Big Hikes and Little Streams

We’ve continued our adventures in Catoctin Mountain Park with great gusto! Melissa and Flint were here for the long weekend, but after they left it was up to Jed and I to explore the rest on our own. Yesterday we did a hike up to Cat Rock, which is actually in Cunningham Falls State Park. It was a lot of up for Jed, but he powered through and made it all the way to the top for our lunch. And there we were met with a few surprises. First, lots of millipedes, probably 4 to 5 inches each. I also managed to get close to one of the skinks, which normally run away so fast that they just look like a little brown and blue blur. But most exciting of all was this guy:

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Those of you who are up on your snake species will recognize this as a Copperhead, one of the two venomous snakes in the park (the other is a pine rattler). This was a very young one, probably just 14-16 inches long, and fortunately he didn’t move the whole time we were there, which was fine with us!

Jed and I have also been spending a little time on Big Hunting Creek. Jed’s been tossing in a line and I’ve been wandering the shoreline, searching for the right photos. I really think that these quiet wetland creeks are coming to define the park for me. Sure, it has some nice hikes to high lookouts, but it seems like the core experiences of the park are nestled in these valleys. At least that is where I have found the most life and peace.

So, we’re wrapping up our trip soon. I plan on visiting a few more of my favorite spots again between rain showers (the sun decided to hide in our last few days here) and then it will be back to home. I’m including a few shots below that I’m liking right now, with some simple edits tied out on them. It probably isn’t how they’ll end up, but at least you can see some of my experimentation in process.


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