bacon, birthdays and boating

most of the mccorkle clan gathered at kooser state park recently to celebrate the first birthday of my niece, brenna mae.  since we were all together we decided to do our famous hungarian family tradition of sutni szalonna  (click this link to find out more). basically we cook slab bacon over a fire and eat it for dinner.  if it sounds amazing, that is because it is - and it most likely kicks the ass of your family traditions.  

fistfuls of cake - brenna mae digging into her b-day cake  

pictures best describe this tradition, so i will let them do the explaining. try not to drool on your keyboard.

14 pounds of deliciousness 

prepping the bacon while max keeps an eye out

hot coals are a must for cooking bacon over a fire

the ingredients for the feast

slow roasting the pig over the coals

we don't waste the grease, it goes directly onto rye bread

the final product - bacon, sweet onion and rye toast. delicious.

try to convince me your family tradition is better than this.  the morning of baconfest, my bro and i hiked up to a fire tower that his park had recently acquired and repaired.  he has keys to all kinds of cool things, and this is one of them.  it was windy, cold and unfortunately super over cast, but i still managed to get a decent shot.  

view from the fire tower

random insert - cucumber falls in ohiopyle state park, during a late october trip to the lower youghiogheny river for some white water action.

back in baltimore, i finally had the chance to paddle the patapsco river some more.  this time we put in on the backwater or the harbor and paddled up stream, past homeless camps and under a larger number of highway overpasses.  it is pretty incredible how close you can be to the city, but still be so isolated.  i went with my buddy riley, and he brought along his pup popper the chihuahua. we paddled upstream until the water was too shallow to continue.

urban paddling - riley and popper in the back harbor

water front property 

895 overpass

scaring the birds

popper and riley

this calvert seemed like it had no end

of course we had to go in, but didn't have the chance to go very far - we were worried the pup would get antsy and take a swim in the dark 

the patapsco has a lot more for us to explore, especially the calvert we started into.  we will definitely be back to see how far it goes, probably with out a dog next time - and definitely shorter boats, so we can turn around and not have to paddle out backwards.