2006-10-21 - Catoctin Trial

~8 miles @ ~20 min/mi

Lost? No problem! We were just following our own path. Caren Jew and I take a suboptimal turn during the drive out to Gambrill State Park and enjoy an unanticipated visit to the little town of Myersville. Likewise at various points along the Catoctin Trail we experience novel scenery as we lose the blue blazes and wander the hillsides, or pursue a yellow-marked alternative route. An extra mile or so? No problem!

At about 3:20pm on a sunny-cool Saturday afternoon we leave the parking lot [1] and walk/jog on the rocky, hilly path. After four easy stream crossings and about an hour and a quarter the sun is getting low so, although we have a flashlight, we take a rest stop and then turn back from the top of a ridge about 3.5 snaky miles northward [2]. It's a good training session for the JFK. During the return trip Caren spies a small herd of deer descending the hillside behind us. When we discover that we're almost half a mile off-course and near the main road, we resist the temptation to take the easy way to the car, and instead backtrack until we find the junction where we went astray. The GPS loses lock occasionally in the valleys and under the trees but the trackfile indicates at least 8.3 miles journeyed, so I prefer that to the 7.2 mile trip "odometer" which clearly has short-changed us.