On Saturday, I rode in (sort of) the Baltimore Bicycle Club Civil War Century, where I usually do the 64 mile ride. It started raining at about the 30 mile mark - which should have been the 27 mile mark but once again I missed a turn. By the Fairfield PA rest stop it was coming down pretty hard and a quick look on the smart phone weather radar map showed it was going to get worse. Since Carl lives just 5 miles from there, a call to Olson's Uber service got me a ride back to my car in Thurmont and I bailed on the rest of the ride.
We ended up getting over an inch of rain but the next day dawned gawgeous and Carl and I decided to hike the trails around the Patapsco River near Woodstock MD. The Woodstock Inn (really a biker bar) was having a motorcycle festival, using up the usual parking area. So, after waiting at the railroad crossing for a long string of empty coal cars to pass, we drove on and parked further in the woods where some mountain bikers with tires the size of motorcycle tires were just getting going.
We started the hike heading north/upstream towards the old quarry but cut off to the west to go check out the big clearing where we'd seen some huge persimmon trees last year. Persimmon is just kind of a fun word to say and apparently there is actually an American persimmon tree that is native to Maryland - biking on the eastern shore you see scads of them. The deer had eaten all the literally low hanging fruit but persimmonologist Carl judged them non yet ripe, anyway.
We continued on to the northwest and reached what years ago was a very large dump but the area was reclaimed and cleaned up. They seem to be adding all kinds of technology that seems related to monitoring and/or burning off escaping methane gasses. There were about a dozen of the contraptions above just off the trail, each with a solar panel, escape vent, fan, and what appeared to be a electronically ignited tiki torch kind of deal. I'd love to be there when they all light up but not sure what actually triggers that.
From there the hike heads down hill, passing the obligatory abandoned car. A bit of up and then down to the Patapsco River where we had to skirt the many areas flooded from the previous day's deluge. Across the river we saw a long string of horsey people out for a ride and they must have crossed the river because later on the first group caught up to us on a narrow section of the trail and we let them pass and the second group reached us just as Carl was helping an elderly fisherman struggle up from the river bank.
From there a bit of level walking back to the car and a 5 mile loop was in the books.