Sunday, August 28, 2016

Maryland - Catoctin Bobs Hill Overlook to Cat Rock

My wife and I have hiked both of these trails before (click here for pictures).  This time we embarked on the challenge of walking up Bobs Hill and continuing for a total of 9 miles (out and back).  To get the 9 miles we needed to walk to Bobs Hill Overlook, then continue on to Cat Rock via the Cat Rock Connector.

For a virtual map you can click here

We hiked this trail on August 27th, 2016.  The temperature was in the mid 90's and humid.  Just like the last time we hiked this trail.  We've done a couple of 8-mile loops at Catoctin and we felt that we were in much better shape than last year, and we are.  Bob's hill was still brutal.  At the beginning of the trail for the first tenth of a mile the elevation gain is 159 feet.  Which translates into about a 25 - 30% grade.  The last tenth of a mile just before the overlook sign post is also very steep.  That is the section with all the steps.  The rest of the hill is about a 17% grade.  The total altitude gain was 1,500 feet.

Here's a link to the interactive profile of this hike: Click here.  You can run your cursor of the trail or the profile to see how much distance and height we traveled.  This data was obtained from a gpx file that was downloaded from my wife's Garmin gps watch.  I edited the gpx file to remove the return trip portion of the hike since it overlapped the outbound portion.  So the total mileage recorded here is around 4.3 miles or so.  The actual trail is less than 9 miles out and back, but we also walked to one of the overlooks and the gps beeped that we reached 9 miles as we were walking back to the car (which was parked across the road from the trail).

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Utah - Dead Horse Point



Dead horse point is a park that is located near Canyonlands.  This park is mostly setup with bicycle paths and 4 wheel drive roads.  There is one spectacular lookout area that you can drive to and see a breath-taking view of the canyons.  There is only one road in this park for cars (highway 313), and there are a couple of pull-offs that occur at the end of the road.  A parking lot forms the end of the main road with a very wide lookout point (as well as some rest-rooms).

The entrance fee for this park (which is not covered by the national parks pass) was $10 when we visited on July 7th, 2016.  We stopped at this park because the drive was on the way to Canyonlands and we saw pictures on the Internet of the lookouts.  So I'll let the pictures do the talking here as well.

Here is the first pull-off that we stopped at:

There's a path that leads out over the cliff:


Across the street is the other side of the canyon.  The first thing I noticed was a couple of bright blue lakes.  We had no idea what those were until we got back to the hotel and looked up the information on Google.

These are called potash evaporation ponds.  This is a method of collecting potassium.  Here's a really good articles on these ponds: An electric-blue oasis in the desert: Evaporation pools look like streaks of paint daubed across the barren Utah landscape 

On to the final lookout point:

Here's a view of the parking and viewing area.  This is one side of the loop.  The path leads all the way around to the right.

There's a car down there...

Some of these views may look familiar if you've seen pictures of Canyonlands.  That's because some of the Canyonland lookouts are on the other side of this canyon.