Sat, Mar 10 2007 - Honeymoon Hike #2 (View Original Event Details)|
Jackie Putman, John Putman
|Participants:||Jackie Putman, John Putman, Ruwan Alwis, Sarah Tinney, Tom Reichelderfer, glenn ramey, adrienne crossman, Matt Toerper, Rachel Evans, Kimberly Engle, Megan Collins, Paul Shaklan, Eileen Barry|
Maybe we should have called this the slip and slide hike. If using that name did not constitute copyright infringement, I'd do it!
Despite the relatively warm weather, there was still plenty of snow and ice on the south trail at Gunpowder Falls State Park , Hereford Region. It was an absolutely beautiful day. So beautiful in fact that the north side of the valley was completely free of both snow and ice after basking in sunlight all morning. So of course our hike stayed entirely on the south side.
The beginning of the hike started out just fine. We laughed at the dire warnings as we treaded along the perfectly clear path. Then we got down by the river. What wasn't mud was still frozen over. There was about 1-2 inches of snow on the ground. The best part however was the 2 inch thick sheet of ice tucked away ever so carefully under the snow. There was plenty of slipping and sliding and unfortunately some falls.
All this snow and ice made for pretty tough going in spots, especially at one point where the trail goes almost straight up. We had a dilly of a time getting up this climb. We had to stay to the sides of trails on the way up. The even better part was the trip down the hill. I call it a trip because of how many hikers fell. We had a grand time trying to stay upright. Some gave up and slid down the steepness on their backsides. They were the lucky ones. One such slider said it was the highlight of the trip. Luckily everyone had signed the MOC waiver. There was one smarty-pants that thought to bring crampons. He was pretty smug after walking down the slop like it was nothing.
After all were bruised and accounted for, we continued on along the rocky, icy, snowy, beautiful trail as it ran within feet of the Gunpowder River . We saw people fishing as well as a few kayaks. Well, we saw three kayaks and two kayakers. Not sure about the third kayaker.
We stopped for a snack break atop a rather large boulder. We basked in the sun for a few minutes healing our bumps and bruises. It was a welcome change from the dense canopy of the trail. We then set off for the Highland Trail back to the parking lot. The Highland Trail takes hikers uphill from the river to the top of the valley. We hiked along the ridge and noticed the snow and ice had melted, leaving the trail a muddy mess. At least we weren't sliding around anymore. The ease with which we hiked was a relief from the difficulties of the past. We made quick time back to the trailhead. We only had a couple more falls on the way back.
I enjoyed the hike very much. I'm still mad at the Gunpowder Ranger Station for telling us the trails were clear. We made our way, though. MOCers are a hearty bunch indeed. As a side note, some were so inspired by the hike that they spent a good portion planning their own honeymoon. No wedding, mind you, just the honeymoon. We'll see where that goes. Thanks again to everyone who came out and braved the elements. Hope to see you at Honeymoon Hike #3.
--John Putman and Jackie Maffei
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