Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Underground Railroad Experience Trail

Tuesday of this week dawned as a lovely day.  We'd had rain the night before to clear out the heat an humidity.
The fitness staff here at Vantage House organized a hike for 8 o'clock that morning, so 9 of us boarded the bus with Vivian and Andrea (our great fitness instructors) and with Chris driving we were off to Sandy Spring, MD to the Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park where the Underground Railroad Experience Trail is a highlight.

The manor house and museum is only open on Fri-Sunday.  Dan and I plan to return later this month on a Sunday to visit there.  Here's some background on it.

Other park literature says that the Palmer family lost their membership in the Quaker assembly because they owned slaves.

Off the bus Vivian led us in warm up exercises prior to starting the hike.  Our driver, Chris, joined in. She's in the back left in the black shirt.  She took the hike with us but turned back when one participant decided the trail in the woods was too difficult for her.

Walking to the start of the trail took us past the side of the manor

And this lovely stone barn built in 1832.

Checking out the start of the trail.

First we walked in the grass skirting the pasture for the horses stabled here for the Montgomery County Park Police.

That field was full of buttercups.

The trail went on into the woods.  Slaves often escaped at Christmas since they had three days to a week of leave.  Rainstorms were also a common departure for freedom time.

These woods are filled with some interesting trees.

Dan and I set a faster pace ahead of the rest.

The jack in the pulpits were in bloom and the birds were in full voice.

This hollow tree is like ones that fugitives would use as hiding places.  Fires could be built in the tree and smoke would not be visible.  Sometimes these would be spots where friends would stash supplies for runaways.

Springs like this would have been meeting points for runaways and trail markers.
The spring date of 1745 refers to the first meeting of the Quakers in Sandy Spring.  The concrete archway was built in 1914.

Another view of the barn as I walked back.

All around a great excursion, one of many I've enjoyed since moving here.