Thursday, September 22, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 09/21/16: Trailhead Despair, Trailhead Ecstasy, Nanticoke and Tesla and Pumpkin Down

1.  I hopped into the Sube and rocketed up I-95 and west on I-195 and made my way back to Patapsco River Valley State Park.  I went to this park a week ago and couldn't find a trailhead.  In the interim, I did some reading and looked more closely at maps and figured out exactly how to drive to the Grist Mill Trail.  I arrived at the Grist Mill Trail parking lot, put on my pack, got my camera situated, and started to lumber toward the trailhead.  Suddenly a voice descended upon me, as if the clouds had parted and I was being addressed from above, "Hey, Boss! Don't be headin' that way. The trail is closed while we clean up fallen trees and stuff." I smiled grimly, existentially to myself. I spotted the guy who called out to me, asked him a bit more about the clean up project, enjoyed our conversation, turned away, sighed existentially, and returned to the Sube.

2.  I don't have a lot of inward determination, but, what little I have welled up as I turned over the Sube's mighty engine. I might have included a mild profanity or two when I uttered to myself, "I am going to find a trailhead." I darted up River Road and in a couple of miles or so I saw a trailhead sign: Ridge Trail. I needed to find a parking place, so I barreled forward, and came upon the popular and expansive Orange Grove picnic area. I parked and walked toward the Ridge trailhead and suddenly I spotted the terminus of the Grist Mill Trail -- and saw the park's famous Swinging Bridge -- which, of course, was closed. As I turned around, I saw another sign: Cascade Falls Trail. The sound of a multitude of angels singing "The Hallelujah Chorus" suddenly rang out. I uttered a brief prayer of thanksgiving.  I began my ascent to the falls and beyond.  I had a blast. I hiked. I took pictures (kind of lousy ones -- but I will return to these falls to try again). My feet didn't bother me. I left the park feeling really happy.

3.  As I dashed down the Baltimore Washington Parkway on my return to Greenbelt, road construction slowed traffic way down at about the same time the Deke called me and said she wanted to go to Old Line for dinner and beer. So we did. We struck up fun conversation with Joe, our server, and marveled at Old Line's always superb tap list. I enjoyed a pint of RAR's Nanticoke Nectar IPA from Cambridge, MD and for my second pint relished the most unusual lager I've ever tasted, the delightfully hopped up, souped up Tesla Lager from Sixpoint Brewing in Brooklyn. The Deke enjoyed her Pumpkin Down from Ballast Point in San Diego. She shared some with me and drinking a little at the end of the night made for a pleasant dessert.

No comments: