We're now quite settled in Baltimore. We have our basement and it's really nice now (after three visits at IKEA), we have a car (an ugly but huuuge Dodge Caravan in the color I disklike most: burgundy) and we know now what an amount of work expects us at the Johns Hopkins. So far so good. But three weeks have passed and we hardly ever came out of the city, despite a short trip to Annapolis... which is also a city. But hey, there are herons directly in Inner Harbour, Baltimore! That's cool!
This weekend was our first with our new car, and the weather was fine - the temperatures well in the 60ies and no rain or wind. So we headed down south to Shenandoah, Virgina to spend two days in the woods, camping, hiking. Because a fitness studio is quite good for physical health, but you need mental health as well.
What you have to expect in the nature nearby are not those breathtaking sceneries as you have them somewhere else - with wide mountain ranges, steep canyons, weird blue lakes or wild rivers. You have woods. And not those magical, magical!, rainforests as we saw at Alaska's coast, just decent woods. But when you look twice, you see magnificent old oaks every now and then. Quiet paths rendered by rocks with poisonous moss grown all over and the only sounds you hear are birds, indeed even a lot of them.
We hiked two 5 hour trails, about 17 kilometers each and the elevation gain is not too much. On the first day, we walked the Fridley Gap trail near Shenandoah, on the second day the Stephens Trail near Luray, both VA. And here are some pictures.
Note the Chilkoot-Trail cap! ;)