Well, April did not last long - the climate jumped to early February this past weekend. Which I guess meant the Super Bowl should have been played yesterday, so apparently the Baltimore Ravens are now Super Bowl champs, having defeated some team from Houston.
Friday night was a Biker Chicks birthday dinner for vegetarian Sue, so we enjoyed a fine meal at Andie's house made from the many parts of a pine tree that are edible. I'm not a big fan of asparagus, or of cream soups, but Christine's cream o' asparagus cream soup was the least disgusting I've ever tasted. I ate as much as I could without going all Exorcist all over anyone and then when Christine wasn't looking I tried to sneak my bowl into the kitchen - but the eyes in the back of those Biker Chicks' heads apparently work even when they are talking a mile a minute and apparently I was busted.
The below 0 degrees C temperatures did put the ixnay on ikingbay outdoors the next day, so I did a sweaty indoor spin class instead. That night Carole, Lauren and I went to Sage for yet another vegetarian meal, but I made sure there wasn't an asparagus in sight. I avoided temptation to order anything from the menu in quotes: I've found in the past that "chicken," "cheese" and "tasty" on a vegetarian menu generally mean "tofu," "tofu" and "you don't want to know/Exorcist warning."
Sunday am Carl and I decided to brave the temperature and hike around Oella, MD and explore some extensions to the standard 4 mile loop. We took a side trail to Banneker Park, then had to do some road walking where we passed a small butcher shop with a very honest sign - it is not often anyone admits they actually kill the animals before they sell the meat to us. With all that vegetarian food in me, I tried to buy some raw meat to gnaw on but the Treuthys don't open on Sunday. We wandered around through Upper Oella Heights until we found our way back to the old Oella Mill Race Trail and headed upstream along the Patapsco.
They blew up the old dam here a few years ago and are now working on replacing the crumbling bridge over Route 40, which appears to have made Carl quite grumpy. However, all that construction meant there was a temporary bridge over the Patapsco River which we could have trespassed on to get to the other side of the River and walk back along the rail road tracks to make a loop, but that would have been illegal.
As we walked along the railroad tracks on the other side of the River, we had a nice view of the tunnel. This is an active railroad track so we would never walk on the tracks, even though some odd optical illusion makes this shot appear to be taken from on the tracks - the cold weather does funny things to frames of reference.
From there it was a few miles of crunching on the railroad trail ballast back to the picturesque town of Ellicott City, where I just missed taking a full picture of a giant thumb that floated across the street - I only got a piece of it, as you can see. While Carl's fakakta GPS claimed we had done a 7.2 mile loop, my more accurate internal odometer says we added about 2 miles to the standard hike to reach about 6 miles.