Back in Maryland, I had some time to explore some new places. While my aunt, uncle, and cousin were doing stuff, I took a drive about a half hour away to Patuxent State Park. The night prior we attended a going away party for one of my aunt's coworkers and a fellow photographer mentioned how beautiful the park was. So I had to check this place out.
He was right. It nothing but trees and rivers. 6,700 acres worth to be exact. Exactly the type of place I wanted to find peace at on this trip. When I got there, I was surprised to find so many people cycling, hiking, and just enjoying the tranquility a place like this offers. Coming from Florida, most state parks don't offer the isolation Patuxent offered. Just entering the park felt like a secret government facility featured in the X-Men movie franchise.
The day I went, park patrons were partaking in a rather large nature enthusiast swap meet of sorts.
But there really was something captivating about this place. I can't explain it. While I felt robbed of a chance to capture some awesome ornithological photography - the birds flew south for the winter - I still got to smell real winter forest air. There's something different about it. It's pure. Just you and wildlife. No cars, diesel fumes, cigarettes, piss, or whatever other scents penetrate your daily routine.
Now, at the meet, people were selling all kinds of things. Photography, artwork, taxidermied animals, wood fish trophy plaques, and more. All handmade by locals. The quality was incredible. I was impressed by the wide variety and the value you got. Prices were dirt cheap for what you were getting. I only wish I had a few bucks to spend and support some of these folks. However, I was 4 steps from offering sad lap dances to local truckers myself.
If you are ever in these parts, make a quick stop into Patuxent State Park. You won't regret it. They offer a ton hunting grounds, plenty of good fishing from what I was told, and the bird watching is outlandishly good in the summer months. There's even a park tour you can go on.
Check out the gallery below for more images from my visit: