Day +67, Saturday

Photo of the Day: Mom taking a picture of the original Washington Monument (circa 1827), near Boonsboro, Maryland. There was a 12-second window with no person or animal sitting on the stone steps; the fact that we both got our photographs void of other people made this a festival miracle. And my photo of the day.

With a break in the weather, we decided to explore a bit more of Maryland. I wanted to hike a few miles and share something historic with Mom, which is why we planned on the original Washington Monument. With that in mind, we parked at Turner’s Gap, near Old South Mountain Inn, and hiked 2 miles north on the Appalachian Trail, passing through Washington Monument State Park with its ample parking. There was a moment when, realizing a parking lot existed less than 1/4 mile from the monument, Mom commented, “so…we could have parked here, right?”

I just shrugged, grinned mischievously behind my mask and remarked, “where’s the fun in that?”

This is what happens when I plan the outings…what can I say? I enjoy hiking and am working on building my strength and endurance. Again, I need to hand it to Mom as she was a great sport for the entire trip.

The AT crossing a field, heading north from Turner’s Gap
Mom, hiking on the AT. She actually reminds me a little of Dr Parta, my Infectious Disease doctor during my post-transplant hospital stay. Dr P would also clasp his hands behind his back while he walked. It’s kind of endearing.
Junction where the AT turns away from the monument. When Christine and I were here 5 years ago doing our 4-State Challenge, we took about 30 seconds to take a look at the Washington Monument before returning to the AT. I distinctly recall telling her, “it’s not like we’ll ever be back.” Today, I ate my words and they tasted delicious.
History is cool
Flora and fauna. Although I think this is just flora.
View from the summit of Washington Monument, looking WNW, I believe.
Dahlgren Chapel, circa 1881, on the north side of Turner’s Gap
Eastern-ish view on the AT from Turner’s Gap.
Old South Mountain Inn, circa 1732 at Turner’s Gap. It’s website explains, “the inn has seen history.” I’m also guessing that it’s haunted.

Our return trip to Bethesda was nice; I had glimpses of a blazing pink-orange-red sunset while zipping south on the 270. Traffic was – meh – but we made it. Dinner consisted of Czech dinner leftovers – pork chops, cabbage and dumplings – and we ended up Zooming with Dad and Andy. It felt sorta like a dinner date as Andy had pizza and Dad munched on tacos, but without half the people or fun drinks or nice ambiance. Even if we can’t all be together, I am very thankful to have this Zoom/FaceTime/FBMessenger option.

For the rest of the evening, I’m planning on reading, perhaps powering through Book 2 – but we’ll see. I’m feeling OK – that slight itching under my skin is still there. The cortisone cream makes my face greasy, and the same can be said for the stronger stuff that I put on my shoulders and chest. But I just manage to the best of my ability. Otherwise, that’s about all I can think of. Tomorrow is more rainy weather, hence the perfect opportunity to start indoor strength training and yoga. Huzzah!

  1. You are a fantastic planner of day trips. Your photos add life to your chronicle. Given the magnitude of your transplant your exploits are impressive. I eagerly await
    Future accounts with photos of your travels.


  2. I am glad you had a break in the weather so you could do more exploring. It is sunny in Minnesota, and the temperature should be close to 30. As you know, that is not normal for January 3!


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