Monday, January 28, 2013

Great Falls National Park

On Saturday we met up with a couple of good friends who happen to live in the area right now and went for an invigorating post-lunch hike in Great Falls National Park in Virginia. It was flat hiking, along a levy between an old canal and the Potomac River. A path system of boardwalks and bridges on an island in the middle of the river took us over frothy waterfalls and gorges gnarled with giant white icicles. The day was partly sunny and clear, at times it was even bright enough to rock my west coast style sunglasses. The brown forest of tree trunks and twiggy bare shrubs was dusted with snow for a sepia toned effect that looked like something you'd see in a calendar for the month of January.

Ok, I'm NOT dissing eastern hiking, simply observing how different it is from what we know in the wide-open west. The drive to the National Park was not through BLM or Forest Service lands, but rather along a winding rural road lined with multi-acre estates and colonial looking mansions. Stone, brick and big driveways with quaint views of a meadow or a brown forest. The white tail deer are cute and petite. The parking lot is HUMUNGOUS, and I'm sure it fills up before 10am every weekend (and weekday?) in the summer. Although the parking lot was less than 1/4 full the day we were there, we passed a ton of people on the trail, mostly wearing big, long, puffy jackets and also wearing enough black to make John comment on how he needs more black in his wardrobe now that he's in the east again. The river was huge, the creeks were running, there was water everywhere, and although it was frigid, a generally damp feel and smell was all around us.

But what was absolutely wonderful was seeing our friends, spending some time outside, and learning about a new (to us) short long-distance trail we could hike or bike someday: The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. You could basically walk from the southern tip of Maryland to Pittsburgh. 830 miles. So many things to daydream about!

While I'm daydreaming about busting my bike out of storage and bolting on the fenders to get it tour-ready, here are some pics of our afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment