Sunday, June 17, 2012

Washington Monument State Park - June 14, 2012

For the final day trip for our anniversary week, we went to Washington Monument State Park.  This is yet another park that the Appalachian Trail runs through.  There isn't a whole lot to the park itself, and where we parked it was just a short (easy) hike to the monument.....which we were thankful for after the almost 6 miles we walked the day before!

The monument is made entirely of stone and is the first monument ever built for George Washington. 

It's located at the top of South Mountain, so of course it offers great views.

We ventured up to the top of the monument, where the views were even better.  Oliver loved going up to the top, but wasn't too sure about going down the steep set of stone steps :)


After we spent some time enjoying the views, we made our way back down the trail and stopped at a little playground they had in the park.  Redmond (and Oliver!) loved climbing, Redmond loved the slide too.

Another great day in the Great Outdoors!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gettysburg National Military Park - June 13, 2012

Like I mentioned in my post the other day, we decided to take a couple day trips for our anniversary this year. Jason has really been wanting to check out the Gettysburg National Park so we decided that's what we'd do on our anniversary :)

My favorite shot of the day - we loved the old school fences.
We didn't do any paid tours or look at go through the museum; we wanted to be outside and explore on our own. 

I admit, history was NOT my favorite subject in school, but Jason was happy to give me little history lessons along the way :)

This was a nice change from our normal hiking, since Gettysburg is all paved, we were able to put Redmond in the stroller and even let him be free and walk a little bit - Jason and his back appreciated it! He did spend a little time on Jason's shoulders - he had the best view!

It's amazing how much history lays in this one area. And how just one battle or decision could have totally changed the outcome of America. It just blows my mind to think about.  The place was full of monuments and cannons, but just looking on to the battlefields was so humbling. The number of men who lost their lives right where I was standing......mind blowing.

We ended up covering over 5 1/2 miles in about 2 1/2 hours and didn't even put a dent in everything there is to see.

After we made it back to the car, we ate some lunch, loaded up and drove through another part of Gettysburg while Redmond napped.

Good company, good exercise, and good lesson in history made for a great anniversary!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park - June 9, 2012

Last Saturday (National Outdoors Day!) we decided to check out Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia. Our location here in Frederick puts us just minutes away from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia so we have lots of options!  The Appalachian Trail runs through here too!

The girl at the gate recommended the Lower Town Trail - a trail that takes you to the old town they have in the park -for us. Since Jason wears Redmond in a backpack and I'm pregnant, we like trails that aren't too intense. The trail was pretty easy, there was one section that had semi-steep stone steps, but as long as we took our time it was fine.

After we got down all of the steps the trail crossed the main road through the park. We were very bummed out to see that the rest of the trail just ran along side the road, not through the woods and it ran parallel with train tracks. But, we didn't want to turn around, so we decided to follow it anyways. Thankfully there weren't too many cars that drove past and no trains (that would have scared the bejezus out of Oliver and maybe Redmond).

The path wasn't too bad, we saw a few interesting things along the way. We saw the remains of what used to be the Shenandoah Pulp Factory:

And we made a pit stop at the Virginius Island, which used to be a thriving industrial town in the nineteenth century, to let both Redmond and Oliver run free for a bit.  It also provided some beautiful scenery.

 There was a small, flat path that was perfect for Redmond, he gladly led the way!

Then we headed into 'town' to check that out. We couldn't explore too much because dogs aren't allowed in any of the buildings :(

We decided to walk through the town back to the car instead of going back the way we came.  Jason said it would be a short cut....I should know better by now :)  It was a loooong walk back, a lot of it being uphill, but it was worth it.  Both Redmond and Oliver (well, Jason and I too) were pooped.  Fortunately for Redmond, he had the luxury of taking a little nap.

We even saw some street signs - West Virginia is just a little behind the times it seems ;)

Finally, we hit the last leg of our "short cut" (which, by the way, Jason is famous for) - crossing 4 lanes of busy traffic!

Approximately 2 hours and 4 miles later, it was time to sit and eat lunch!  The view was amazing.

And, no morning of hiking is complete without a cookie!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

20w4d :)

This was taken last Saturday, June 9th at 20 weeks 4 days.

Over halfway there!!!  October is going to be here before we know it!!

The Appalachian Trail - April 21, 2012

One of our favorite things to do when the weather gets warm is to visit State/National Parks and go hiking. We also like to camp, but that's on hold for a couple years until Redmond and baby #2 are a little older :)
The area that we're in in Maryland is absolutely beautiful and there are parks all over! This post is a little belated because we actually hiked this trail over my birthday weekend back in April, but I still wanted to post some pictures from it.  We had first seen this trail as we were driving on I-70 in Frederick, as the trail actually crosses over it.  It was really cool to walk on the bridge over the highway.....Oliver, however, wasn't a huge fan ☺

We probably hiked for about 1 1/2-2 miles.  After a little research we learned that the Appalachian Trail actually spans from Maine all the way to Georgia!  It passes through 14 states and goes through over 60 Federal, State and Local Parks.  How cool would it be to hike it in all 14 states!?  I told Jason that should be on our 'Bucket List'.

The highlight of my day was when, while we were stopped for a little water break and to let Redmond be free from the carrier for a few minutes, an older man hiking by told us over and over again how great it was that we had our son out in nature and enjoying our hike with him and how he wishes he saw that more often.  It really made my day!  Growing up, I was not an outdoorsy girl.  I've really just started enjoying hikes and camping since being with Jason.  Hopefully, our kids will love it as well....or at least half as much as Oliver!