Saturday, January 21, 2012

Catoctin Mountain Park

I recently went hiking with some friends at Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, Maryland.  I had never been before, but had always thought about going as I would drive by the entrance on my way to Cunningham Falls.  It was MLK Day weekend, so entrance to National Parks was free, but it looked like the park doesn't charge for entrance anyways.  Also, just as an FYI, they close the park road during the winter so you can only park at the Visitor Center and hike up the trails from there.

So we started at the Visitor Center and hiked up, up, up to the Thurmont Vista.  The vista is like 600 feet up the mountain with a beautiful view of Thurmont, MD.  During the summer you can drive up the mountain and park closer to the vista, which would allow you to avoid the 600 foot, one mile climb.

Here are my pictures from the hike:

Mossy Green Hillside

Enhanced Hillside

Trail to Thurmont Vista

Snack Break at the Vista

View from the Thurmont Vista


Me and the Vista

Hiking Girls

Summit! LOL

Trail options

Sun and Shadows on the Mountain

Greenery in the Winter

Monday, January 9, 2012

DC Monuments Under the Full Moon

FDR Memorial
I recently joined the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group.  I had been following their events on for a while and finally decided to attend their 4 mile Monuments in the Moonlight social hike.  They organize their hikes into groups by pace.  I was having trouble deciding which pace I should do, moderate or social?

As I was standing there at the meeting spot in the crowd of 90 people, I still wasn't sure which group I wanted to be in.  But the leader pointed out an area for the photography group to stand.  I walked straight to that point in the grass with my new Nikon.  I didn't realize there was going to be a photography group on this hike and I was very excited.  I had purchased a digital Nikon before my trip to Europe last month, but I had no idea how to use most of the features.

The lady that was to lead the photography group had an extra tripod that she let me use.  I hadn't taken good pictures with a good camera properly since high school and I was excited to get back into it.  I was very lucky she had an extra tripod, as it is very hard to take good night time pictures without one.

I ended up having a blast!  It was a chilly night with a breeze, but it was clear skies with a bright moon.  A perfect night to walk around the National Mall.  The other members of the group were very helpful and taught me how to use my camera.  Without further ado, here is my attempt to get back into photography:

National Monument, Washington, DC

Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Capitol Dome

Photography Group in the Soup Line at FDR Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Stone of Hope - MLK Memorial

Mountain of Despair - MLK Memorial
TJ Memorial

Tidal Basin & the Monument

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Lincoln Memorial


Side Patio of the Lincoln Memorial

Full Moon and the Monument, from Lincoln Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial and the Monument under the full moon

The National Monument

Full Moon and the National Monument

Gifts & Cafe

Lincoln Memorial