Grandma Holman’s New Year Day Run

As most of you know, my Grandma Holman believed whatever you did on New Year’s Day would be repeated throughout the year. You’ve heard me tell the story of her fussing at my mother for hanging out laundry that day. Grandma lived next door and avoided cooking and housework that day. It was one of the few holidays that she really took to heart in her observance.
CORE has for a number of years chosen this day to be somewhere on a trail, generally a rather easy one within easy driving distance as well. This year, we chose to be in Green Ridge, a Maryland state forest.

Ooops! Poor judgment, poor preparation and no excuse.

Joining us on this year’s ride were CORE members:

  • Keith (Blazer ZR2)
  • Mike V (White Rubicon)
  • Loc (Yellow Rubicon)
  • Alex (JK Rubicon)
  • Paul L (Silver Wrangler Unlimited)
  • Bob + LeAnn, Sam and Ben (Blue Rubicon)
  • Gary O + Terry and Kyle (Blue K5)
  • Dave (Silver Land Cruiser)
  • John + Brandon (Green TJ)
  • Mike + Debbie, and daughters Caroline + Patricia (Expedition)
  • Paul W (Green S10)

and our guests:

  • Gary H + Kyle (White JGC)
  • Miles (Blue Dakota)
  • Mark + Heather (White Land Cruiser)
  • and 5 or 6 of the four-legged family members whose names I didn’t get!

Several of us met at the Waffle House in Urbana and pulled out pretty close to on time (about 8:35). The trip up 270 and west on 70/68 was uneventful and relatively uncrowded. We pulled into Sideling Hill about 9:40 and found 3 vehicles waiting for us. A quick cell phone check showed 3 more just minutes away. After waiting to ensure we had everyone, we left there and went to the BP station at exit 72 to fill up on fuel for people and vehicles.

We continued west and went into Green Ridge at the HQ building where Bob and Leann dropped off the Highlander and got all the family into the Jeep. Next we headed onto Mountain Rd and crossed the interstate into the Meyers WMA area where we took Tower Road to come out at the Town Hill Hotel/B&B on Rt 40. A pleasant little diversion road that I had explored solo last summer. Great for distant scenery viewing.

Then we followed 40 along to 15 Mile Creek Rd (which not surprisingly runs alongside 15 Mile Creek) to the ORV trail. There were some traces of snow and a few rocky outcroppings to force you to pay attention. Each water area, whether puddle or crossing had ice although someone had been through and broken up most of it. We stopped at the power lines near mile post 5.0 for lunch where the kids and the dogs and the grownups occupied themselves with food and conversation. By the way, courtesy of the Kupec Kitchens were some fresh-baked cookies that were quite tasty and appreciated.

Next we ran the ridge along the Stafford Rd which leads up to the overlook at Mertens Ave. The last several times I had been there, the few of the Potomac River had been fogged in. It was nice to be able to see again today.

From there, the group headed over to see the Town Creek Logroll site, a must-see for the view and the obligatory picture or 17. We proceeded down the hill to cross Town Creek which seemed to have been less traveled than some other places with larger pieces of thin ice sticking out quite a ways. The creek level was also higher than it had been in previous trips with signs of the water being 2 feet deep in places.

After the third crossing, several of the group decided to go explore a bridge over the Potomac and some railroad tracks. The others went towards Flintstone with a goal of headed for home. This is when it became clear that I had pushed too far on this tank of gas. I had opportunities to fill it next to the Waffle House and again when we stopped at the BP station but had been confident I had more than enough. Ooops! Poor judgment, poor preparation and no excuse. Luckily, Gary and family were in that group and he had his 5 gallon gerry can attached to the rear of the K5. I took about 3 gallons which was enough to get us into Flintstone where I filled up before heading home.

Nice turnout, good weather, and I think all had a nice time. As always, a day of wheeling with friends beats a day of almost anything else. Hopefully, Grandma Holman’s beliefs mean that my year is to be filled with good days with friends in pleasant surroundings, doing things where even the annoyances, self-inflicted and otherwise, will be overcome by the pleasures of the day. I hope your new year brings the same for you!

Trail report written by Keith Holman. Pictures courtesy of Paul Woscek and Mike Vincenty.

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