Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.


Expand Messages
  • Kevin D Shaw
    10 KM VOLKSMARCH EVENT REVIEW PATAPSCO STATE PARK, CATONSVILLE MD USA October 31, 1998 by Kevin Shaw On a brilliantly beautiful Halloween Saturday afternoon,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 1998
    • 0 Attachment
      October 31, 1998 by Kevin Shaw

      On a brilliantly beautiful Halloween Saturday afternoon,
      my pooches India and Peaches and I met our friend
      Marty Brumback at the Hilton area of Patapsco State
      Park in Catonsville MD for the 10 km walk the Columbia
      Volksmarch Club hosted in honor of the memory of
      John Barkdoll, former trailmaster of the Club who had
      laid out trails in this beautiful area a few years back.

      I wasn't certain about bringing the pooches, since the
      brochure said that pets weren't allowed at the start/finish
      or in the developed areas of the park, but interpreted this
      correctly that they were allowed on the trails in the woods,
      which was where most of this event took place. We did
      talk to a ranger about halfway, and he did clarify the situation
      for us in a nice way, obviously a dog lover himself. We kept
      the pooches away from picnic areas and shelters per his
      directions. Most State Parks in Maryland don't allow pets in
      parks at all.

      The start/finish was in a shelter with plenty of refreshments
      available, being run by a local Boy Scout Troop. I opted for
      the A award available for this event, which was a glass mug
      honoring the event and the memory of John Barkdoll. There
      was a 10 km trail rated 2+ marked with pink streamers, and a
      15 km trail rated 3 marked with blue streamers. Both Marty
      and I have not been walking enough to feel confident enough
      to tackle the 15 km trail, so we headed out in search of pink
      streamers. Marty also grabbed written instructions, with a map
      of the park trails on the back. The trail was well marked, but
      in a few places it was nice to read the map and written
      instructions to confirm where we were, how far we had gone,
      and where we were headed.

      The trail started out in the Hilton picnic area but quickly left
      the developed part and into the woods, brilliant with peak fall
      color on this late October afternoon. It also didn't take long
      before we were headed downhill on the Sawmill Branch Trail, a
      rather rocky trail with some tough footing in places. In this
      part the trail was for use returning to the finish also,
      so we exchanged pleasantries with several walkers headed uphill.
      We crossed under the railroad in a tunnel, with a stream flowing
      in the middle. The pooches cooled off their feet a bit,
      one of the many chances they would have to do this during the
      entire course. This was pretty close to the bottom of the hill
      as we found out. Shortly thereafter, after ambling over a few
      more rocky spots, we hit our first "relief" from the rocks on
      a unique spot in the trail- we walked on the top of a pipeline,
      carrying water down the hill to the main branch of the Patapsco
      River. Marty and I could not recall ever walking on top of a pipe
      for such a great length, probably at least 100 yards. It was
      pretty smooth going really, though a bit strange.

      The trail then flattened out, and we hit a major turn at the
      swinging bridge over the Patapsco River. Peaches was not so sure
      about crossing this rather unstable surface, and was quite
      relieved to be back on terra firma on the other side. I rather
      enjoyed it actually. Marty was walking India and
      as is the usual character of India, she wasn't fazed by this
      somewhat unstable walking surface. I do believe, however, that
      both pooches would have preferred to swim across.

      We then walked a few kilometers along the river on a back country
      road that only very occasionally carried any traffic. We met a few
      walkers in this section, and some bikers too, as there was some
      sort of bike organization outing at a shelter along the route.

      Turning left on a road at a stop sign, we crossed back over the
      river on a more conventional bridge then left heading back on a
      natural trail that had apparently been recently cleared out.
      We crossed a stream at the site of the future John Barkdoll
      Memorial Bridge, just prior to reaching the checkpoint.
      A temporary bridge allowed us to cross on this day, but soon
      this new Memorial Bridge will be built. We refreshed ourselves
      at the checkpoint, and engaged in a conversation with a friendly
      woman working the Checkpoint for the Columbia Club, finding out
      more about John Barkdoll, and some of the members of the Club
      who we both had known in the past.

      We retraced our steps after the checkpoint stop back over the bridge,
      then passed Lost Lake, a place for the under 16 and over 64 to fish.
      Then we were on a paved trail, about half the width of the road on
      the other side. This was the Grist Mill Trail. We kept looking for
      the Grist Mill, but did not see it. The trail was really nice though,
      still reasonably flat and quite pleasant. The woman who we were
      talking to at the checkpoint had been relieved, so she was finishing
      up the walk, and walked with us for a few km on this part. A stalled
      CSX train loomed above us on the railroad grade, a long one that
      stretched for at least one kilometer! We passed a stream that
      tunnelled under the railroad right of way, high up the bank.

      At the 8 km point, we met back up with the trail we took on the way out,
      at the big swinging bridge. I offered to take the pooches over it again,
      but they declined. They did take advantage, however, of a nice pool of
      clear,cool water soon after that pipeline section, to get a drink and
      cool off their feet. This was just before the tunnel under the railroad,
      which marked the beginning of the uphill march to the finish.

      The walk uphill was a slow one for us, and we stopped a few times to catch
      our breath and enjoy the beauty of this varied terrain. It also was quite
      narrow in spots, so while meeting up with others headed downhill we had
      to stop and get off the trail a bit to let them pass on by. It was
      rougher physically on the knees, legs and feet on the way down, but
      tougher on the wind on the way up, though the footing is easier.

      The finish was eventually reached, and the reward of making it up the hill
      was great. We put the pooches back in the car and then headed for the
      finish pavilion. We thanked the Club volunteers for a most enjoyable
      walk, and enjoyed some chili, hot dogs and sodas the Boy Scouts were
      selling. I should have thought to bring some back for the pooches,
      but I didn't. There were about 260 walkers on this first day of this two
      day event, with 80 on the 15 km trail, and 180 on the 10 km trail.
      With a one day event in not too far away Fairfield PA on Saturday,
      perhaps many more will get the chance to enjoy this walk on Sunday
      as the only event in the area. The weather promises to be great again.
      I really felt a sense of accomplishment after finishing this walk,
      and hope to return here again someday to walk these lovely trails
      and back country roads once again.

      Visit Wendy's Walking page at http://walking.miningco.com
      Send posts for the list to walklist@...
      To unsubscribe, compose a message to majordomo@... with
      the message: unsubscribe walklist
      (or, for digest subscribers:) unsubscribe walklist-digest
      See the Subscriber/Contributor Agreement at
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.