Category Archives: Rivers

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

[/listcheck]

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

mountVernon

Mount Vernon Trail Bike Ride

[confirmation]Experience level: 3/5 | BYO H20![/confirmation]

About the Trip

Before we had even returned home from our trip to Wolf Trap on Saturday, we were already talking about how we were going to spend our Sunday.  So I (Lindsay) blurted out, “Let’s go on a bike ride….let’s ride on the Mount Vernon trail!”  And that is just what we did.

The next day we woke up, ate a hearty breakfast and prepared for the bike ride.  Note: We have ridden our bikes on the trail many times before, but never attempted to actually bike the entire trail….until today.  The Mount Vernon trail starts at Roosevelt Island and runs parallel to the Potomac River for 18 miles.

We left our house at 11:30 AM and rode our bikes 2 miles down to the Mount Vernon trail.  We rode our bikes together to Gravelly Point and watched the planes take off and fly into the Reagan National Airport.  Then we split up to enjoy the trail in our own special ways.  Dave wanted to get a cardio workout out of the trip and I wanted to spend time photographing.  I rode through the beautiful town of Alexandria and after riding underneath the Woodrow Wilson (WW) bridge, I caught up with Dave again.  He had ridden up to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge observation deck and was so excited about his discovery that he wanted to show it to me on the way back.    At this point in our day trip, we made the executive decision to “go the distance” and bike the entire trail.  Now, I could totally lie right now and say that I finished the whole trail…….but by mile 15, my water supply was low and my stamina was declining exponentially, so I swallowed my pride and turned around.  Dave was determined to complete the journey, so he continued onward and we decided to meet back at the WW Bridge.  While he was biking to the finish line, I continued to take photographs and leisurely made my way back to our meeting spot.  When I got there, I sat underneath of the bridge and took a break to eat my snacks and cool down.

During this time period, Dave and I had a slight miscommunication mishap.  You see, while I leisurely rested in the shade, Dave was sitting in the blazing sun waiting for me.  Haha!  He ended up finding me lounging underneath the bridge and then we rode our bikes up onto the top of the WW bridge and looked through the free binocular stands that overlooked the entire city.  The views were amazing!   After hanging out for a bit, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we had to ride all the way back home…and wished that we had brought our metro cards so that we could take the bus home instead….so we, or I rather, limped over to my bicycle to start the journey home.  The ride back home was tough.  I never did buy those biking shorts, (see Biking the C&O towpath entry) which made for a very uncomfortable ride home.

On the way home, we stopped in Alexandria and got ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.  It was so delicious.   And then after that little break, we took another one, haha, right before we got to Roosevelt Island.  We laid in the grass in the shade and watched the boats sail by before making the final leg home.  We arrived home at around 5:30 pm.

Our grand total in mileage:

Lindsay =34 miles

Dave=40 miles

What a wonderful day!

[warning]On super hot days, make sure to bring extra water to prevent heat exhaustion/stroke.  Be mindful of the symptoms as well![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

Our bicycles and helmets, CanonSD Powershot 1000, (Dave used an old shoelace to fashion a lanyard so that I could access the camera quickly and conveniently,) one Camelbak, 2 extra bottles of water, sunscreen, IDs, insurance cards, credit card, breathable clothing, sneakers, snacks (trail mix, pretzels, and an apple).

HIGHLIGHTS

At the top of the WW bridge, a policeman was talking to an old lady who was walking across the bridge, but was not walking in the designated walkway for pedestrians.  She was literally walking a foot away from speeding cars.   From what Dave and I could see, it looked as though he was instructing her to climb over the ledge into the pedestrian walkway.  I’m not sure if she was able to even climb over it.

The views at the top of the WW bridge were incredible.

WHAT WE SAW:

People, cranes, herons, foliage, great views, airplanes…lots of good stuff.

LIVE AND LEARN

Seriously, I am going to buy bike shorts…and riding gloves as well.  I am going to bike the whole thing one of these days.  If we had more time, and a big enough bike lock, we would have stopped at Roosevelt Island and/or the National Harbor.  It’s hard to cram everything into one day!


Show me the dough

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream: $4.89

GRAND TOTAL: $4.89


PHOTOS: