My various adventures of a "Going Outside and Doing Things" nature, mostly in the great outdoors of Colorado. Hiking, playing with the dogs, rock hunting, abandoned houses, gardening... and probably more!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

July 5, 2012 - Daniels, Maryland

Okay, so the 5th was probably my favorite day as far as what we went to do is concerned. I’m definitely splitting it into two posts, though, and this one doesn’t break up quite as easily into two perfectly chronological things. So this post is kind of the intro and conclusion, while the second post is the one actually covering the specific things we set out to see.

 On the 5th, we went to Daniels, Maryland. There’s a brief history of the town given here, but basically, it was a mill town. In 1940, the C.R. Daniels company bought the town, and used it exclusively for the mill workers and their families. In the mid-60s, they decided to get rid of the employee housing, and then in 1972 Hurricane Agnes wiped the town out entirely. Building next to a river tends to be a poor idea for this very reason.

You can still see a few remains from the town. The main road through the town still exists, and is now the path along the river. You can also still see some remaining foundations of houses, some rusted remains of cars, and things like that.

This was the main road.

Sexy tiger beetles! (OMG they are so pretty, though!)


Rocks and plants.


Still amazed by the green.

So that horrible storm that had come through a couple days before meant
there were a lot of downed trees and other destruction.
There were signs warning that the area hadn't had any cleanup done yet.

More rocks.

There were raspberries everywhere this year. And a daddy long-legs.

One of those rusted cars.

Mossy rock wall.

As we were walking, we spotted a deer just standing ahead on the path.

I kept wondering how close to her we'd be able to get.

Turns out, pretty close.

Remains of building. (I think this was an old train trestle?)

Overgrown wall.

Another fallen tree. Took some of the road with it.

Current train trestle.

More wall ruins, near that train bridge.

Long wall.

Another deer across the river.

More fungus!

There were lots of these ropey vines hanging down.

Taken just to show THIS IS WHAT HUMIDITY LOOKS LIKE. We don't get much in CO.


The next post will include more from the Daniels area, but for now I’ll jump ahead.

There was a really bright sunset on our way back.

Bonus abandoned things!

Actually, these are all outbuildings of various sorts on Alex’s friend’s property. (Well, the spider isn't a building... it's just in a building.) There are a lot of old sheds and things that have no current use, and have therefore been left to the elements.

And my favorite bug-type critter we saw on our trip visited us. A Virgo Tiger Moth!

I just think he's gorgeous!

I know, I take a lot of pictures of bugs...

S/he kept landing on me, too! And it wasn't until looking at this picture that I realized its upper wings are see-through.

 And some miscellaneous things:

Looks like leaves.

Another of the cute little grapevine beetles.

STOP TIME. Automatic superpowers!

Long-suffering dog. Can't you tell?

Just when you thought it was safe... HOUSE CENTIPEDE.

So yes, the next post will have a little more about Daniels.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

July 4, 2012 - National Botanic Gardens, Washington DC

After the surprisingly decent time we spent in the Museum of the American Indian, we continued down to the botanic gardens.

Hey look, the capitol!

Tourist shots! Me... *

And Alex. *

I really liked their little display of carnivorous plants.

Especially the Venus Fly Traps.

And giant pitcher plants!

The outside of the building is pretty neat.

Really gorgeous orchid just inside the doors.

I like that they have flowers tucked away in just about every spot.

You can hardly even tell that Alex is about ready to faint from the heat/humidity combo!



So pretty!

Weird looking...

Love these, too.

Neat foliage. *

We didn’t spend terribly long inside. Surprisingly, the humidity was hitting Alex even harder than it was hitting me. Their arboretum thing is very pretty, but we had to get out of there before one or both of us got heat stroke.

The one thing we wanted to see was the Orchid Room, because it is completely amazing. Fortunately, Alex remembered the fastest way to get there.

These are some of my favorites.

So lacy and pretty looking.

I like this one a lot.

Hiding up high.

I'd never seen the fan-shaped ones before.

I wish I'd gotten something to show how tiny this is.
The little translucent flowers are smaller than my little finger nail.


After this, we retreated outside, to where it was… still hot and humid.

We walked down the mall toward the natural history museum, which is both of our favorites. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, we saw there was a massive crowd of people waiting to get in, and we’d probably only have had twenty minutes or so inside before they closed. That was a shame, but we decided it wouldn’t be worth it. So instead we left the mall to go get coffee and just sit down for a while.

We also went through one of their cooling stations, which is basically a bunch of water spraying you, and a great big fan. It felt amazing while standing there, and then after that became horrible. My clothes and hair were soaked through, and the humidity meant it didn't dry probably until well into the evening. So don’t take advantage of the cooling stations unless you can stay there all day.

How patriotic.

Pigeons! One had a broken foot, but seemed to be getting around okay anyway.

We then decided to walk down towards the White House, since we hadn’t gone that way last time. And hey, I do actually want to see some of these spots. But then there was a big checkpoint thing, and we didn’t want to go through that twice, so we ended up just heading towards the Washington Monument, where we were going to watch the fireworks.

We passed this neat little building, which I guess used to be a gatehouse.

Markers of flood levels.

The checkpoint to get onto the grounds around the Washington Monument was pretty hardcore. The lady who checked my bag just kind of poked through, but Alex’s bag was very seriously searched. And he had our hiking backpack, which I forgot had pepper spray in it. We had to throw that away.

But then, the monument!

Monumental, indeed.


I suck and didn't get the monument very centered behind Alex. *

We found somewhere to sit, and got comfy for the fireworks.

<3 Even though Alex looks kind of unhappy. *

We both decided not to take pictures of the fireworks show. I’m glad, too. In previous years, sometimes I’m so focused on trying to get a good picture that I end up not really paying enough attention to the show itself. This one was fantastic, and I’m glad that I got to pay attention to it the whole time.

Nighttime shot of the monument. (It's watching us!)

The moon looked pretty badass.

It ended up being a very long walk back to a Metro station. We went the wrong way once, and then one station was too crowded and we just left immediately. We ended up going to one that was far enough away that we got to get on the train at an earlier part of the route, so we got to avoid the worst of the crowds. It was late and my feet hurt, but it was completely worth it.

This is an ad for one of the airports, with Rockville being a city in Maryland. Our trip from Rockville to the Rockies was not the easiest, apparently.

A late night, but a very good one!

* These pictures are from Alex's camera.