I was fortunate this week to have Thursday and Friday off. I’m happy to say I was able to head to western Maryland for some hiking and photography.

The first stop on Thursday was the Western Maryland Rail Trail. The weather wasn’t promising so we decided to take some photos along the trail before heading to Rocky Gap State Park. It was a good choice. By the time we arrived at Rocky Gap, the rain was falling quite heavily. So much for hiking. Never fear…a relaxing pedicure in the spa replaced outdoor activities. Totally worth it, too!

Friday was a 6 mile hike on the Great Allegheny Passage trail in Somerset County, Denise_Mason_Dixon_GAP_webPennsylvania. My mission – as we walked about six miles – became saving the wooly bear caterpillars that tried to cross the trail. Several cyclists were out so I’m not sure how many caterpillar lives were saved, but I did my best! (Note: I did not attempt to save any of the creepy spiders on the trail. Yuck!)

We hiked back into Maryland from Pennsylvania. Being the silly girl that I am, I called my parents while straddling the Mason-Dixon line. Yep, I had one foot in PA and one foot in MD. While I found it comical, I know that my mom was just shaking her head on the other end of the line.

Needless to say, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the fresh air and scenery. I did miss having my bike on the GAP so I definitely want to go back and ride that section of trail. Walking through the Big Savage Mountain tunnel was pretty freaking cool! I consulted the GAP’s website – the tunnel is 3,294 feet long, which converts to 0.62 miles.

Overall, a good trip if a bit too short. Despite the rain on Thursday, Friday was a cool, crisp fall day. Hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy the fall leaves! I’m off to research the wooly bear caterpillars – want to see what might be in store for us weather-wise this winter!