Carole was holding a bridal shower for her friend Christine's daughter Elizabeth at our house, so I told Carl we needed to do one of those far away hikes so I could maximize my time away from home. We decided to do a two car hike, doing a nine mile section of the Appalachian Trail from Quirack Mountain to Wolfsville - a section we hadn't done in several years. There is one water crossing, between Raven Rock Road and Wolfsville that I was concerned about due to all the recent rain, but after we dropped Carl's car off at the Wolfsville Road trail head, the stream levels didn't seem all that high.
We drove past the BRACed (closed down) Fort Ritchie, where nothing seems to ever change, over to Pen Mar then up the hill to High Rock or Mt. Quirack. The weather forecast had been for temperatures in the 70s with a chance of rain late in the evening, but the skies were darkening and it was only about 55 degrees when we got on the AT.
It almost immediately started to rain, but at first just very lightly. Being the seasoned hikers we are, we of course had not planned for anything but a dry warm day - neither of us had coats on and I was just wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Quickly we began to see evidence of the heavy rains of the week before - the trail got muddy, then turned into a pond.
We kept going and the further south we got the harder it began to rain. We kept thinking it would slack off, but it never did. As we neared Raven Rocks, we faced a decision: man up, keep going and potentially hike another 6 miles in increasingly heavy, cold rain, or wimp out, turn around and just do a 5-6 mile out and back. Being manly men, we were secure in our manlihoodness and turned around and headed back, before our hairdos frizzed up too much.
The montain laurel haven't bloomed yet but whatever this pink bush was had bloomed in full force. We retraced our steps and continued our never-ending discussion on whether the children of non-citizens should (a) Not be allowed to get in-state tution at Maryland colleges (Carl) or (b) should be allowed (John), since all the Swedish immigrants (including many Olsons) who got off the boat in the 1920's did so. Ask Rickie.
High Rock used to be an active hang glider launch area, but now it appears to mainly be a graffiti target for bored Washington County teenagers who seem to buy fru-fru pastel-colored spray paint and leave behind deep thoughts, like "Party On!!." I guess all the teenage creativity energy goes onto Facebook these days.
We got back to my car, took a detour route (due to 550 still being closed due to flood damage) and went back to Carl's car at Wolfsville Road - where it was raining quite hard, justifying our wussiness in turning around.