Heading to Maryland, I admit I was a bit foolish. I didn’t fully realize how close Maryland/DC/Virginia were necessarily. On the plus side, it worked out quite well for me. A couple years back, when I was at a training for work, I met a cool guy and we became friends. As it turned out, he works out of DC and as such, I was able to see him and his wife.
I got into town, and they said they knew a good spot we could walk to. I welcomed the walk with all the driving I had been doing. We got to the restaurant and had some nice chats, nice brews, and good food. On top of all that, they were kind enough to cover my end. I did better in this instance, with regards to getting a picture of us. Not only did I get a picture, but some strangers were in the background being goofy too. I posted that one and another on the @liftnbrews Instagram account.
After the nice meal, we headed back to their place and had a couple beers. I was happy I could share a couple as I had something to give. We then played a card game which besides getting crushed each time, it was fun. Situations like these are still a little trying for me because I love to win and hate to lose. It is hard though to understand the rules and then understand the strategy and compete at a high level, while the others already have a much higher understanding. So, I lost. On the plus side, I didn’t get crazy angry or anything like I may have as a kid. Yay for growing up (in some areas).
After a good night sleep, I had a gym lined up, CrossFit Iron Hammer who agreed ahead of time to meet with me which was nice. I heard how good planning and support from family helped in starting the gym. They were kind enough to send me on the road with some tasty snacks as well!
From there, I was in the pop in game. I saw a brewery that seemed worthwhile, but they weren’t open yet. I found a gym but had some challenges actually finding it in person. I then drove by and saw people running and working out. I waited strategically by, but without interrupting. Then when I thought the class was over, I popped in, but some were still going. The owner came to me and said he saw me, upon hearing the story he said in a few minutes he’d have time to chat. The gym was TFL or Train for Life CrossFit and I heard how showing genuine care towards people leads to a caring community
At that point, I went to Milk House Brewery, a farm brewery. It was a cool place out from all the hustle and bustle of the city. I walked in and heard the owner was on the property and ought to be in shortly. When he came in, I told him my story and he was jovial in his willingness to speak with me. He immediately offered me a beer and we sat outside to talk. I heard they grow their own hops and take great pride in having a local product for local people.
As we were talking, more like old friends or uncle and nephew like than strangers, I was a bit concerned with getting all the questions in as it took some time. Luckily the owner was extremely kind and assured me he would answer them all.
He had a phone call regarding a neighbor that purchased hay from him. He told me he would have to help him, but I could tag along. Tag along is exactly what I did. Getting into a Ford Ranger from the 90s and driving down a dirt road was an experience I didn’t anticipate for Maryland.
To my delight, they loaded up the big, cylindrical hay barrels! The same ones I had seen time and time again over long stretches of highway through the Dakotas and elsewhere! It was fun seeing how large they were up close in person. The owner also saw some potatoes he had picked and offered them to me, saying they were some good potatoes. I took advantage knowing the next place I would crash at could enjoy them and get a chuckle from me bringing potatoes.
From there, another neighbor came by in a Gator vehicle. I was having a good time and the owner told my story, so I got a cool selfie with them all. From there I rode up in the gator, just appreciating the farm adventures in the moment.
It was a great day and I had another place to stay for the night. Earlier on in the trip, I had someone reach out who was a big part of curriculum development and adult learning information we used at my old job. She and her family were kind enough to open their home to me. I gave the potatoes and there was some laughter! We had some nice chats, got to watch football and had a good time.
I was told the basement was meant for good sleep and that it was. I slept like a champ! After feeling rested I headed out and went to Waredaca Brewing which turned out to be another farm brewery. They had agreed to meet when I had messaged them and when I arrived I was offered a beer which I enjoyed. I heard how three generations of the farm have now lead to a brewery with a great view.
It was fun to experience two farm breweries in Maryland and expand my awareness that there were farms there. I was simply ignorant and hadn’t really thought much about it before. Chalk up another learning experience!