After my first visit to Twin Creek Metropark, I knew Germantown was to be next on my list.
And so I did within the next week.
However this trip was different than the first for a number of reasons.
Instead of a rainy and dreary day, I am greeted in the morning with heavy layers of frost that give way to a blue sky and sunny day.
The morning frost stuck around for quite a while. Until almost an hour after sunrise did the warmth begin to melt away the layers over everything.
The initial prescouting had me looking around the landscape for what could be out there. The problem was the lighting; it got worse and worse for photographing as the morning went on. At a certain point I considered just packing up and leaving as there were many waterways yet the sunlight had just cast unattractive highlights on all of them. The spotty lighting would make metering trickier and the photos would be more washed out and bland.
Being teased with these great potential subjects and no real way to satisfactorily photograph left me feeling defeated. Yet there was still a lot of hours of daylight and miles of trail to explore. I was not giving up yet!
You never know what you might find! In terms of birding, I got a real close look at a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) partially hidden in a cedar tree. The environment around me was whisper-quiet as this fairly small bird was perched and stared back at me for a bit before bobbing its tail up and down. They tend to prefer woodlands especially in both migration and winter.
Sadly I did not get a proper photograph of it as it was deeply in shadow. Simply noting field observations helps in finding it in future birding trips.
As night settled in rather quickly, I found myself not too much scared of the darkness this time. My will and resolve was pulling me back towards the trailhead despite how exhausted I felt.
By this point I had been trudging through mud and dirt most of the day. However unlike Twin Creek metropark, it wasn’t quite as slippery due to the rain from that day. The real challenge of Germantown was the steep hills that only sometimes had switchbacks. This 2,000 acre behemoth of a natural area tested my limits.
I arrived home very late after dark feeling sore all over, almost empty handed from what seemed like any good photos. Despite this, I had a good story to tell of an amazing day hike I managed to complete.
You don’t need exotic or to travel to Yosemite or Danali for some adventurous times.
Make sure to get out there and hike your local trails!
Did you enjoy this story? Leave a comment down below about how it inspired you to hike, backpack and camp somewhere. Make your own adventures!
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