Yesterday my husband surprised me with a spontaneous trip to a top-secret destination. I knew we were headed somewhere fun because he had mentioned that he was worried my morning run would leave me too tired to enjoy what he had planned. His declaration led me to do two things: switch my long run to Sunday and pack a lunch!
I made breakfast sandwiches with eggs, spinach, feta and avocado (note: sunny side up eggs in breakfast sandwiches don’t pack well…duh), leftover homemade sweet potato french fries, veggies and sun-dried tomato humus (also homemade and wildly over salted. Whoops), some fruit and a few granola bars. I also made sure I was wearing a sports bra and my Keene’s. I was ready to get dirty!
On our way out of town we stopped at the Pennsylvania Dutch Market – a place I’ve been wanting to visit for a while. Kirk went straight for the fudge (chocolate and cheesecake swirl & peanut-buttery chocolate explosion) while I was drawn toward the bakery and cannery. I ended up with a jar of peach butter, horseradish mustard, and two bags of seeds (pumpkin and sunflower). I’m hoping to try my hand at homemade granola bars – I’ll let you know how it goes. They had the most delicious looking desert breads there, cherry, blueberry, cinnamon raisin, coconut, strawberry … all gooey and drool worthy. It was a wonder I managed to pass them up, but we already have too many loaves of bread that I can’t eat fast enough. I know where to find them for later though!
After the market, we climbed back into the car and drove about an hour west while we devoured about half a pound of fudge. We got off the main highway and started down some winding roads peppered with signs leading to Catoctin Mountain Park! A stop at the Visitor’s Center granted us a trail map and a loose idea of where we were and where we were headed. We chose a 5 mile summit hike that proved to be pretty challenging - lots of steep hills, but with one or two vista’s to make it worth the trek.
As our trail looped back around we saw a sign for Cunningham Falls in the adjacent state park. The sign said it was only .2 miles away! We were tired and hungry, but we couldn’t pass up a waterfall, especially not so close so we detoured. I’m really glad we did. The park had built a boardwalk up to the falls to encourage people to stay on the path (an endeavor that failed royally), and we found a bench and rested a bit and the sun started to dip in the sky.
When our belly’s started to grumble we made our way back to the trail and finished up the remaining 1.4 miles we had left. Let me tell you, seeing the car in the parking lot at the end of our hike was almost as beautiful as the view from Hog Rock Overlook!
We finished up our evening with a brief tour of historic downtown Frederick and dinner at Cacique, a Spanish restaurant along main street. I love outdooring dining!!
We boxed up half our meal and saved room to share a small dish of Ben and Jerry’s. How do people ever choose just one flavor? I finally went for the Coconut Seven Layer Bar and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk and we savored it along the canal as the sun set. Perfect end to a perfect day.
Sorry for all the stock photos – I really need to get a new camera! Mine took a dive into the Caribbean Sea on our honeymoon and I never replaced it. But searching Bing images is time-consuming!!
Now I’m headed out to complete my 10 mile training run (and hopefully burn off some of those fudge calories!). This will be the most I’ve run since last October – wish me luck!