In three days I embark on a journey short on miles but long on meaning. For three days, I will canoe the complete Monocacy River from beginning to end, 60 miles in length.
She is my home river. She is my mistress. She is where I go to escape. From the hot August evenings standing waist deep in her waters casting to smallmouth bass to the frigid January mornings tucked behind a log jam waiting for mallards to join my decoys; her presence brings peace to my inner being.
A trip to the past down the Monocacy River
Three years after the Civil War ended, Decoration Day was established as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead with flowers. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
150 years ago the canons blazed along the Monocacy, Today all is quiet as I paddle my way.
How fitting that I will be spending Memorial Day weekend traveling a river associated with the Civil War. Along the southern edge of Frederick, the Monocacy River played its part in the Civil War. During a battle in July 1864, referred to as “The battle that saved Washington.” Confederate forces threatened to capture both Baltimore and Washington. For the complete story see Kristopher White’s story on Emerging Civil War . If all goes as planned I should be floating right through the battlefield 150 years after the bloody battle.
Categories: Exploring and Wandering, Fishing Trips, Uncategorized
Tags: Adventure, Augie's Adventures, Camping, Canoeing, civil war, Exploring and Wandering, fishing, Life's Choices, Monocacy river, Wanderings
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson
As I pulled into my apartment building parking lot after 10:00 PM Sunday night after a long weekend of turkey hunting, fishing and hanging with some special friends this quote came to mind.
I’m not a rubber scientist, nor a self-proclaimed truck tire expert. I have. however, driven from Maryland to Alaska and back again, driven the beach sands of North Carolina, rocky trails of Montana, snow covered roads in Minnesota and Alaska, and the muddy home trails of Maryland. After more than 25,000 miles on the Goodyear DuraTracs mounted on my 95 Toyota Tacoma, I think I can give a fair assessment of the tire’s performance. Read more
Black Bears Freely Roam the Hills of Garrett County Maryland
With this post, I want to dispel the rumors you may have heard about me dancing and drinking with a black bear in the mountains of western Maryland. This is what really happened.
Edward Abbey was telling his story of Desert Solitaire, as I sat by the camp fire. In the back yard of a friend’s cabin by the fire pit, I was enjoying the end of another day spent roaming the mountains of Garrett County Maryland. The spring day spent in Garrett Country was coming to a close. The fire warmed me from the chill in the air. Edward Abbey’s words warmed my solitude soul. The rest of the weekend gang was still out fishing some remote brook trout stream. Read more
Kayaks and Largemouth
As Larry and John drove along Route 95 heading south in the pre-morning darkness of a chilly spring morning, they shared the road with several trucks towing expensive bass boats. Two kayaks were strapped to the top of Larry’s Jeep. In sharp contrast they would be fishing the same waters in pursuit of the same fish.
Often times we, especially sportsmen, are falsely led into believing the “required equipment” needed to get out and do what we want to experience. I blame the endless fishing and hunting shows on TV for bombing us with the long and expensive list of things we must have to be able to bass fish, turkey hunt or even just go for a hike. This could not be further from the truth. Read more
Categories: Exploring and Wandering, Fishing Trips, Uncategorized
Tags: Augie's Adventures, Bass fishing, Exploring and Wandering, fishing, Kayak fishing, Kayaking, Life's Choices, Mattawoman creek, Potomac River, Wanderings
George Washington National Forest – The second part of the spring weekend get-a-way
After leaving Skyline Drive with stiffening legs from the high mountain climb. I hit the road for some lazy camp time reading and relaxing. Again, without a good map or GPS, I made my way toward George Washington National Forest (GWNF) and the OHV / ATV trails. Five years had passed since I had been there. I could see the mountains in the distance, shouldn’t be that hard to find. I needed state road 675 out of Luray, VA.
Categories: Exploring and Wandering, Hiking, The Tacoma
Tags: Adventure, Augie's Adventures, Exploring and Wandering, George Washngton National forest, Getting Stuck, GWNF, Life's Choices, Shenandoah National Park, Tacoma, Toyota Tacoma, Wanderings
Destination Shenandoah National Park
With the weather finally turning to spring, I packed the truck with the camping gear and headed south. My destination was Shenandoah National Park. A place I had not been. Skyline drive, I had heard about it but didn’t see the attraction to just driving down a road. Boy, do I get it now. What a cool place. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Fighting through DC traffic, on a Friday afternoon, proved to be quite the challenge. I attempted to circumvent the highway parking lots by driving the back roads. Which seems like a good idea, but I only had a map book for the whole country which shows little in the way of back road detail, and of course no GPS.
The trout of Tom’s Creek need our voice
A fellow Monocacy Scenic River Board member, Jack Lynch, sent me the following information today. The pristine Tom’s Creek is being threatened by possible mining in the area. The headwaters of Tom’s Creek, a rare high quality cold water fishery in southwest Adams County, Pennsylvania is under threat from mountain-top removal mining on land that lies next to the creek, near Michaux State Forest.
According to the Friend’s of Tom’s Creek’s Website, on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM, The Hamilton Township Board of Supervisors intends to enact a proposed zoning map amendment and ordinance together with an application submitted by Specialty Granules, Inc. covering 112 acres currently zoned Woodland Conservation. Read more
Learning a little about Jones Point and my new home
I would be remise if I did not admit I was just maybe a little concerned about moving to the big city after living in the rural setting of Carroll County, MD since 1992. Not to mention spending a few months living in Alaska where life is, well Alaskan.
One thing that sold me on the new apartment building was the hiker/biker trail that runs right by the front door. In one direction it crosses the Potomac River on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and another direction it travels for 8 miles ending at Mount Vernon and in a third direction it goes to the water front area of Old town.
What I did not know was the history surrounding my new neighborhood. On my first evening in my new place taking advantage of the new found time after work because of not commuting for 2 hours, I took a walk. Calling it a hike would be a stretch, but at least I was outside walking and not sitting in my car stuck in traffic. Read more