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Thursday, June 1, 2017

KEEPING THE TRADITION ALIVE

It's become tradition for my wife and I to RETURN TO ROCKY GAP State Park near Cumberland, Maryland every Memorial Day weekend.  The park holds special meaning for me because my mother and father would take my brother, Jake, and me there to camp when we were kids.  It's a beautiful place and it's the one of the few trips that Robin and I take that has traditionally just been the two of us.  It's a great place for us to connect and enjoy each other's company.  

Hiking around Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park -- May 27, 2017

This year, however, to keep the tradition alive a few things would have to change.  Robin and I always book the weekend a year in advance in order to secure a camping spot for the holiday weekend..which leaves open the possibility for life to throw in a few curve balls.  Not that the curve balls that came our way this year were bad (actually, quite the opposite)...they just forced us to adapt.  So...on Friday afternoon, immediately after another amazing school year concluded, I set out for Rocky Gap...alone.  In all honesty, I'd much rather hang out with my wife than be by myself...that's why I married her...but I had a friend in high school who would often say that in order to be comfortable with others you need to learn to be comfortable with yourself.  With the comfort of knowing that  Robin would be joining me Sunday afternoon I decided to embrace the time I had and use it to relax and decompress (two things I'm not very good at).

I did get to spend some quality time relaxing at my campsite this weekend -- May 27, 2017

This waterfall is actually the spillway of the dam.  I had never been here before.  So cool! -- May 28, 2017

Hiking down to the Gorge with my cousin, Marialena, and her son, Tommy -- May 28, 2017

360 view of the Gorge in Rocky Gap State Park -- May 28, 2017

The mountain laurel is in full bloom -- May 28, 2017

I spent a lot of time hiking, sitting by the fire at my campsite, and reading.  Truthfully, I wasn't totally alone...my cousin, Marialena, and her family were camping there for the weekend, too.  They had me over to their site for breakfast, I cooked them dinner, and we took a few hikes together.  One, in particular, was down to the gorge below the Lake Habeeb dam.  Even the afternoon rain couldn't dampen the mood.  The mountain laurel was in full bloom and the scenery was amazing.  Rocky Gap at it's best.  Later that evening, Robin finally made her way to the campsite...just in time to have dinner.  My dad and Mary Jane made the short drive from Bedford to join us around the fire for the evening (another tradition).  Things ended up turning out just fine.  Before I packed up and left on Monday morning I made sure to reserve my camp site for next year...gotta be sure to keep the tradition alive!


The whole group finally made it!  Keeping the tradition of Rocky Gap alive! -- May 28, 2017


Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- June 1, 2017


No ice-cream on this trip...but how about a great recipe to use as a dessert while camping?  I do a little thing for my history students called COOKING WITH LEWIS & CLARK.  Using the recipes that the Corps of Discovery used while on their expedition, I prepare the meal in the back yard and present them to my students.  Hope you enjoy Captain Lewis' recipe for Cherry Sauce.  It taste's great on ice cream!


Here's the GARMIN map and stats from my hike down to the Gorge at Rocky Gap State Park:

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