Hiking!

Aug. 9th, 2012 09:52 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Upcoming: Either Crystal City or Alexandria to Mount Vernon -- gentle terrain along the Potomac. This one is an urban/suburban, as upposed to wilderness, walk.

Past:
On the 4th, My friend Katie, my nephew JT and i did 12 or so miles on the Occoquan Bull Run Trail from Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA to Bull Run Marina in Clifton, VA.

We met at the parking lot on Old Yates Ford Rd, across from Kinchloe Rd, and near the Bull Run Marina, drove to Bull Run Park, and set out from the upstream Mile 0. A lovely and scenic walk along Bull Run. Mile 4ish we came across an artillery embankment from some combination of the Battle of Centreville, or First or Second Bull Run/Manassas. That was rather cool. Not that it takes tons to come across Civil War stuff around here, but i'd never seen an artillery embankment from that war before.

Me walked on, crossing under Ordway Rd and then VA 28, from which we could see Yorkshire Antiques and the other businesses along 28 in Prince William County, which is on the South side of Bull Run -- we were walking the North side in Fairfax County. We walked under then along for a bit the rail line that runs through Burke, Clifton, Manassas, Gainesville, etc.

Near Mile 7 we came across an ... old mill? maybe. We sat for a bit and enjoyed the scenery. At about the mile 7.5 point, we reached Hemlock Overlook, where an uphill walk up the Bull Run Trail got us to picnic tables and bathrooms. We scrubbed our hands and lower arms, and ate. We decided we were done there to. Katie and i had hit the emotional reset we get from hiking, but it was yet 5 miles to the car. So, on we went.

We we learned: Bull Run Regional Park to Hemlock Overlook is a great hike. Hemlock Overlook to Bull Run Marina is a lovely hike. Together, they're just a bit much for each of us at this pont.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Went for a hike along the Potomac Heritage Trail (PHT), specifically the 10-mile segment along the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP)in Fairfax and Arlington Counties, Virgina, and the District of Columbia. I went with my friend Katherine and my nephew Jaden. [livejournal.com profile] tomhundleyrn was going to come, but he got in really late at night/early in the morning, and i could not rouse him any of the three times i tried. It turned out to be a good thing that he was not with us, about which more as we go along.

So, of the The Potomac Heritage Trail, we hiked the 10-mile portion from the Western trail head at the end of Live Oak Dr in Mclean, VA to the Eastern end at the parking lot for Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC. We waded in the Potomac, in Maryland at one point along the way. This bit of trail is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. For reference, Chain Bridge is the approximate mid-point for our hike.

I picked up Jaden, hit Trader Joes for some drink and food, then met Katherine at her home in Arlington. From there, we drove in separate cars to Roosevelt Island, where i left mine, and we both got in her car, and we all went to Live Oak Dr and the trail head, which was clearly marked and easy to find. We got out of the car, applied insecticide and sunscreen, read the sign, which indicated 10 miles to Roosevelt Island, and Jaden led the way down the steep, long, winding, wooden staircase to the river. The time at start is about 1300 Eastern Daylight Time. (GMT-4)

The greenery was lush, as it is wont to be here in late August. The trail had light blue-to-slightly-greenish blazes, due to a lights blue having been painted over yellow. We walked along, through the pretty greenery, along the river for a ways. As we were going, i explained that there were toilets available at Turkey Run and probably Fort Marcy, and at the end, and we planned to stop at Turkey Run to eat.

This got long, so... Turkey Run and paw-paws )

Turkey Run to Fort Marcy )

On to VA 123 and Chain Bridge )

We walk on, past several bridges, each time telling Jaden, no that's not Chain Bridge, that's just a Parkway bridge. Chain Bridge crosses the Potomac. We finally reach the parking area next to Chain Bridge, and i point up, announcing "Look up. THAT's Chain Bridge, and give a brief history of bridges on this site. Sign there said we have 4.7 miles to go. Four point seven miles that start with a big hill, and a series of such hills yet again, but breathtaking views of Chain Bridge and the Palisades along the way. The trail eventually put us on concrete under a Parkway bridge. I think this was where Spout Run Parway hits the GWMP. Surprisingly steep under the bridge. Katherine and i took it in 3 segments, with short pauses along the way. We got up there, and it was levelish for a while before more steep downs and ups. Time now is about 1800 EDT (GMT-4).

This bit of the hike was accompanied by nice views of Sibley Memorial Hospital and the building at the Dalecarlia Reservoir in DC.

The home stretch ) In that last bit, we'd past a sign saying "Roosevelt Island 1.7 miles". As we went along, Jaden kept stating that we had to've gone that far. We kept countering that a mile is farther than he imagines, and this is harder than walking down a road. Heh.

We took Katherine back to her car, stopped at a 7-Eleven in Annandale and got more to drink, got carryout from Canton Cafe in Springfield, and ate it at Jaden's house a bit down 95 from there. Had thought of crashing at my sister's, but wanted my bed and some ibuprofen. :)

So, a long, long arduous hike. I'd like to do it again next July, knowing what we're getting into this time.

I also propose the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail for Saturday 10 September. I've done the the part from B to C on the map, which takes about 1.5 hours. I propose starting at A or B and going to D or E. Any takers? It's a MUCH easier trail than the PHT is. By far.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Definition of terms: Run - a stream, often called 'creek' in the US. Creek - where a run hits a river. A creek, by this definition, is navigable, but a run is not. In the English Americas, the term Creek often was applied to the whole run, but there are many exceptions, especially in Virginia.

Went for an exciting 2 mile hike at Turkey Run Park - yellow blazed trail, aka Turkey Run Loop, forded a somewhat flooded Turkey Run to the white blazed trail, name forgotten, to find, halfway up the hill that a tree about 2 meters above the trail had fallen - its midpoint 30 meters below, in mid-run, and the rest of it halfway up the very large hill across the valley. Managed to get over it. Continued on to another large fallen tree with split trunk that i managed to get over, to find myself at a clay-mudded ford right at Turkey Run Creek on the Potomac River. Very beautiful spot, but the clay-mud tried to eat my left shoe, and i slipped my way across the rocks over and through the run to the even slipperier other side, finally grabbing the bottom step and pulling myself up to the stairs.

Continued then down the blue-blazed Potomac Heritage trail, to find a fence across the trail. I was confused. Looking around, the flood had broken the fence that keeps people from falling in the undercurrent where Turke Run hits the Potomac, and moved part of it to about 85º across the path, and another but at about 270º to the path - it was easy to get around. Walked on a bit, and found more slightly flooded clay-mud. Went around part of it through the underbrush, then walked across branches to keep from sinking in it back to terra firma. Up the switch-back stair/ramp thing to where i started at the fork to the yellow-blazed trail, and back up the car, after a cool-down lap in Area B of the park.

It was great to be out. I've now hiked about 2 miles of the Potomac Heritage trail at stage 1 flood. The trail from the above-mentioned switchback stair/ramps to the red-blazed trail at the US Geodetic Marker and the old seeming-flood-station tower thing has nice, dry, easy to scuttle along rocks when the trail is flooded. I recommend that way if you're wanting to hit that area during minor flooding.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Went for an exciting 2 mile hike at Turkey Run Park - yellow blazed trail, aka Turkey Run Loop, forded a somewhat flooded Turkey Run to the white blazed trail, name forgotten, to find, halfway up the hill that a tree about 2 meters above the trail had fallen - its midpiont 30 meters below mid-run, and the rest of it halfway up the very large hill across the valley. Managed to get over it. Continued on to another large fallen tree with split trunk that i managed to get over, to find myself at a clay-mudded ford right where Turkey Run Hits the Potomac River. Very beautiful spot, but the clay-mud tried to eat my left shoe, and i slipped my way across the rocks over and through the run to the even slipperier other side, finally grabbing the bottom step and pulling myself up to the stairs.

Continued then down the blue-blazed Potomac Heritage trail, to find a fence across the trail. I was confused. Looking around, the flood had broken the fence that keeps people from falling in the undercurrent where Turke Run hits the Potomac, and moved part of it to about 85º across the path, and another but at about 270º to the path - it was easy to get around. Walked on a bit, and found more slightly flooded clay-mud. Went around part of it through the underbrush, then walked across branches to keep from sinking in it back to terra firma. Up the switch-back stair/ramp thing to where i started at the fork to the yellow-blazed trail, and back up the car, after a cool-down lap in Area B of the park.

It was great to be out. I've now hiked about 2 miles of the Potomac Heritage trail at stage 1 flood. The trail from the above-mentioned switchback stair/ramps to the red-blazed trail at the US Geodetic Marker and the old seeming-flood-station tower thing has nice, dry, easy to scuttle along rocks when the trail is flooded. I recommend that way if you're wanting to hit that area during minor flooding.

The Sky

Dec. 12th, 2007 07:17 am
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The sky in the east - it's mostly overcast - is a uniform pink. The quality of the light is sublime.

Tree

Apr. 14th, 2007 12:54 am
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Poplar, Early Spring
Poplar, Early Spring
Taken 20070414 at Turkey Run Park in Mclean, VA. I looked up, and really liked the look of the young leaves against the blue of the sky.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
At 08:58 GMT-5, i said, "Ok. I must leave the house today for at least a short while. I could hike along the river, or head out to the mountains. Other suggestions?"

I got one reply, from [livejournal.com profile] moviebear, at 14:26 GMT-5, suggesting i join her for lunch in Gaithersburg, MD. She is one of the most wonderful people i know, and would love to have lunch with her, but about 10 min before she posted, I'd arrived in lovely Paris.

the details )

So, longish story short, the planned 8.5 mile hike came out to more like 12, and most of it uphill. I am now well-fed, freshly bathed, and off to my bed, complete with freshly laundered linens, and tennis-ball-in-the-dryer-fluffed pillows. As a teaser, the footnotes to the story:

* Named for an 18th century governor, pronounced 'faw-KEER', though his Huguenot ancestors probably said it as 'foh-key-AY'.

** Pronounced 'DAY-la-plane'. It's corrupted French, and means Of/from the plain. The town is next to, and below, the town of The Plains.

*** Yes, it's really called Licking. Licking River, Licking County, Licking Township. (Do you really think i'd make up a name like that.) There are naturally occurring salt licks along the river, hence the name. And the profusion of dairy farms in the area. Though today, thanks to Columbus' booming population, the county is converting to horse farms in the east (where most of my family is), and housing in the west.

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dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
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