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Monday, November 19, 2012

Trust in chestnuts

It was a father and daughter hiking excursion this morning and afternoon as Amber and I drove out to Prince Frederick, Maryland and the American Chestnut Land Trust. Founded in 1986 to preserve the area's remaining American chestnut trees, the trust manages two separate trail systems. The one the two of us walked today is located off of Scientists' Cliffs Road in Calvert County. We covered about 6.8 miles (10.9 kilometers) in around four hours, and except for one couple me wet towards the end of our hike, we had the woods all to ourselves. 

Amber checks out the trail map at the start of our hike

My daughter's almost 7 years-old pair of legs held up surprisingly well today. She's gone on several five mile-plus/10K+ walks now, and rarely complains. A real trooper, she (unlike a certain female parent).

Amber and I were privy to what was inside this, um, privy

My daughter poses in front of the Percy Howard Farm site. All that remains is this barn dating from the nineteenth century.

At one point we attempted to make our way along a boardwalk running through a beaver-created swamp. However, things started getting too muddy so we had to reverse course.

Instead of continuing on through the swamp, we hauled ourselves up about 250 yards (230 meters) up a steep hill, with Amber relying on a rope at one point to help herself along. This is the view from the hillside looking down on the swamp.

At the top of the ridge, we walked about 500 yards (460 meters) to the Hance-Chesley Cemetery, a perfect place to stop and have lunch.

Despite being half-Taiwanese, my daughter has no fear at all of cemeteries (unlike her mom), and doesn't believe in the existence of ghosts. No wonder she's very interested in science.

Fall, glorious fall

This stump is all that remains of an American chestnut tree. At 75 feet (23 meters), it was once the tallest tree in Maryland before it unfortunately succumbed to blight.

In the midst of all the chestnuts and dogwoods and whatnot was an impressive patch of bamboo

Fall, glorious fall

Amber has been enjoying her first real autumn experience

Relaxing in a meadow at the end of the hike


  1. Amber is going to remember those fall days for the rest of her life. just the other day i was explaining the fall experience to my wife and it was hard for her to grasp the significance, this being Taiwan. someday i hope to be able to share a real autumn experience with both my wife and daughter (wow that's the first time i ever wrote that!). take care, Jim.

    1. While I appreciated the warm weather in Taiwan, I did miss having the four distinct seasons like I experienced while I was living in Japan. That said, I'm hoping winter here in D.C. will be a mild one this year - I'm not looking forward to any "snowmageddons"!

      I love taking Amber out hiking. It won't be long before you're sharing similar father-daughter experiences!