Category Archives: Virginia

Buzzard Hill (Bluemont, VA)

THROWBACK

About the Trip

It’s hard to believe that we hiked this trail 2 years ago, March 20, 2010. What do we remember about this hike? Well, it was a very hilly hike loaded with lots of steep inclines and declines making it an excellent workout. You can check out all of the hike details on Hiking Upward, our go-to site for our hiking adventures. We still laugh to ourselves because as we were hiking, we were wondering where the first overlook was…..and we didn’t realize until we were returning back to home base that we had passed it entirely. We have no idea how we missed it. It was looking us right in the face! I think what got us a little disoriented was that we couldn’t park at Bears Den…it was under construction due to a recent storm. So, we ended up parking along State Route 601 and hopping onto the trail a little bit further along from the “real starting point.” What we really liked about the trail was that it connected to the Appalachian Trail. Any chance to hike on the AT trail makes us giddy with excitement as it is one of our lifetime quests to thru-hike the entire trail from start to finish. The hike is adjacent to Raven Rocks, which was one of our very first local hikes. Details of that adventure can be found here. One of the highlights of the hike is that it’s located only about an hour away from DC.

Have you guys done any hiking recently? If so, where? Give us the scoop!

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • Canon Powershot SD1000
  • Two Camelbaks
  • Athletic clothing
  • Sneakers
  • PBJs
  • Trail Mix
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats

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Show me the dough

Fuel Cost=~$10.00

GRAND TOTAL: $10.00


PHOTOS

Mason Neck State Park and Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Lorton, VA

About the Trip

Well, the weather was fabulous. The scenery? Didn’t really match the weather……very brown for the most part, but we saw some green that was starting to peek through. Mason Neck State Park and Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge are about 20 miles south of Washington, DC. Who knew?! Did you?! Our main goal was to do some hiking and see some wildlife. If you click on the wildlife refuge link, it lists the hundreds of species of wildlife that can be seen on the grounds. We didn’t entirely strike out on our scouting expedition as we did see a fair number of birds, so if you like bird-watching, this is a must-go-to place. This is what we saw:

• Heron
• 1 other bird that we’re going to go out on a limb and call the Tufted Titmouse just for the heck of it though we have no idea what bird this really is. (that is a real bird’s name)
• 1 Hawk
• 3 Bald Eagles
• Seagulls

We started off at the State Park and hiked the Kanes Creek Trail–>Eagle Spur Trail (which leads to the bird blind…we think this is where you can see eagles, but we only saw the heron and some people canoeing and fishing ) and then we hiked back to our starting point and then walked along the Beach Trail. We then drove to the refuge, which is located on the same road and hiked to a pavilion that has a spotting scope. We saw the eagles from afar with the spotting scope. They were a good half of a mile away, but we certainly did see them and they were beautiful.

The state park/refuge is fantastic if you are looking for solitude and the terrain is pretty flat and the trails are well-maintained too. The park was pretty empty when we arrived at around 1:00 pm. (We got off to a late start thanks to Daylight Saving Time.) Dave was sure the park would be JP (jam-packed, the kid loves to abbrev. everything. ;) but to his surprise it wasn’t.

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ8
  • 1 Camelbak
  • Layered clothing
  • Hiking boots
  • PBJ
  • Trail Mix
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats

[/listcheck]

LIVE AND LEARN

We’d like to go back early in the morning so that we can catch a glimpse of the eagles feeding. We’ve also been thinking that we may need to invest in a good pair of binoculars. Any suggestions?


Show me the dough

Fuel Cost=~$2.50
Park Fee= $4.00

GRAND TOTAL: $6.50


Photos

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