Into the Snowstorm
Hoye Crest, Maryland
In Pennsylvania I took as many pictures as possible before the Olympus freeze proof camera lens became froze over. There was nothing wrong with the camera, the moisture in the air gathered on the surface of the camera and quickly froze. That shows you how cold it had gotten. I ran back to the car and sped off down the road. With the heat cranking I was on our way to the next high point Hoye Crest, Maryland. I was slightly disappointed in the ease of summiting the first point. I wanted it to be more difficult and a harder adventure. I believe that the most rewarding experiences are those in which we work the hardest to achieve our goals. Little did I know this would become a very challenging weekend.
On the way to Maryland I passed through several small towns seeing some incredible sights from beautiful mountain ranges, to a single wide trailer that had a camper welded to the front…that’s called a redneck expansion. Slightly less stylish than the double wide trailer, with the party deck build on top. This of course was only accessible to the residents by a wooden bridge suspended by frayed ropes that appeared to have broken boards every few steps requiring nerves of steel to cross over.
The hike for Maryland is particularly interesting because the parking lot is actually located in West Virginia and only the top 700 feet is within the Maryland border. In fact many states have their highest points on the border with neighboring states because of the terrain. Maryland was a mile hike to the top, with several hundred feet of gain, and a suggested hiking time of 1 hour and 40 minutes round trip. I hopped out of the car, threw on an additional layer, and ran to the top, took pictures, and ran back down all in under an 45 minutes.
The trail was very easy to follow as it had “HP” (High Point) spray painted along the way so that no one could get lost.
The view from the top was pretty, however relatively normal, and less than grand. Both PA and MD lack large prominences and if not marked as the highest point in the state you could miss them fairly easily. A prominence is the distance from the base of the mountain to the peak. So Maryland’s peak is at 3360 feet but the true prominence is only 80ft1. This means the rest of the mountain is level with the countryside.
Sign marking the top and the history
Summit number two at 3:00pm Saturday November 24th 2012
After the mad dash up and down Hoye-Crest, I jumped back in the car speeding off toward West Virginia’s Spruce Knob. This would be the highest peak yet.