A Cystic Fibrosis Practice Hike and Donald Trump - Sort of Together

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster DC AB15253

I have been writing recently about my daughter, Lise Courtney, who is participating in an Xtreme Hike in Mammoth Lake CA in September. She is fundraising $2500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and she is training for the September event by hiking in the mountains around Washington, DC. 

Yesterday, training meant a hike in the Catoctin Mountains.  It was to be an eight mile hike in some really pretty countryside.  Since I have never hiked (or even walked) in the Catoctins I thought it would be fun to "go along."  

The Catoctin Mountain extended loop trail is an 8.6 mile loop trail near Thurmont, Maryland about 70 miles from Washington.  It promises a view of the Cunningham Falls (Maryland's tallest waterfall) and is rated as difficult.  On the other hand, the Park Service also says that dogs are able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash. 

The loop is a combination of all the three major loops in the Catoctin Mountain Park and take you past Hog Rock, Wolf Rock, Chimney Rock, Thurmont Vista and the Blue Ridge Summit. It ranges from an easy walk to a challenging uphill hike but the views from the mountain top make it worth the effort.  

We were only able to do about 5.5 miles of the hike however.  When we arrived we discovered that part of the trail going past Hog Rock was closed for security reasons.  

You see, Camp David is in the Catoctin Mountains very close to the trail - or at least too close for comfort of the Secret Service.  I am not actually sure where Camp David is in the Mountains since it is not on any of the maps! 




Camp David, known formally as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, is the President's country residence.  Camp David offers Presidents an opportunity for solitude and tranquillity.   Adapted from a federal employee retreat Hi-Catoctin, President Roosevelt established the residence as USS Shangri La, modeling the new main lodge after Roosevelt winter vacation home in Warm Springs, GA.  President Eisenhower subsequently changed the institution to Camp David in honor of his grandson, David. 

Happily no later president has changed the name of Camp David. 

There are tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a swimming pool, skeet range, fishing and horseback riding. There is a golf driving range near the helicopter landing zine and a single golf hole outside Aspen Lodge, the Presidential cabin. There is also bowling, a movie theater, a fitness center, and basketball court.   Of course, the mountains are right there for long hikes and bike rides, skiing, sledding, snow mobiling and ice skating.

Camp David was very popular with President Reagan who went there 186 times (probably to ride and chop wood!) and President George W. Bush visited 149 times.  I remember that he was fond of playing horse shoes! On the other hand the Obamas only went 39 times - which probably reflects how hard it is to get away from home with teenage girls!

Since becoming President, Trump has gone to Mar A Lago frequently and other properties that he owns. I didn't imagine that he would ever go to Camp David, which is obviously a very nice property but a bit rustic.  Of course, I was wrong.  This was the weekend that the First Family chose to visit Camp David for the first time. 

So while we were hiking in the Catoctin Mountains the helicopters were circling overhead bringing the Trumps to Camp David.  Clearly it is a great place for a young boy to stretch his legs and play.  Melania's mother came along too for the weekend according to the news reports so it was a full family visit! 

Still, the helicopters didn't really disturb the peace in the mountains - at least not for long - and it was just another example of how Washington really is always there - extending its impact even into the solitude of the Catoctins! It was really a wonderful hike and I recommend it to anyone who wants to see something different in the Washington area! 

If a mountain retreat is what you would like, just give the Lise Howe Group a call! I am sure we can find you something perfect! 


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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Lise Howe I'm confident that the Lise Howe Group would be able to find the right fit for any buyer who wants the tranquility of a private area away from the city.... there's something for everyone and the Lise Howe Group knows where to find it...

Jun 18, 2017 05:06 AM #1
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

That is funny.  I remember seeing Clinton jogging and going to McD's when I lived there.  When you least expect it, they are around.

Jun 18, 2017 05:37 AM #2
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Sounds like your daughter is in much better shape than Trump, I doubt that he could keep up with her, haha.

Jun 18, 2017 06:06 AM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Lise. Go figure , right? I'm glad you got to spend some quality time with your daughter though.

Jun 18, 2017 06:30 AM #4
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Good morning Lise. You have me longing for a hike in the woods. Totally different than a walk through the city. No stoplights or cars! Enjoy your day!

Jun 18, 2017 06:47 AM #5
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Lise Howe Your daughter is indeed a 'trooper' promoting her 'cause for CF' . There IS nothing better to clear the mind and soul that a walk in nature. Great post!

Jun 18, 2017 07:09 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Lise- we'll be cheering on your daughter every step of the way!  I can remember when we lived in Leesburg, VA we could see the helicopters heading out to Camp David.

Jun 19, 2017 06:55 AM #7
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Lise Howe,  interesting that Trump would use it, I would not think that would be his style.

Jun 20, 2017 07:23 AM #8
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Sounds like a great spot to get some practice miles in, Lise!  And yes, Washington is never too far away, regardless of where we are.

Jun 20, 2017 11:36 AM #9
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Lise, 

What a great story! I enjoyed reading about Camp David. I wish your daughter much success with her fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 

Jun 23, 2017 07:58 AM #10
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