Broad Creek Park Annapolis

Reds and oranges light up in the setting sun.

OK, So. I’m in Annapolis on a work trip. It is a darling East Coast town between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. I was out here in September, and that trip was my training wheels for getting back into the swing of domestic flights. I got the cobwebs cleared out, and this time was definitely smoother. You guys!!! I’m flying, traveling, going to another state during a pandemic. This is my third post-pandemic trip. Oh my gosh.

It’s so weird still. And exciting.

I respect the damned COVID-19. Yes, I genuflect. You are in charge, Oh Virus! But still, I live my life. My employer sends me to the other side of the country and I go. I wear my mask when I can. I take it off when I’m eating, and when I’m teaching.

I was mesmerized by the bright colours with the blue background.

It’s a strange world when there are people who are trying to live as though everything is like it used to be, and people who are still hiding in their homes for two straight years now, and there is everything in between. I’m leaning toward the side of getting out and doing stuff.

I realize that there are people who can’t decide to stay home. They have no choice and must go into the world, put themselves at risk, and do their jobs while crossing their fingers that everything is gonna be ok. I do have a choice. I could tell VFW “No,” and they would immediately respect that decision. They would probably even still be willing to hire me another time. But think of the people who are forced to go out there, into the risk, the trepidation, the hesitation, the fear – “what, exactly, am I exchanging, for the right to do my job and get paid?”

VFW is a great employer. They really do care about their employees, even a freelance, extremely part-time worker like me. I feel appreciated.

The leaves are like tiny oak-shaped rainbows.
My view out my hotel room window on Tuesday evening. I wrapped up too late that day to go outside, but it did prompt me to check my schedule, where I found that the very next day I would have time to play after work.

Wednesday my class was over at 2:50 pm. The weather was amazing. So I headed out of the hotel finally. I’ve got an AllTrails app, and it showed me a nearby network of trails. So I went. I hiked a total of 6 miles (9.6 km) from the hotel, to the park, and back, and I felt great when I got back to my room. I was ready to return to class this morning at 9 am, with bells on.

This year I’ve had the chance to photograph many incredibly awesome Autumn scenes. It’s like Fall keeps going on and on. The views on my hike were so great. Please enjoy Maryland through my eyes during an unseasonably warm and beautiful November evening.

One of the roads I followed, on my way to the park.

About 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the hotel, past a sketchy intersection with no stop lights and busy traffic, then through a business park, is an entrance to Broad Creek Park. Within the park are five miles of trails, but one would have to follow them all around in circles to achieve the whole five miles. My goal was to find the most direct route to the water. Broad Creek Park borders a nice wide bay formed by the mouth of Broad Creek as it makes its way eventually to Chesapeake Bay. As soon as I stepped outside, I noted that the sun was low and I would have to hurry if I was going to catch a sunset over the water. Luckily I have experience with walking fast!!

Many trees in Annapolis are still loaded with leaves, and they simply glowed in the low sun.
There on the edge of the business park parking lot, was a bit of paved sidewalk to show the beginning of the trail, a trail sign, and a warning sign that the bridge was out. The creek at the point of the trail crossing was only 2 inches deep though, so I just hopped across.
Right away I realized the trail would be easy to lose. I did lose it a couple of times. But using the trail blazes (orange markers on the trees, seen here) and my AllTrails app, I didn’t get lost.
I’m disappointed this photo is blurry! It was such a cute shot, with the huge beautiful tree and the declaration of love carved in, and all the colours.
The sun continued to set, and I continued to chase it, trying to go as fast as I could to get to the water’s edge.
It was nice to see a bench here, in a place that might be quite restful and shady on a hot day.
Though I was in a hurry, I couldn’t resist stopping for photographs. Here, I was struck by these two trees leaned at a precarious slant!

I was hurrying along, talking to myself (as I often do), and startled a large animal that crashed through the forest ahead of me. I snapped my head up in time to see something the same size as a deer, but it was spotted white and light brown, like a cow! But it bounded like a deer. It was antelope-coloured, but I was sure there were no antelope in Maryland. I kept a sharp lookout the rest of my hike, and I did hear the animal crashing through the forest about an hour later, but I never did get another look. When I got home, I looked it up and Yes! It was a Maryland Whitetail piebald deer. How cool. I had no idea there were white and brown spotted deer. It’s apparently an anomaly localized right here. I am lucky to have seen it.

Not seeing a good view from the trail, and still in a hurry, I crashed off the trail and through the brush and vines with thorns, until I got close enough to the water for a clear view. I had not made it in time to watch the sun set. But so close!
I left the water’s edge and scrambled through the stickers right up the side of the mountain across the slippery leaves, until I got high enough to photograph the setting sun!
I assumed that somewhere along the trail, I would get a clear view of the water, but this was the absolute best I could do.
This was the clearest view I could find. See the geese there in the water? Yeah, if you can’t, then you understand why I was frustrated.
The trail curved around the wide bay-sized mouth of the creek, then the trail followed the smaller creek, up into the valley.
I was happy to finally get a mostly open view, just as I was leaving the open water.
Clouds and contrails are lit up in the warm evening sky.
The colours were harder to see as the sun kept dropping, and I realized that I was 3 miles (4.8 km) from the exit from the forest. I would need to hurry to get out before darkness.
One more shot real quick, though. The curved reflections here were fascinating.
Here, Broad Creek is much less broad.
Parts of the trail are on the edge of the Annapolis High School ball fields. Here, students practice soccer while the light holds, and a nearly full moon gains strength in the darkening sky.
I had 3/4 of a mile of trail still ahead of me, but I spotted the County Judicial Building all lit up and it beckoned me. I crashed through the brush and tall grass and climbed up that hill and got onto the brightly lit parking lot. It made me feel better.
Even an office park looks pretty in a sunset.
This scene cracked me up. After all those miles and all that hurrying, I was very thirsty. Coca Cola was teasing me, because all these tempting boxes promising refreshment were not only empty, but behind a fence.

It was completely dark when I got back to the hotel, but I was walking on sidewalks on a busy, well-lit street by that time, and was completely safe from getting lost in a forest. I went directly to my room and got the water that I had been craving.

11 thoughts on “Broad Creek Park Annapolis

  1. Ahh, how most excellent! You just step out of your hotel and start trekking and spot a spotted deer and miss the geese and get the red trees and find your way back to the light and get tempted by Coke all the way to the happy end. 🙂 Thank you for teaching me the meaning of trailblazers. And that Annapolis is in Maryland. 😀 (Between Baltimore and Washington? I need to have a look at this.) So beautiful.

    1. Yes, it’s a quieter town between two major U.S. cities! Annapolis has quite a history for this country, as many East Coast cities do, and famous names from our founding fathers pop up in early Annapolis days. On this trip I did not head into the downtown at all, and stayed out here in the outskirts at the hotel – it was a busy week. I’m glad I was about to do this hike though! If you do see a map, pan out and see how all the little rivers around here end in wide bays. I think that is interesting. They are all part of the big Chesapeake Bay.

  2. A well-photographed joyful post. I don’t think you need worry about the blurry photograph. The important off-centre tree is in focus and the human eye would see the background just as your camera has done.

  3. What a wonderful visual tour. I think every year how nice it would be to go east for fall, but I’m not quite there yet. The pandemic has been a divining rod for division for too long. We all have opinions, we all have dug into those positions almost too far for our own good. I don’t feel like I have the luxury of choice. I have an immune system that is being suppressed every day and I have to rely on the good sense and kindness of others to help me stay safe. I look forward to the day we can look beyond a vaccine to an actual treatment. I fear this isn’t going away anytime soon and the damage in its wake is really quite unfathomable.

    1. Bonnie, I have been coming to many of those same conclusions about the pandemic. It will be with us for a long time, and I think we have not yet begun to understand how much of a disruption it is causing all around us. My blogger friend Marlene has also decided that it has been safest for her to stay away from others all this time. That’s another thing that is so different for each of us: what things are outside our control, forcing us to choose our behavior carefully. In my post I mentioned those forced to go outside, but I neglected to mention those forced to stay inside. I also know people who are simply too scared to go out, and I think that is also valid. I have heard of one pill that is a treatment, but it must be administered right away after contracting the virus, and I think it’s very hard for people to know right away if they have it! So we certainly must have better treatment options. I am glad to know that you love the outdoors and have the physical ability to get out on trails. At least you don’t have to go crazy staring at the four walls inside.

    1. I’m glad you came along, Lenore. ❤ My phone app was telling me to continue along the very busy street I was on, but I saw that road and I couldn't pass it up. I left the route and followed it. And I found… a giant parking lot/bus station! Ha! Not so romantic. But from there I was able to reconnect to my route and I loved that curving road so much I returned home the same way.

  4. Getting out to the fresh air is a good thing. We’ve had several days of it but now we are in the big city of Stuttgart and restrictions are so tight we are basically stuck for the week. It looks like the perfect place to walk after a day of teaching. Nature balances everything. That’s a walk even I could enjoy if the ground was more or less level.

    1. The ground was quite level, but I still needed to be careful as the leaves carpeting the ground were quite slippery. Much of it was flat and easy to walk, if you could manage the leaves. And it was so pretty. The best thing was that it was 69 degrees out that evening! A front came through about 4 hours later and it dropped to 40 degrees and rained hard the next day. Then I was doubly glad I had been out hiking in a T-shirt. The next night the teachers went out to dinner and we all wore winter coats and gloves and scarves. I’m sorry you are so restricted in Suttgart. That is frustrating. I hope you still find something gratifying during your week. Maybe watching German TV! When I am trapped in a hotel room in someplace foreign, I will entertain myself by finding a familiar TV show dubbed in the language. In Rome, Pedro and I watched The Simpsons in Italian! And once I watched Seinfeld in Greek. It’s hilarious even though I have no idea what they’re saying.

      1. Thanks for the idea, Crystal. We did try that once and H tried learning German from the TV. I don’t think she’s going to be a linguist. 🙂 I always have something to do. I need to get another post out soon. Lots of work getting all the photos culled and ready. Hope you are planning a good Christmas holiday. Thinking of you.

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