A Saturday Hike and a Sunday Scramble with Some Philanthrophy (Updated)


With The Greekanese out west for a couple weeks and Hiking Buddy catching up on school work, I thought for sure I’d be relegated to hiking alone.

Thank goodness that didn’t happen and Hiking Buddy made it out! It’s not that hiking alone is a bad thing, but it does get quite boring and rather tedious when you have to tell yourself to “suck it up, buttercup”.

I’m also not one who possesses much in the way of talent where ‘selfies’ are involved.

Selfie taken at Hog Rock in Catoctin Mountain National Park

We sucked air – OK, I sucked air like a lush craves the bottle on our trek to Hog Rock. I scrambled up some rock formations and had Hiking Buddy indulge me in snapping a few photos before we made our way down the mountain and over to Cunningham Falls; the place The Greekanese and I had intended to visit two weeks ago. It was kind of a let down, but don’t let that keep you from going. I was spoiled by grandparents who took my brother and I over to Niagara Falls whenever we’d visit them.

On the way back to the Visitors Center, we saw a sign for the Blue Blazes Whiskey Distillery and decided to walk that miniscule .6 miles (round trip) to see just what was left.

Blue Blazes Whiskey Trail at Catoctin National Park in Maryland

Turns out the Blue Blazes Whiskey Distillery was quite the operation buried in the backwoods of Maryland during the Prohibition Era – though it’s operations were likely in effect before the 18th Amendment rolled around, and even more likely they had been running the still ‘illegally’ after the implementation of the 1791 Excise Tax.  Pretty neat history I wasn’t wholly aware of.  Kudos to the park for that one.

Some additional pictures:

Hiking Buddy looking at a Map



Hiking Buddy Valley


I got to spend Sunday with “Leesh” out at Great Falls Park in Virginia doing a small section of scrambling and trying to generate fundraising idea for her husband’s non-profit, Warrior 360.

Leesh’s husband, Lytle, is an Iraq War Veteran who lost both his legs below the knee when an explosively formed projectile (EFP) tore through his vehicle in 2007.

Lytle makes me feel like a lazy human when I watch all the things he competes in and accomplishes: Highland Games, Go Ruck, Tough Mudder, USA Warrior’s Hockey, etc. He and a group of his friends from Warrior 360’s Task Force AWESOME (the physical empowerment and outreach arm of Warrior 360) completed the 25th Bataan Memorial Death March at the end of last month. Because, you know, they’re bad asses.

Warrior 360 Founder, Mark Little

Kilt wearin’ American Bad Ass – Lytle

I’m excited to watch Warrior 360 grow, especially as their long-term goal is to grow from assisting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, to assisting all of our veterans when the need arises. Whether it’s helping out financially, building a porch, finding someone for the vet to talk to, or what-have-you, their aim is to be of service to those who have served us.

Leesh and I did pretty much the same loop The Greekanese and I did this last winter, with the exception that we weren’t trying to navigate ice and snow. While Sunday started off cold and around 35F, it turned into a spectacular, sunny and breezy day with a high around 57F.

Some of my favorite shots from the day:

Great Falls Park - Virginia

Potomac River - Great Falls Park Virginia

On a cliff at Great Falls Park

Potomac River

In a Tree


Leesh and I - River

I’ll have one more hike this coming weekend prior to hopping my flight for Ireland!













One comment

  1. mom

    These are great pics and funny tales along your hike up the mountain. Very proud of your dedication to this new venture you have chosen. You should be great in Scotland!

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