Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 198 - Washington Monument State Park

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Washington Monument #1
What a difference in the weather today!  Sunny, blue skies, puffy white clouds, temps in the 50's.  A tad windy this afternoon, but hey, it was so wonderful just to see the sun again.

The path I took
To celebrate the great weather, I drove out to the very edge of Frederick County along Rt. 40 Alt to the Washington Monument State Park.  Located in Washington County, near Boonsboro, it is just over the county line, at the top of South Mountain.  It was the first completed monument dedicated to the memory of George Washington, built by the citizens of Boonsboro on July 4, 1827, as a unique way to celebrate Independence Day.

Lichen covered the rocks
As I arrived at the park, there was a class of middle school students coming down a trail from the top of the park to one of the lower parking lots.  First, however, I drove to the top to get the lay of the land, then decided to return to the lower lot and take the same trail as the students, but uphill, instead.  I need to get in some good uphill walking in preparation for my upcoming trip to the Smoky Mountains!

One of the life event stations
At the top of the mountain, there was only one other car in the lot.  There were some outbuildings, such as picnic shelters and bathrooms, closed for the season.  I followed the trail, which wound its way to the summit.  The path was nice and wide, with "stations" of the life events of George Washington posted along the way.

Stairway to a great view
At the top, I noticed that there were stone steps leading up into the beehive-shaped monument.  I decided to venture up, knowing that the view at the top would be spectacular of the valley looking toward Pennsyslvania and West Virginia.  My friend Beamie would have been proud of me, tackling those narrow spiral stone steps in the dark, but no one was behind me in a hurry to get up the stairs, so I took my time.

The AT runs along here
Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the top, and there was a man with binoculars, doing a hawk watch.  I surely startled him with my "OH!!"  We chatted about the birds; he said that this was one of the prime hawk watching spots in the area, a great place to see them on their spring migration.  The sky was blue and the view was great.  He pointed out Wisp ski resort, the West Virginia Mountains, and far to the left in the distance, Massanutten in Virginia.

I'm so glad I chose a clear day to visit the park, and the trip to the top of the monument was worth the view.  
The view from the top


Visit my photography show, "My Maryland," at the public library in Urbana, Maryland, on the lower level of the building.  It is there until the end of April.

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to camscamerashots@gmail.com.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Visit my web site: camscamerashots.zenfolio.com
Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots
Email:  cam.miller@comcast.net

Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably; always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

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