Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Fitness Hike

Since it was going to be such a beautiful day, I got the dogs up bright and early and we headed off to Harpers Ferry.
Objects in mirror are definitely closer than they appear.
"Well OK, then. I'll just stick my head out this side."

We parked at the train station in town, then walked across the bridge over the Potomac and up the C&O Canal Towpath for a bit until we reached the trail up Maryland Heights. This trail is a great cardio workout and I try to do it once a month just to stay fit. Since I've been laid up for so long until recently, I know that I'm going to pay on this one. But that's why we're here. And of course Belle's never been up there yet.
I was already sweating and short of breath by the time we got to this point, the junction between the trail to the scenic overlook on the right, and the path less traveled on the left, the long, steep climb up to the old stone fort some 1,400 feet above the river we'd just left.
"This one on the left looks interesting. Let's go!"

So up we went, me doing my steam engine impression, aka: "The Little Engine That Thought it Could."
"Huff! Puff! I used to be able to, I used to be able to.."

Yeah, all that recent leg-related downtime really hurt. But I'll work through it, even if I have to come up here every week.

The mutts were right out front there though, making it look easy.

Up near the top. Old Civil War fortification built by the Yankees.

"The top! Yay! And look at the view. Gee, you're sweating, Boss!

Belle takes in the view while Murphy racks out in the shade. Maybe I'm not the only tired one.

Happy Belle.

Further along, the dogs pose where a hundred-pounder cannon used to sit and lob 100lb. cannon balls at anything that dared come up the Potomac River in the background. The 27,000lb. cannon were left here after the war, but alas, they were taken out during one of the World War One scrap drives and melted down.

Down to the scenic overlook we walked, to take in this great view of Harpers Ferry below.
"Aw, yeah, man! This was worth the climb!"

Happy Belle, again.

Everybody's relaxing and just enjoying the sun and the breeze.

"Uh-oh! People! Get between the boss and the people!"

It was crazy. As soon as other hikers showed up, Murphy and Belle practically surrounded me as I sat on the rocks. They made it pretty clear that no one was going to be allowed over by me.
"You shall not pass! No, seriously...go somewhere else!"

Funny dogs. Never seen them do that before.

So we hiked back down the short way, which is quick but necessitates us crossing the canal the hard way.
I can climb down these walls and up the other side, but guess who has to be "assisted" down six feet and then boosted six feet up the other side. That's right...heavy dog and heavier dog.

But we got through it, and by now, the only parts of me not sore are the plastic and steel parts.

Still, it was a good work-out and a fun day, and two well-behaved dogs earned a reward at the Swiss Miss ice cream shop:
"Best day EVER, Boss!"


  1. Sounds like you had fun. Good on ya!

  2. And a good time was had by all. Cool!

  3. That view of Harper's Ferry makes me:
    1) Want to visit.
    2) Want to re-read Flashman and the Angel of the Lord.

    1. Come visit and I'll throw in a trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space annex and some machine gun shooting in addition to the Harpers Ferry tour. I also suspect that we can get Old NFO and a few of the other usual suspects together as well.

    2. Heh "usual suspects." Indeed. I would make the trip in a heartbeat. I know that is NOT an incentive, but had to throw it out there. =)

    3. Take him up on that offer!

      The Air and Space Annex it fantastic (LOVE the SR-71! Luftwaffe jet bomber I didn't even know existed) and hiking that section of the Potomac is even better. Great trip! Did a very similar one back in mid-March. Didn't have the dogs with though - long drive so they were farmed out to friends.

  4. Anonymous4:47 PM

    I bet Miss Belle and Murphy enjoyed the ice cream.

  5. Great photos, beautiful dogs.

  6. for shits and giggles, Chris and i researched real estate in Harper's Ferry. rumor has it there's a train that goes to Baltimore.'s very appealing. there's a possibility, however remote, that we'd throw out our Idaho plans for HF.

    looks like the dogs had fun, and i'm sure they're sacked out for the night. tired dogs are good dogs. :)

    1. The train to/from Baltimore goes through Washington DC. No straight shot. But come visit any time.

      And yeah, both dogs are flattened out on the living room floor right now, dead to the world.

    2. last year we talked about a camping trip out that way sometime this year. know of any campgrounds that would allow a dobe onsite? i know the KOA there has banned them for insurance reasons. would like a campground with decent shower facilities, if possible.

    3. National Park Service has one at Antietham, just across the river from Shepherdstown. Nice place and dogs are welcome. Not sure about showers though.

    4. fantastic, thanks. i'm willing to give up a shower if we can bring the puppadoo. :) really disappointed in that KOA. seems like a lot of them are banning "aggressive" breeds. it's a shame.

    5. so, serious question. do you know anyone who commutes from the HF area into Baltimore?

      if so, do you think they're nuts? :)

    6. I know a few who do. Most people here commute into DC but some do go into Baltimore. It is done.

    7. the distance doesn't seem insurmountable, and we'd be going against traffic both ways, but it's nice to know there are others who do it.

  7. Great pics, and glad y'all were able to get out and up the hill!

  8. You need a cart, a yoke and some reigns.

    Just think of all the fun you could have right up until they see a cat.

  9. Awww. They got their ice cream. Lagniappe would have been pleased! Great pics! Mysti stepped (well, more like danced) on a black snake's head yesterday during a trail hike. Scared Pepper to death.