Winter seems to have ended (thanks, Global Warming!) so I figured some biking or a kayaking in Southern Maryland would be a good idea this weekend. Chris was going to be around and he suggested doing some aerial surveillance of the Calvert/St. Mary's county area. The plan evolved to fly out of St. Mary's Airport in Leonardtown, since our combined weight was marginal for taking off out of the Chesapeake Ranch airstrip where he keeps his plane. So, I decided to so some biking out of St. Mary's and check out the college while I was down there. The biking was not very spectacular - certainly not worth driving 100 miles for - but the weather was great for flying. That area is squeezed between the flight restriction zones for the DC area and for the Patuxent and Dahlgren bases but we were able to have some great views of St. Clement's Island and the Calvert Cliffs area. I did kiss the ground when we landed safely, as Chris came in a bit high and had to "slip" the plane to bleed off some altitude - a maneuver that on Microsoft Flight simulator generally ends in me hearing a bang and seeing a cracked windshield on my PC screen.
Maryland is still on the seven day "rain every Saturday night/Sunday morning" cycle but being manly men Carl and I decided to hike anyway the next day. We decided to do the Cat Rock loop on the Western side of the Catoctin range. This is the hike where last March I lost my ice-gripper boot add-on, but no luck - we didn't find it. The clouds burned off and it turned into a beautiful day by the time we reached the summit at Cat Rock, after passing through many fragrant areas where the icing of weeks past had brought down many pine tree limbs.
At the top, Carl contemplated the meaning of life and where he might have left his water bottle - oh, yeah, it is right behind him. Cat Rock is at an elevation of about 1700 feet and has a nice view into the valley where Thurmount is nestled. The hike back from there is largely downhill with lots of switchbacks - a good way to break in my knees for the new year. To punish them further, I did a 3 mile run with Carole at the end of the day in our neighborhood, over hill and dale. Going down stairs tomorrow will not be fun Googleicious map of the hike below with and elevation profile here.