to a bee sting injury. He handled it well, icing the stung area on
his ankle, placing a bandage on it and finishing the last third of the
hike. Our main goal was to visit Chimney Rock, which looks like this:
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Chimney Rock, Catoctin Mountain State Park, near Thurmont, MD
The hike was great, so we are hoping to plan another one soon.
Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are great states for hikers. We're
looking for a challenging one like the one we did two years ago at Old
Rag in the Shenandoah National Park.
The terrain there requires upper body strength as well in what is called
a rock scramble.
At Old Rag in 2005
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