Kurt's Hikes: June 9 & 14
On the way to Buzzard Rocks.
As a part of a journey to Baltimore to visit my brother and see the Birds, and then on to Ocean City, Md., The Day Hiker got off pretty easy two hikes in a row.
June 9: In the Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area near Front Royal, Va., Signal Knob Trail to Buzzard Rocks and For Valley Overlook and back. About 4 miles.
We've had our little rainy-day tarp now for at least two years, and almost never need it; which is maybe why, on this day when we knew better--having walked in rain of varying intensity all the way to the lunch stop--we looked up at a briefly sunny sky and talked ourselves out of it. Bad move of course, as the hardest rain of the whole walk began to fall about halfway through lunch. It's not that fun to try to eat under an umbrella.
This area, at least on this day, was of no particular keen interest, although it did seem to be popular, as we crossed many hikers in raingear, several of whom congratulated the geezers for their wisdom in walking under an umbrella.
June 14: In the Assateague National Seashore, a beach walk and the Forest Nature and Dunes Nature trails. About 4 miles total.
Seaside walks are always much the same for us . . . the big amazing ocean is right there, the breeze is nice and I get to walk ahead because Gail is looking for shells, shell fragments, beach glass and any other odd thing that might have washed in and is kind of shiny.
And you've got to be a deeper aficionado of things natural than I to discern much difference between the Forest Nature and the Dunes Nature trails offerings, as both are pretty sandy, pretty flat. OK, the Forest Nature Trail does have a few scruffy pines. And the Dunes Trail does have the asphalt remains of Baltimore Avenue, running from the northern end of the island--just across the inlet from Ocean City--all the way to the Virginia state line. The hope, back in the late 1950s, was to develop the land, but the big 1962 storm was so devastating as to kill the project and open the door for the United States of America to purchase the land and ultimately create the seashore park, and lead to the the great contrast today to the sun-blocking high-rises of Ocean City. (Not that the boardwalk isn't a nifty walk too; we trekked its two miles several times during our stay during Senior Week, which we thought to be perfect for us--but then where did all these hundreds and hundreds of kids come from?)