McKaig Road Toward Walkersville


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Get a Sense of History Outside Downtown Frederick

Periodically I get to drive McKaig Road between New Market and Walkersville, MD. It’s a beautiful rural drive that doglegs at Mt Pleasant to continue into W’ville on Crum Road.  Along the way are several “million dollar views”, well worth protecting from development.  Remember that last bit…protect from development.  There are too few places like this, and mucking them all up with houses ruins it for all, even those who move in and do the damage.

In addition, there’s a beautiful little cemetery with some nice old stones.  For whatever reason, I like to photograph in cemeteries.  There’s texture and history and pattern among the stones and rows that have always attracted me.  I read the stones, and think about the space between the first and last dates.  That dash equals a life.  When were they born, how long did they live, what’s their story?  What’s the heritage of their name in this place?  What was it like here then?  How did they die?

So, the people in this little cemetery have a million dollar view for eternity, or until developers overtake them.  Some have been there since 1850’s and more.  I’ll bet they never figured on that development part, just wanted the view from their final resting place.  I’d like to think we can not allow others to ruin that for them.  By the way, those distant mountains in their view – 10 or 12 miles as the crow flies, are the Catoctin Mountains, Maryland’s stretch of the northern Blue Ridge, sheltering Frederick and the Monocacy Valley from much weather from the west.

Yesterday, February 12, was a warm, 55 F day with lovely late afternoon light, that led me to make a trip to the area specifically to see what images might present themselves.  I’m very glad I did.  In talking to a resident there, I gather I missed an even better opportunity from the day before.  Darn.  He said it was the best afternoon so far this year.  Double darn!  Still, it was gorgeous last night.  Too cloudy finally, at the last 30 minutes, but beautiful ’til then.  There was a sun dog, too, the bright little prisms 22 degrees to the left and right of the sun when there is cold air and ice to refract the sunlight.  I was taught that it was the ancient Egyptians who first designated these as sun dogs, guarding access to the throne of Ra, the Sun God.   I find no reference to that under the various Googled links, and even Wikipedia references the Greeks, no Egyptians.  Hmmm…


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