Black Rock – Not Just a Song

Seneca Creek

Hello OAR fans!  Yes, today I went hiking at the actual place that OAR sings about.  They went to high school in my area and Black Rock is a beautiful area for hikers.  The trail that runs past Black Rock Mill is called the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail.

My Hiking Buddy

    Seneca Creek Greenway Trail is over 16 miles long, running across Montgomery County, Maryland, ending at Riley’s Lock on the Potomac River.  It has many parking areas along the way, so you can pick up the trail anywhere you want.  I’ve been working on covering all the sections and with the help of my favorite hiking buddy, we’ll get her done this fall.

    Black Rock is a mill next to Seneca Creek.  The ruins are pretty well preserved… minus the roof, floors, and windows.  It’s a pretty spot by the creek with a rope setup from a tree, just waiting for the kids to come swing and splash around on a hot Maryland day.  I highly recommend this spot to locals who haven’t been there before.  Bring a picnic and make a day of it!

Rain at Swallow Falls

    On a rainy weekend in June, my friends and I went camping at Maryland’s Swallow Falls State Park.  It’s very close to Deep Creek, which I’ve been to multiple times, but I’d never been to Swallow Falls.  Now that I’ve been, I’m disappointed that I hadn’t been there sooner.  It’s very beautiful, with 4 waterfalls on an easy hiking trail.  Now if any one mentions they’re going to Deep Creek for the weekend, I tell them to take an hour and stop by Swallow Falls.
Swallow Falls
    Most people would be extremely dissapointed if they were camping in the rain, but we had a different experience.  We had plenty of tarps and ropes, so we set up our little tent city with a tarp roof system over our picnic tables.  During the day it was only a drizzle, but at night, it was a heavy downpour, each night.  Thank you Coleman, for a sturdy tent by the way.
     While hiking around the falls during the day, it felt like we were walking through a rain forest.  I haven’t been to the rain forests in the north west US, but I imagine this is what they’re like.  It was very beautiful, admiring the waterfalls in the mist.  While walking along the trails, under the thick tree cover, you couldn’t tell if it was raining or not.
    We went swimming at the falls pictured above and the first picture below.  The water is quite shallow but a little chilly.  We were able to walk up to the falls on the right side and popped underneath the falls into a little alcove beneath.  The alcove or cave is not very big and it made me a bit claustrophobic with the pounding water right behind me, but it made feel brave for a moment.  From the right side, we slowly worked our way to the left, where you can sit down on large rocks, with only 3 inches of water flowing accross the top.  The only trouble is fighting the current on the slippery rocks.  One slip and you’re floating away in the quick current.  But we made it and sat down in the white water on the flat rocks and enjoyed the scenery as tourists hiked by taking pictures.
Swallow Falls, panoramic from the top of the falls

Just past Swallow Falls, the trail follows a creek, to Tolliver Falls, pictured below, which was actually my favorite part.  This was the most beautiful set of mini cascades.  The forest encompasses you so well at this fall, that you feel like you’re in a private room, with a water fall.  There’s less traffic at this fall, so it’s a great place to relax.  Our campsite wasn’t far from the falls, just 200 feet up hill, so we could hear the roar of the falls in the distance and revisit the falls easily whenever we wanted.

Tolliver Falls in Swallow Falls State Park

Sunday morning I woke up early and walked down to Tolliver by myself.  It was so beautiful and peaceful.  The perfect place to enjoy my cup of coffee, before breaking down camp.  Standing there by Tolliver Falls, I made a promise to myself, that this would not be my last visit.

Message in a Bottle

    I feel like I’ve picked up on how to really use Twitter a lot slower than I did for facebook.  I don’t know why it took me so long.  There are millions of users on Twitter, sharing info, tweeting with each other every day.  But I know very few friends that actually use Twitter.  Who are these tweeters?  I want to tweet more, but I don’t know who to tweet to, what to tweet about, or who’s going to read me tweets?  It’s depressing to tweet and realize that no one is looking at it.  Are my tweets messages in bottles in a big ocean?  That may or may not ever get found!?  What’s the point?