Thursday, May 21, 2009


At work, we don't get any vacation from now until Spring 2010, but we can take a few days off here and there. I looked at the calendar and decided to take my few days sandwiched around the long weekend, so I've got six glorious days off. Imminent burnout averted.

This morning I slept in and then headed down to Prince William Forest National Park, which is a quick six miles down the road. The goal this year is to hike all of their trails, roads and paths, and so I did their little nature trail loop to warm up. I stopped in at the ranger station and signed up as a volunteer for National Trails Day on June 6th. We're going to be renovating one of the more popular trails at the park.

That done, I headed out again for another trail loop. Prince William Forest is the largest contiguous chunk of piedmont forest left in the US, 17,000 acres of oak, beech and poplar trees encompassing much of the Quantico Creek watershed, which eventually empties into the Potomac river. I found myself paralleling one of the creeks that flow through, and spent a relaxing few minutes sitting by a small series of waterfalls, just enjoying the sound. I also came across a tree that had been gnawed on by a beaver. You know how they look in cartoons? Yep, just like that for real.

Finishing up my hike (about 4 miles, altogether), I drove the scenic route out of the park, making note of the various parking areas and trailheads.

Home by noon, and I will be going back tomorrow morning, and possibly a time or two more this break.

I have to admit, I did think about work once during the morning. Remember those waterfalls? I was sooooo tempted to call work just to say "neener neener".


Victor said...

Amazing what a walk in the woods can do for you. And we see beaver-gnawed trees all the time. Once we saw one that was so fresh I kept looking around for the beaver--I really think we may have scared the little guy off.