Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Final Days in Baltimore

Monday was Memorial Day, a heatwave, and marked my last hike on the Robert E. Lee park trail.  I will miss my time on the trail and seeing it throughout the seasons of the year.  I'll especially miss my hiking partners, Stacey and her labradoodle, Jameson.  We've had some wonderful talks during our time on the trails, an unspoken place to relax, catch up, and vent about the frustrating things going on in our lives -- many a plan has been 'hatched' there!  Some of my favorite memories include hiking right when the frogs 'hatched' - what I thought were tiny bugs on the trail were actually tiny frogs the size of the tip of my pinky finger.  Another time, Stacey and I decided to go on a winter hike when a storm came rolling in.  By the time we turned around because the conditions were worsening, four inches of snow had fallen.  I loved the muffled quietness of the trail at that moment, as though we were the only people in the world (we were the only people on the trail, to be certain). 

For the past three years, I've watched county and city officials try to block off the park at the trail's end (where it linked into the park), watched the conditions of the park become overgrown and deteriorate while officials decided who was responsible for paying the upkeep, and rebuilding the bridge where park-goers entered.  Now, there is a new bridge, and a new path, catering to those who use the back trail to link up with the park.  Areas have been cleared of overgrown weeds, and the old ranger station demolished.  Voted best dog park in Baltimore, because this is a place where dogs can go unleashed and frolic in the stream with other dogs.  Just under 6 miles of trails to explore and enjoy. 

I'm happy, however, that there is a nature trail within walking distance, just around the corner from our new house.  I can't wait to explore a new area, to just get lost in nature.  I have a lot of things to think about in the coming weeks, and believe that this is going to be just the place to get lost in those thoughts.  I love the fact that the sign, in the above picture, has been altered by hikers to say that the park is 'not' closed.  Officially, the park has been closed since I began hiking the trails 3 years ago, and no attempts to block it off have worked.  I'm glad, as I would not have been able to enjoy countless hours on those trails, losing myself in the beauty of nature...