That’s not a typo, nor am I attempting to swear. I’m on a constant quest for two things: have fun with Evan this summer and experience new things. And I got to accomplish all of that within 15 minutes of my house.
I love in a smallish town. Technically, I consider our town a suburb of Baltimore. We live in a nice community and we have a Starbucks in town. But Santa Claus still rides on the front of the fire truck every year at Christmas and the grocery store is still the primary meeting place.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years through my travel experiences is that many locals forget to explore their own area. And since we’re relatively new to our area (two and half years), I’m still happy to get out and explore.
So when I saw a sign hanging in a couple of local shops for Liberty Reservoir Days, I knew I had a Field Trip Friday picked out for us (even if it was on a Saturday).
Liberty Reservoir is a manmade lake that was created at the border of Baltimore County and Carroll County back in the 1950s by damming up the Patapsco River. Honestly, I’m not sure why they did it – drinking supply perhaps – but the most fascinating part of the dam is the fact that the flooding of the area completely dismantled the entire town of Oakland Mills.
When I was younger, I had zero interest in history and now I can’t seem to get enough of it. I’ve gone to local history meetings to hear about life in Oakland Mills, a booming mill town, before the valley was flooded. There are so many locals that love to share their stories of how it used to be and I’m happy to listen to them all.
That was only part of Liberty Reservoir Days. We did talk to a local historian who is publishing a book about the life and times of Oakland Mills and we chatted for a bit about life before and after Liberty Dam.
But most of our time was spent saying hello to many of the local volunteer fire departments (thank you, Sykesville, Gamber, and Liberty Road!).
(And is it me or does this totally look like the truck from the show Emergency!?)
Or talking with specialty organizations like Chesapeake Search Dogs, an entirely volunteer organization of dogs and their owners dedicated to tracking airborne human scents, primarily for search and rescue. We even got to see a live demo of this beautiful dog searching for a audience volunteer in the woods!
It was also educational. Evan learned all about what “watershed” means and had a demonstration of how the things that go down the storm drains can end up in our drinking supply.
But the star of the show was the dam itself. Normally, the observation platform is locked and for this event, we got to walk out and appreciate the full magnitude of the Liberty Dam. Is it wrong that I think the dam is pretty?
Clearly these geese like to live dangerously.
Overall, the event was a little slice of Americana. There was music and food (and rescued wildlife!) only a little bit of whining about the heat and humidity.
I’d say our family mission was successful.
Have you explored your local community? What’s one of your favorite local activities to do?