As many of you already know, I had the wonderful opportunity to join Kev aka Tower on the trail a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I picked what seemed like the hottest 4 days of the summer, but in the end those days were some of the happiest days I have experienced in awhile (despite a small much needed breakdown due to exhaustion..hah) Kevin and I drove to Gathland State Park in Maryland Sunday afternoon after a long morning of packing and organizing with the help of the little poos jumping in every box or bag imaginable. After our 2 1/2 hour drive on the road we made it to the park. Shortly after arriving I realized I needed to use the ladies room and made my way down to the restrooms at the park. Of course they were out of order and I was going to have to experience this whole "real hiking thing" sooner than expected. So after taking Kev's advice of finding a "good tree" and feeling like my dog Louie I was ready, or so I thought. "Kaitie, I can see you!" I heard from the parking lot. So some adjustments were made and needless to say the experience was quite memorable but a success! My next big obstacle would be going "number 2!" Yikes!
|Camp Site= Middle of Woods|
We got on the trail around 6:30 pm and hiked a good 3 miles or so. To be honest, I was a bit shocked when Kevin told me to start looking for flat ground in the middle of the woods. I guess I was expecting more of a camp site or something, but then again I should have known after my bathroom experience. We found a spot after some searching and boiled our water for our bagged lasagna after an appetizer of cheese and wine (yes, Kev actually splurged and let us carry the weight of a wine bottle with us believe it or not). After a surprisingly good dinner, a blueberry Poptart for dessert, and getting used to the daddy long leggers on the outside of the tent I found sleep.
|We're fancy huh?!|
Waking up in the woods was pretty neat. There were no noises of cars flying down High Street or the humming of the air conditioner in the background, only the singing of birds and occasional rustle of a chipmunk in the dry, crunchy leaves. No one was around as the sun peered through the tops of the flittering trees and I felt at peace. No boundaries, no rules..Just Kev, me, and the trail. A pretty cool feeling I never had the opportunity to experience (I can imagine this is what my brother and his wife experience out in the middle of the ocean and maybe now I can somewhat relate to that feeling). This was a trip of many firsts for me and I was ready to take on world!
Monday morning we were back on the trail and before I knew it we had already hiked 12 miles and evening was coming sooner than I anticipated. One more mile to Annapolis Rocks which would be our home for the night. A mile couldn't be that bad..or so I thought. After an unexpected, never ending, rocky uphill, soaked clothing, a melted off face, and some very heavy breathing I was officially grumpy to say the least (aka the breakdown I mentioned earlier has come) It was difficult to take in my beautiful surroundings when all I wanted to do was lay down in a pool of ice. After asking Kevin to stop talking to me and only a few 4 letter words later we did in fact make it to our destination and to my surprise I actually survived and was content again! It was pretty cool to see what I was capable of accomplishing and even cooler that we made it in time to watch the sunset over the rocks. As mentioned in almost all of my second grade journals from the Bahamas "After that we had dinner and went to bed." What can I say, we lived by the sun that week. On Tuesday morning I had one of the best cups of coffee I have had all summer. I am not sure if it was the view, the company, the Jetboil, or the Starbucks Via Mocha packets but it was great! I never knew coffee could be so rewarding but that morning it was.