Monday, August 26, 2013

Park Quest #9: Ft. Frederick State Park

Ft. Frederick State Park is a favorite of ours. In the past we've seen some really cool events going on there.

This visit was no different. After a quick check in at the visitor's center we received our packet and we were on our way for a short hike around the park. While we were there, there was a living demonstration taking place. It was pretty cool to hear drums and music playing, hearing soldiers marching and, shooting muskets and cannons in the background. The boys enjoyed finding the black powder packets in the field that the soldiers left behind.

 Once we were done our walk around the park and learned about the history of some of the soldiers in the past, we visited the fort.

We visited the bunks were the soldiers slept and, saw a soldier fire off a musket. The boys really enjoyed that! 

Park Quest #8: Swallow Falls State Park

Day 2 of our 2 day 1 night stay in Western Maryland started with a stop at Swallow Falls State Park.  SFSP has always been one of my favorite SP's we have visited in the past. It is so beautiful and a wonderful background for pictures.

We were a little sad that it was pouring down raining when we arrived but since we didn't have much time to hang around we decided to go anyway. One positive to the rain...we were one of the very few families that were there. 

We checked in at SFSP store and got our packets and were on our way.  The ques was a short hike to all the falls and learning about the Hemlock trees (some that were over 300 yrs old) and, Super storm Sandy and the effect it had on the park. Wow, we were shocked at how much our favorite place had changed due to the storm. Tons of downed trees and blocked areas. 

We were also so shocked to see once we hiked to the 53 feet Muddy Creek Falls how angry it was. Last year when we visited we were able to play on top of the falls and walk back to a bridge behind the falls. This year as we were walking up it was so loud and huge. We were getting splashed on our way up. At the top there was no way any of us would be able to walk across the top. The water was moving so fast it would of swept any one of us down the falls. I am sure this had a lot to do with the amount of rain they were getting.

Even though we got extremely wet it was still a fun and beautiful quest.

Park Quest #7: Deep Creek State Park

Our last stop on Day 1 on our Western Maryland trip was at Deep Creek State Park. We decided this is where we wanted to stay over night since it was sort of in the middle of all the parks we were visiting.

Once we had arrived we visited the Nature Center like out Park Quest booklet instructed us to do. Once we received our packet we were on our way on a short walk that started in the basement of the Nature Center.  The boys learned about Smokey the Bear and Wildfires. On our short walk around Deep Creek we learned different way to prevent wildfires, how Deep Creek prevents wildfires, Took a turn putting out a pretend fire and, visited a brush fire truck. 

This was one of the boys favorites of the trip. After we finished our quest we check in at the visitor's center to grab our info where we'd be staying.

The boys were shocked and excited to see where we were staying!!!

A Yurt!

After we got unpacked and beds made up we headed back down to the Nature Center for a little fishing. After we cleaned up from fishing we headed out for dinner at Uno's. The boys were exhausted and very hungry. After dinner we headed back to our Yurt. Because of the rain we were unable to play outside so we enjoyed unwinding with a video.

Park Quest #6: New Germany

The next stop on our 2 day 1 night trip to Western Maryland was New Germany State Park. We got there after a quick lunch in the car so we were pumped and ready to go.

We stopped in at the Nature Center where we were instructed to pick up our supplies. The Quest was a walk around the parks forest area and learn what invasive species were and how they hinder the wild life in the area. 

This quest wasn't a long one. At our last stop we took a break and played in the creek for a while.
After our walk around the park and determining which plant was which we headed back to get our Park Quest book stamped. The kids were treated to some tasty ice cream what a nice treat to the warm weather we had.

Weekly Portrait Project {Week 7}

Weekly Portrait Project is something we have started to hopefully keep up for the boys until they graduate. We will post a favorite picture of each of the boys once a week!

The boys officially started school! Carson is only going half day to Pre-k. The house is so quiet and lonely with out them. However, I am able to get a lot of things done! 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Park Quest #5: Cassleman River Bridge

We hit the road and headed out West to visit some further State Parks in the Western Maryland region. First up, Cassleman River Bridge and the "Spruce Forest Artisan Village."

This quest was a lot of fun. Despite getting rained on a bit the boys enjoyed a lot of things about the quest.

The quest takes you on a walk around the bridge teaching you about Transportation in Maryland over the past 200 years. We took a couple pictures in front of the bridge. We then walked across the Cassleman River Bridge where we found this little village! This was the boys favorite part. We walked into several of these little historic houses. All of which were moved to this village from different locations in Western MD and then restored. Now they house studios for various artist around the world. 

One of the boys favorites was an artist named Gene Gillespie. He is what is known as a Wood Turner. He takes local and exotic woods from around the world and uses a wood lathe to chip away and, sand down the wood into a new piece for his collection. He had items as little as a children's spinning top to a beautiful decorative lamp. He taught the boys about Australian Banksia Pods. He let them feel and hold a pod to show how soft yet, heavy they are. He uses these pods to make these beautiful products. His wife (who was not present) also, helps him with the staining and burning of the products. 

Another favorites of the boys was the one-room Compton School house. The school house was originally built on New Germany Road in Ca. 1810-1830 but, then was relocated to the Spruce Forest Village in 1989 and restored using a loan from Maryland Historical Trust. The boys loved playing with the props that were left out. They also loved looking at all the pictures of what the children looked like back then. Conner said he had wished his classroom was as cool as this one. ;)

We really had a wonderful time at this quest!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weekly Portrait Project {Week 6}

Weekly Portrait Project is something we have started to hopefully keep up for the boys until they graduate. We will post a favorite picture of each of the boys once a week!

Sorry, we have been absent this past week. We took a mini vacation and, have been getting ready for back to school. Ugh, yes...back to school already. :(

Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekly Portrait Project {Week 5}

Weekly Portrait Project is something we have started to hopefully keep up for the boys until they graduate. We will post a favorite picture of each of the boys once a week!