(note: I really need to make sure I hit ‘publish’ when I’m done with an entry. This was written 4 days ago).
Last Friday I received my medical release. We decided to celebrate by going on a hike in Rocks State Park on Saturday. Hiking has been a favorite family activity for a while but we’ve been unable to do for a couple of years now.
This was supposed to be a nice, relaxed hike. Something to get us slowly back into the activity. Unfortunately, one wrong turn blew that idea right out of the water. We planned on driving up to the Rock Ridge Picnic Area, having lunch, then doing the (easy) red trail to the King and Queen seat rock formation and keeping to the easier areas on the white and blue trails. That plan was nixed when we missed the turn on Route 24 that would have taken us to Rock Ridge and ended up in the parking area for the purple trail that was beneath the King and Queen seat formation. This is not a trail you want to start out on when you haven’t been actively hiking for a while. It’s very steep and very rocky. We considered heading back to the car a few times but the further we went, the cooler the rocks (and the view) became. Eventually we found ourselves at the top of the trail at the K&Q formation.
Heres where things turn bad. For me.
The cooler that has lunch in it is back in the van. The Van is at the bottom of the trail. Nobody wants to walk back down the trail to get to the van only to drive back up to the picnic area just a few hundred feet away from where we were standing. So the wife and kids get to go sit at a picnic table while I hump it back down the hill (cliff), collect the van and drive around and up the ‘mountain’ to the picnic area. So that pretty much sucked. It wasn’t all bad however… I did get to witness an idiot who decided flip flops where reasonable footwear for hiking on rocks nearly rip a toe off when her foot became wedged in a crevice and I saved myself $12.
I knew that this park charged for vehicle entry to the picnic areas. I also knew that the charge was $2 for MD cars and $3 for out of state cars. However.. I DIDN’T know that on summer weekends, that charge magically turned into a per person instead of a per car charge. That means an expected $3 would have been $15. Except now, since I left the family behind after we hiked up the trail, I was the only person in the car. The gate attendant told me it would be $2. I reminded him that I was an out of state vehicle and it should be $3. He thanked me for my honesty. I then told him that if he wanted honestly, I actually brought four other people with me, they had just hiked up the trail and were waiting for me. He paused for a bit then said “Well… you’re the only person I see in the car so that’s all that matters to me right now” and opened the gate. Works for me.
After lunch I allowed something very stupid to happen. We kept hiking. This time we took the white trail which headed down. Nowhere near as bad as the purple trail, but down nonetheless. Even though we kept saying ‘the farther we go down, the farther we have to walk back up’, we kept on going. Eventually we find ourselves wading in Deer Creek…. all the way back down at the bottom of the park. Guess who had the honor of walking all they back to the top of the park (in wet shoes) to get the van?
All bitching aside it was good to finally be able to get back on the trails again.
Spotted about halfway through our hike of Rocks State Park.
I didn’t think this photo would turn out at all. I was shooting towards the sun and figured it would just be washed out. The strange thing is that the camera was not set to B&W. I guess the sunlight in the background just overpowered the color info. I’m actually pretty pleased with the result.