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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.