Friday, July 23, 2010

Getting Out of the Sweltering City

In Baltimore, a little way up Harford Road, you'll find Clifton Park. It's on the east side of the road, and stretches all the way over to Belair Road. There's a public golf course, and, nearby, you'll find what used to be called Lake Clifton High School. Clifton Park, if I am not mistaken, used to be the country estate of Johns Hopkins, the man who now has his name on a prestigious university and hospital, and is a well-known patriarch of Charm City. As I understood it, Clifton Park was where the Hopkinses used to retire during the hottest of the summer months, to escape the unpleasantness of the sweltering city. I always found this odd, since Clifton Park really isn't that far away from what would have been the city limits back in Johns' day, but, when you think about it, an August day in Baltimore in the 19th century was probably pretty heinous. Not in the muggy quality (which it certainly possessed), but in the funkiness. I can only imagine that the garbage, the water, the ships, the sailors, all were pretty offensive. So, being hot and sweaty in the middle of a giant park was clearly a respite from the hot and sweaty and stenchy (What? "Stenchy" is not a word?) conditions immediately surrounding a harbor town.

So, in that great tradition (not the philanthropic one, in which I make millions and then found a university, an orphanage, a hospital, and art museum, etc., etc.) Monkey and I are off to escape the dog days on the Plains, the mid-nineties, the high dew points. Our destination is the cool and mountainous Eastern Slope. Colorado, here we come!

We hope to return with a plethora of stories to shock and amaze (or at least entertain), and a multitude of images to share. We hope the weather is better than last year, that our hikes are dryer, and that our spirit remains undaunted by any set backs. We'll communicate with you again when we return. Westward, ho!


Charlie said...

Have a blast Tony and China. The boys and I are on the coast of Oregon till mid August if you make it this far on your hike, you can crash on the farm

La Fashionista said...

Them stenchy sailors, they bring the funkiness and the hos.

How was the trip, hon?


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