Category Archives: Day Hikes

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve (McLean, VA)

About the Trip

Another beautiful day in the NOVA area. We seem to have lucked out re: our mild winter this year. Dave had a new pair of hiking boots to break in, so I put mine on too and we took a short trip over to McLean, VA to Scott’s Run Nature Preserve to do a little hiking.

(Aside: We love Merrell. When we were hiking in Patagonia last year, Dave’s boot was rubbing against the tendon in his heel. It was an agonizing 3 days as we logged a good 40 miles. So upon our return, Dave wrote a letter to Merrell explaining his situation and they told him to send the boots back and to choose 3 pairs of boots that he liked and they would send him a new pair. Well, he got a great pair! And now, Dave has happy hiking feet. The End….or should I say The Beginning?)

The preserve is situated right next to I-495, so even though you get to enjoy the beauty of nature, you are constantly reminded that you are still within the realm of the metropolitan area as you can hear the constant hum of the interstate.

Anyway, it was a great day at Scott’s Run. We actually saw wildlife….aka white-tailed deer. (Another Aside: Why do we always see more wildlife closer to home? I can’t understand it.) We stumbled upon a small waterfall that resides right alongside the Potomac River. And we swear that we had the best seats in the park sitting high atop a cliff that overlooked the Potomac River….(we took a detour path up a hill and were rewarded with some pretty awesome views. The best part? It was all free! It was quite a lovely day if we do say so ourselves.

What have you guys been up to this weekend? Do you have any recommendations for spring adventures? Please share!

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • IPhone4S for camera
  • 1 NorthFace Backpack
  • Layered clothing
  • Hats
  • Hiking Boots
  • Water
  • Trail Mix
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Smiley Faces

[/listcheck]


Show me the dough

Fuel Cost=~1.00

GRAND TOTAL: ~$1.00


PHOTOS

Trotting through Turkey Run Park and Checking out the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in Mclean, Virginia

About the Trip

On Saturday, we at the last minute decided to go to…wait for it….it’s epic…..Turkey Run Park. I pass it every day on the way to/from work, but had never been and it was only a hop, skip, and jump away from home. It’s a cute little park and you’d never know that it ran alongside a major highway. We parked in the C-1 section and walked down the very steep hill and were given the choice to go west or east on the Potomac Heritage Trail. You know us, we chose the longer trail that offered more solitude…so we headed east. The trail runs alongside the Potomac River, making it a very serene hike. Most of the leaves were just barely hanging onto the trees…but some trees were still showing off their bold colors. The part of the trail that we were hiking takes you all the way down to the Theodore Roosevelt Island and it’s not a straight and narrow path..it’s actually pretty rocky and with the newly fallen and damp leaves on the rocks it made it extra slippery, so we recommend hiking boots or shoes with ankle support (Dave wished that he could have worn his hiking boots, but he’s working with Merrell on getting a new pair.) Ladies, I’d also recommend to double check that you are wearing your hiking socks and not your husband’s. I was wondering the whole time why I had to keep stopping and yanking up my socks. It wasn’t until I got home that it dawned on me that these weren’t even my socks! Dave took a look at them and confirmed that they were indeed his and wondered how they ended up in my sock drawer. As an aside, socks seem to have a mind of their own don’t they? They’re so fickle as they always wander off and abandon their mate to be with the irresistible sock monster.

[warning]At Turkey Run, be on the alert for unruly jumping and drooling dogs not kept on leashes.[/warning]

Anyway, after our little hike, our curiosity got the best of us and we wanted to go to the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, which is right down the road from the Turkey Run Park. “What was this place all about?” we muttured to ourselves as we followed the signs to the farm. This is when I infamously chimed in to say, “See, if we had an IPhone, then we would know!” Well, we are here to tell you that if you like farm animals and have an interest in the 18th century, then you should visit this place if you’re ever in the area. Claude Moore is a living history farm that takes you back to the year 1771. You will meet the Bradley family (volunteers who dress up in colonial costumes) and they actually run the farm as it was run long ago. The admission is $3.00 for adults and it takes about an hour to go through. The farm has annual events that you can attend, and they host an 18th century market fair about 6 times a year.

So, after we paid our way and browsed through the cozy gift shop, we walked down the dirt path which led us to Mr. Bradley. His tobacco was drying in the shed. We had obviously missed the recent harvest, which Dave was pretty bummed about. We were greeted by two very curious gray and white geese, who followed each other everywhere and were just the best of friends. We also met the turkey and his two lady turkey friends. We asked Mr. Bradley the tough questions such as, “Is this turkey going to end up on your table for Thanksgiving?” to which he responded, “Why would we eat our family gardener?” We paused at that….how ignorant of us to only think of a turkey as an annual food source. We met the Bradley sisters and I helped them make beeswax candles while sitting in front of a fire. I didn’t realize how long this candle-making process was going to take. It was quite the monotonous process. So, to save some time, I gave my nicely developing candle to a little girl, who was grossed out by the farm animals and the nipping geese. (Perhaps it was best that she was born in the 21st century.) Next, we followed the path to meet the snorting and dozing hogs, the playful cows, the ruling roosters and the pecking hens, as well as Mrs. Bradley.

[warning]Mr. Bradley explained that turkey nips are much worse than goose nips…so maintain your distance from the turkeys.[/warning]

And that about sums up our day at the farm. We ended the afternoon by picking up pizza at Pizza Boli’s. You can’t get a better pizza for less than $10.00.

[info] Lesson of the day: Curiosity does not always kill the cat. [/info]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • Panasonic FZ-8
  • Water bottle
  • Hiking pants and fleece jackets
  • Hiking boots and sneakers, which we do not recommend)
  • Sunglasses
  • Visors/hats

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HIGHLIGHTS

Our favorite part was…drum roll….the geese! I know, you see geese everywhere, but these are known as the “domestic” geese and they’re so cool when you see them up close. And they really liked Dave too as you can see in the pictures…I swear he’s the animal whisperer. All he said was, “Come on guys”, and they hypnotically followed him down the dirt path. I felt so left out! So I just hung back and documented the event. Dave’s mom used to have a pet goose, so perhaps there’s just something about their personalities that the geese like.

LIVE AND LEARN

Now that we know more about the farm, we might check out some of its events throughout the year and maybe even go to the market fair (Perhaps I can improve upon my currently horrendous bartering skills……see failed bartering experience story here.


Show me the dough

Round trip=28 miles=~ $3.00
Claude Moore admission fee X 2 adults =$6.00
Pizza= $9.80

GRAND TOTAL: $18.80


PHOTOS

Sugarloaf Mountains

Sugarloaf Mountain, Dickerson, MD

[confirmation]Experience level: 2/5 [/confirmation]

About the Trip

What can we say? The weather was phenomenal and we wanted to spend the day outside. Fall is our favorite time for hiking and since we did not want to venture too far away from home, we decided on hiking Sugarloaf. We parked and our trail path was as follows: “Blue and White” trail to “Blue” trail to “Red’ trail (to the summit) to “Blue” trail to the parking lot. The hike was approximately 5.5 miles long. This area is home to the timber rattlesnake and the copperhead so for the first half of the trip, we had our eyes peeled for these creatures. The fear eventually wore off. It doesn’t even surprise us that we didn’t even catch a glimpse of a snake because we are a natural wildlife repellent!  We see more wildlife outside our home than we do when we day trip.  Stinkbugs and gnats are all that we saw on this trip.
[warning]Be on the lookout for swarms of 2-legged creatures! :)[/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

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  • Canon Powershot SD1000
  • Two Camelbaks
  • Athletic clothing
  • Sneakers
  • PBJs
  • Grapes
  • Two Apples
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Visors

[/listcheck]

HIGHLIGHTS

It was the perfect fall day—the sky was clear blue, there was a nice warm breeze and the vantage points were spectacular.

LIVE AND LEARN

The sunset would have been amazing on top of the summit, but we arrived there way too early. We thought that it would be fun to visit the Sugarloaf Mountain Winery, which resides at the bottom of the mountain, but after hiking for a few hours and having spent the day before at a winery, we nixed that idea.
[info]Be mindful that we do share the forest with some of our poisonous snake friends…errr…foes?  So watch your step![/info]


Show me the dough

Fuel cost: 86 miles round trip = $9.00

GRAND TOTAL: $9.00


PHOTOS: