Maryland Outdoor Club
Sun, Jul 16 2006 - Easy-Moderate Savage Park Hike (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Ruwan Alwis, Ian Wright
Participants:Ruwan Alwis, Ian Wright, Ali Badii, John Meagher, Tom Reichelderfer, Beth Feeser, Sara DiVall, Ann Smith

Write Up:
After doing a brief round of name introductions, we shared some of our more memorable TV commercials/commercial characters. The 80's commercial for the semi-creepy My Buddy (and Kid Sister) doll, the GEICO squirrels commercial, and the classic ads for Timex, "the watch that takes a licking, but keeps on ticking," were some that made the cut.

The intense sun was a bear even at the beginning of our hike, so "Sunscreen" wins the Word of the Day award! Actually, quite a few others highlighted conversations during the hike,. like E. coli and deer, toads, hallucinogenic and "just plain toxic" mushrooms, and beer!

We took a short walk past the bike trail to the head of the Wincopin Trail from the overflow parking site. We followed the Pick Rock Loop (Yellow blaze), the Hog's Neck Trail (Red blaze), and the Quarry Run Trail (Green blaze). This series of relatively easy grade trails covered about 4 miles, including the walk from the Patuxent Valley Middle School parking lot. The trail paths were flat easy walking except for the few steep paths that led us down to and up from the Middle and Little Patuxent Rivers. Thankfully, most of the walking was done in the shade of the forest canopy. We shared stories about favorite vacation travels, hobbies, occupations, and the Bear's outlook for this coming football season. Today's nature notes include seeing lots of speedy metallic green tiger beetles along the sandy paths near the rivers, Sara's catching sight of a baby box turtle crossing the trail after the rest of us walked right past (and over) it, watching a few ebony jewelwing damselflies floating gracefully through the air touching down to rest on sunlit plants every so often, spotting a few interesting mushrooms at the trail's edge, and again, Sara's good eye finding an otherwise camouflaged toad hopping along the trail. Good job, Sara!

When we re-emerged from the first part of our hike, getting to lunch and to drinks was on everybody's mind. The neat thing about hiking at Savage Park is the ease of tailoring the hike agenda to suit the needs of the day. Because the heat and humidity added to the difficulty of the hike, we opted to take the shorter paved route to get to the Rams Head Tavern at Historic Savage Mill for lunch much sooner than later. The "ancient" mill ruins and scenic waterfall rapid pools of the Little Patuxent River that would have been on the longer second part option (River Trail) will have to wait for a future hike.

After lunch, we headed over to the Bollman Truss Bridge. We noted a few interesting historical points and walked across this National Historic Landmark (and the only standing Bollman Truss bridge left in the world!). We weren't able to take in much of the historical significance or the ghost stories of Savage Mill, but again those can wait for a future hike event.

Don't know if it was because we were now in good spirits (or good spirits were now in most of us), but as we made our way back to our cars the main topic of conversation was about buying stuff at REI. MOCers showing that hiking and outdoors talk really does run deep in their blood?

Looking back, some of my laughable slip-ups in running my first event were confusing Alfalfa with Buckwheat for my alternate introduction question of "Where were you when Buckwheat was shot?", being caught by others and by myself several times in mid-sentence when referring to the ruins of the Savage Mill railroad bridges as "ancient" ("ancient ruins" just rolls off the tongue so naturally,.sorry!), and not noting the door latch on the swinging exit doors of a side shop in the Historic Savage Mill as we were trying to exit the building. Thanks for covering for me, Ian! Thanks for bearing with me, guys!

Total walking distance for this event was maybe between 5-6

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