Friday, February 20, 2015

Annapolis Rocks and Blackrock

Saturday, the weather forecast called for a nasty winter storm in the evening. Sunday's forecast was for brutal cold and wind. Given the choice, we opted for a shorter, more local hike on Saturday. Annapolis Rocks and Blackrock on the Maryland Appalachian Trail are only about an hour away and we could be back in plenty of time to beat the storm coming in on Saturday night. It also gave me the chance to try out yet another pair of new boots in the unending hopefully-ended search for the right pair.

We originally intended to hike south from the trailhead on Wolfsville Road to the trailhead on US 40, which is about 8.5 miles. When we got to the parking lot on Wolfsville Road, however, it was a solid sheet of ice. We did actually pull in, but then Michael had to push the car back out of the lot (another use for microspikes!). So, we drove back to the parking lot on US 40, where we had dropped our friend's car and hiked an out-and-back from there.

The trail started out with a little bit of ice on it and by the time we crossed under the US 40 bridge, it was pretty much a solid sheet of ice. Aside from another couple, we had the trail to ourselves, which is a nice treat on a section of trail that usually very busy. It was cold and windy on Annapolis Rocks, where we had lunch. Then we walked another mile to Blackrock. On our way back, tiny snowflakes began to fall, a precursor to the storm that came that night.

Michael walking with our friend's dog.
 Bootshot from Annapolis Rocks.
The view to the south from Annapolis Rocks.
Michael and our canine guide on Blackrock.
The view from Blackrock.
Moss along the trail.
Tiny Mountain Laurel growing in the moss beside the trail.

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