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The Nautilus

Cunningham Falls State Park--Cat Rock Hike

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The Nautilus

Cunningham Falls State Park--Cat Rock Hike

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natural peace
Yesterday, Bobby and I took off from work to drive out to the Catoctin Mountains and hike to Cat Rock. Fall colors are in full effect here in Maryland, and we had a perfect autumn day for our hike: cool crisp air, a slight breeze (that became outright wind by the time we reached the summit!), and thick clouds rolling overhead. The map rated the trail "difficult" and called the hike "strenuous," and it didn't lie. 1.25 miles mostly uphill...and I am out-of-shape from having spent the last few weeks sitting around under the pretense of letting my hip heal. However, we took 75 pictures along the way, all of which are here. A more limited selection of some of my favorites will be posted in my personal LiveJournal.

Our first site upon embarking was a gorgeous red maple leaf on a gray rock.

As we started up, there was a large group of lichen-covered rocks. I wonder sometimes how such rock formations develop; what geological events caused things to be where they are...and in sometimes strange arrangements!

A close-up of the lichen...

Now we start up the hill, where I got a good reminder of how quickly one can become out of shape. :( But the colors were amazing!

Some red berries that Dawn liked and just had to photograph!

About twenty feet from the top, Dawn needed to stop for a rest and to...erm...water some bushes. The forest was cut away to make way for powerlines, though it did afford some interesting scenery.

A short trek more and we reached Cat Rock! It was a pile of boulders overlooking the valley. I got within three feet of the top, couldn't reach a comfortable handhold, and could go no farther. Luckily, Bobby wasn't as much of a wimp as me, and he took the camera, so I got the full experience, albeit secondhand.

Here is Cat Rock from solid ground. It's actually not a difficult climb until the end, where I just didn't feel comfortable to go on. Other than that...cake and pie!

The view from my pansy's perch...

Now, from the not-so-pansy vantage point Bobby managed to attain...

The hike back down....

At the end of the hike, we found a perfect Halloween tree!

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