Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Calvert Cliffs State Park

With the big snowstorm making travel a challenge, its been a while since we've gotten the dogs out for a really good hike. And though Fozzie and Dahlia are both well past the Psycho Zoomie Evening Pup stage that most of our foster dogs have epitomized, they have seemed a bit restless of late. So the plan was to use the long weekend to get them some quality off-leash time. 

We decided to check out Calvert Cliffs State Park along the Chesapeake Bay. 

As bitter cold as it was, we figured that we could enjoy some off-season fun with the dogs running free and no fellow dog walkers, or uptight dog-hating control freaks, to get in the way. 

I didn't remember how dramatic this place was. There's a trail through the woods that eventually leads down the cliff to the water, 

and amazing views of the bay from the trail.

Just as we had hoped, there was no one around so of course we let the pups run free. 

Soon after which we did encounter one uptight dog-hating control freak and his contrite wife, so we put the leashes on and proceeded to the beach. 

Look at that blue sky! 

So joyful to be there with my babies. 

And the wide open expanse of sand and salt water, 

and the low sand dunes with vegetation gradually colonizing, creating habitat for untold crustaceans and insects and diverse marine fauna. 

This is a great place to come in the summer to sunbathe, kayak, and play in the water. But there are things you experience in the winter that you don't otherwise.

and there was a distinct smell of rotting vegetation. Noted marine scientist Florian reminded me that the ice-bound water is deprived of circulation, so the smell was nothing more than rotting sea vegetation. Didn't detract from the beauty of the day. 

I still felt though that the dogs were owed a real good run COMPLETELY free of uptight dog-hating craptastic control freaks. 

Nature apparently agreed because overnight, a snowfall guaranteed that the craptastic-est of the control freaks would stay home, leaving the trail to us. 

We headed to the Northwest Branch Trail, just a mile or two from my house but which goes for miles through the woods along the Anacostia River.

Finally a deserted trail where the dogs could run unmolested. 

Or I should say unmolested by humans, as I'm afraid Fozzie could not shake his own diminutive, persistent molester, 

who despite miles and miles of stream and rock and branch and squirrels and countless good things to sniff and explore, 

chose to remain close to Fozzie where she could nip, chew, and hump him to her heart's content. 

So I leashed the little creep. And we enjoyed our beautiful hike in the snow.