2010-04-17 - Catoctin Trail with Caren, Gayatri, and Ken

7+ miles @ ~25 min/mi

Caren Jew has recovered from ankle injuries and survived income tax season, so it's time to celebrate by returning to her favorite haunt, the tough Catoctin Trail north of Frederick MD. After extensive negotiations Ken Swab concedes to a 0515 start for the ride with Gayatri Datta and me. Various of us have family duties that make the early start preferable.

Bad news: when we reach the Manor Area of Cunningham Falls State Park we discover that Ken has forgotten his running shoes. Good news: he doesn't need them! We cross Little Hunting Creek—Caren & I wading through, Ken & Gayatri leaping between rocks—and proceed up the steep slope. My GPS says that we go from ~550 feet elevation to ~1500 feet at the highest, which roughly agrees with the PATC map's contour lines. On the way up Caren takes a scary fall on some tree roots, but escapes injury.

Then my phone rings. It's Caren: her cellphone has spontaneously called mine—oops! At the scenic overlook we catch our breath and survey the valley below. Caren spots a scattering of ice on the ground; I dismiss it as broken glass until I check and confirm her observation. Somebody has emptied a cooler recently and there are beer bottle caps strewn nearby. Ken points out a blue tarp/tent halfway down the cliffside. We move on quietly.

In the Frederick Municipal Watershed after the second pond or so between Gambrill Park Rd and Fishing Creek Rd we turn back. A pickup truck of hunters in camo outfit cruises by slowly, and reminds Caren and me of our run here (2008-05-18) when we saw some sketchy-scary-looking guys on the trail. (cue music from Deliverance) Back in the Manor Area we ford the stream. Caren goes home while Ken & Gayatri & I do a bonus mile on the trail in the other direction.

^z - 2010-04-2010-04-24