Saturday I was in Maryland for a lunch meeting with a social media expert about this blog. Some changes are coming, but one thing that will never change is my love of the outdoors, and exploring it with people. One such person is Pete.

My friend Pete lives north of Baltimore, and despite the two hour drive between our homes we’ve met only once in the past six years. Some of that is due to our schedules, but some of it is because Pete is always busy doing things I’ve only dreamed of. He rode his bicycle across the US with his daughter and one of her friends. That was his first of two cross country rides. Then there’s backpacking in the Sierras, and other places. Mountain biking in the steep hills of Maryland. Running long distances in all weathers with his dog. Add in my odd habit of sticking in my state’s borders…..

But I was in Maryland and after lunch I met Pete for a hike at Loch Raven, the reservoir north of Baltimore that supplies the city with drinking water. During my previous visit with Pete we rode around the lake and I learned that Maryland is not flat. I was reminded of that fact during the three miles of snow ice and mud covered hills Pete led me on. I loved the hike despite the conditions, as I burnt off my Chik-fil-a lunch and put my new hiking poles to their first test. The only drawback is that even with leaves gone from the trees the views of Loch Raven were obscured. My photographs don’t do the scene justice. I guess you will have to hike it yourself and find out.

 My friend was full of suggestions of places to hike to on future visits, and I made note of them- ruins of buildings, an old graveyard, and the Raven Rocks outcropping in the photo to the right. Six years is definitely too long a time for friends to be away from each other, and Loch Raven is a great place to visit, a woodland experience only a few miles from downtown Baltimore. And in the meantime I’ll strive to be as active and awesome as Pete.