I love a walk in the woods and Saturday was a postcard perfect day. Taking Patti along for a roll does present a challenge. Too few trails or paths are genuinely wheelchair accessible.
It rained the previous day and we've learned that the boardwalks along the rare accessible trails become walking traffic jams as most weekend hikers prefer not to get their shoes muddy on regular trails.
Fortunately about a year ago I discovered, a wonderful mountain sanctuary, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes tucked into the Catoctin Mountains above Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD.
I guess because of its association with 'spiritual' and nature it is never crowded while similar terrain only a mile away requires winding through parking lots looking for an open space to reach hiking trail heads.
The serenity of nature is enhanced by beautifully landscaped and wide paved paths to the mountain grotto. Framing the walks are Mountain Laurel and Azaleas so close and dense that Patti can see and enjoy.
The tranquility embraces you. Religious art blooms more like flowers than statues. In the early 1800’s, Elizabeth Ann Seton found spiritual refuge in this grotto long before the landscaping and sculpture gardens. Later, her canonization as America's first native born Saint left the word ‘holy’ indelibly associated with this mountain top.
As it was Easter weekend it only seemed all the more. the right place at the right time for a walk/roll in the woods.