11 unsuspecting souls and one dog decided to join me through the Mountain Club of Maryland on a hike at the Catoctin Mountain Park. The trek I designed was an easy 6 mile loop encompassing Thurmont Vista,
Wolf Rock, Chimney Rock and a dip in the water at Hunting Run.
Since this trek was my idea I had to lead the group and make sure the trail was free and clear of deadly snakes.
I would have to sacrifice my life and good health for the sake of the rest of the group. Luckily, we didn't see any snakes which was a good thing.
We enjoyed all the vistas but the crowd was eager to get to the water for the cool dip on this warm August Day.
I think the gang was pleased with my hike/swim idea and many enjoyed the cool water. Will, the dog, didn't seem to want to leave.
I was a little worried about the final ascent but the group seemed to make it up the hill without a problem. Afterward a group of us went up to the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes for some meditation, prayer and a refreshing sip of holy water. Some of my hikers were a little reluctant and thought that I was trying to convert them to Catholicism, but since I don't know the first thing about it, they didn't need to worry. We saw some very nice frogs up by the grotto in the stream. One of my hikers is captured looking at Jesus on the cross in this photo.