Mule Power!

On New Year’s Day, Polly #5 took a round trip hike from the Western Maryland Railroad Station to the Evitts Creek Aqueduct on the C&O Canal towpath. She trekked over packed snow and ice for a total of 7.6 miles and enjoyed watching the many geese that gathered on the North Branch of the Potomac River. Most of the other animals sought out a warm place to bed down on the cold winter day and were nowhere to be found, but there were plenty of other sights to see for the adventurous travel frog.

After getting out of the Jeep, Polly noticed an interesting statue in front of the train station. It depicted a boy pulling a mule, which was the power source for the canal boats when the C&O was still in operation. Fortunately, a replica boat sits a few hundred yards down the trail. Polly was more than happy to pose in front of the “Cumberland” and is looking forward to going aboard for a visit when the weather warms up.

The Cumberland bedded down for winter

Somewhere down the trail Polly decided to give the trekking poles a try, but, unfortunately, she is way too short for human-sized poles and will have to look for a shorter version.

Maybe L.L. Bean will open up a store for outdoors-oriented amphibians someday. Until then...

After about 90 minutes Polly reached the Evitts Creek Aqueduct and posed for a picture on the park service's sign.

All of the canal’s aqueducts are beautifully constructed and have been standing for over 150 years. After getting to Evitts Creek, Polly realized that there was a walk of nearly four miles back the other way waiting for her. She could have found a warm place in my backpack and taken the easy way out, but I’m proud to say that Polly pushed on through the snow and ice and made it to the end of the trail. That’s pretty good for a frog who is dressed in nothing but a t-shirt!

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4 Responses to “Polly #5 Hiking in the Maryland Snow”

  1. Just Wondering…

    Tom & Polly #5:
    Does the North Branch of the Potomac host pesky Hydrilla?

  2. Mr. Crock,

    The hydrilla is a very intrusive plant that grows mainly in fresh water (lakes, streams, springs, and rivers). However, it does exist in areas of low salinity in river tidal basins and bays as well. It lives in water anywhere from a few inches to twenty feet deep, and the North Branch of the Potomac certainly meets many of these criteria.

    I did a little research and found out that the hydrilla is a common plant is Asia, Australia, and Africa and was first introduced in the United States through the aquarium trade in the 1960s. It does grow profusely in the tidal Potomac and occupies many acres of waterway in places. Whether or not it has reached the North Branch is something I can’t honestly answer, but I welcome any comments from those who are better informed. We’re all here to learn!

    As an avid fisherman (fisherfrog?), I can certainly attest to the fact that hydrilla is a pain in the neck! However, I’m also a frog, and when I’m not sitting on the bank with a rod and reel, I do enjoy the cover that the hydrilla provides. I guess you could say that I have mixed emotions in regard to this plant.

  3. L.L. Bean should definitely create “Polly Gear”!

  4. Those ARE way too big. Polly, I think you could get by with chopsticks or tent pegs. I do admire you for trying! I like the pictures with the river in the background. It seems like you had a really great hike!