I often tease my wife that 20 year-old John would have hung himself if he knew that 57 year-old John would be at the hardware store on a Saturday night, or having disscussions about the bowel movements of pets.
Well, 20 year-old John also thought a ruptured disc was what happened when you left the Beatle's White Album on your bed and then sat on it, and that sciatica was something that only people like Dennis the Menace's cranky neighbor Mr. Wilson got.
20 year-old John probably would have at least jumped out the 3rd floor Russell A dorm window at UCONN if he knew that one day he would be hiking on the Catoctin trail and start to feel hot knives stabbing down his leg to his feet, ultimately leading to a surgeon punching a small hole in his spine and Rotor Rootering out exploded disc bits from his spinal canal, leading to a recovery that involved avoiding BLT (Bending/Lifting/Twisting) for 6 weeks.
Luckily, walking doesn't involve much BLT, so I was able to get back to walking right away and hiking pretty quickly. Carl and I did a 6 mile out and back on the Appalachian Trail from I70 to the Washiington Monument (not that one, the other one):
That is actually the connector "path"along an abandoned stretch of the old Rt. 40 that runs from the trailhead parking area to where the AT crosses I70 on a pedestrian bridge. It is probably the least scenic AT picture ever.
The next week, Carl and I did the Sugarloaf Mountain 6 mile loop early on Sunday:
That big pile o' rocks was once a gigantic cairn at the Northen Sugarloaf summit, but it has crumbled over the years. Now people are making tiny little cairns out of the tumbled stones - the "Cairn Circle of Life."
Turns out kayaking does involve a lot of BLT, so paddling will probably wait for next year - but boating with a motor that does all the heavy lifting is OK. On a beautiful day on the Chesapeake Bay, we took Jim and Jacquie up the Bay to Miles Creek for a very nice lunch at a local institution, Cantler's.
On the way back we saw the first cow nosed ray of the year, with its two fins skimming through the water, but didn't capture a picture.