Saturday, August 28, 2010

trippin' part 2: me and the forest

Going to the woods is going home.
- John Muir

Somehow I made my reservation for the car rental without considering the 2 hr difference in time zones. So when I reserved the car for 7 am, wanting to squeeze out every possible moment I could from it, I had forgotten that that would be feeling an awful lot like 5 am, Utah time. Oh.
So I got up at 6 am (Eastern Time, 4 am Utah time) and Zac walked me over to the metro subway station before he headed back to run and go to his conference. I took the metro a few stops and got out to transfer to the above ground Light Rail train. Had to ask for directions twice and walk down the street and around the corner in a rather run-down scary-looking part of Baltimore (ever gone to Lexington Market area?! well. don't.) Anyway - I then rode the light rail about 30 min to the airport station. Took the shuttle over to the car rental place. And got my car. I think I eventually stopped shaking. haha.
And then I drove at long last across the border of MD and VA and was finally on the familiar roadway of I-95. Ah, sweet 95. I also began to get really rather drowsy. I had gotten up at the equivalent of 4 am, after all. I had some vague plans and places I wanted to go, but nothing really set in stone, so when I saw the exit sign for Prince William Park, I spontaneously decided to exit.
This park is where I remember taking my very first Elementary School field trip (I also have a very specific memory of being yelled at by my teacher for getting too close to an electrical tower fence, which mortified me). And probably other school field trips as well. After I could drive, I would take my little sisters there sometimes during the summer to hike around. It was just a nice place to be.
So I thought I would take a look around. And maybe take a nap.

The parking lot was quiet and empty. So I paid my admission fee at the Ranger Station and then slept for awhile in the car surrounded by beautiful woods. Then after I woke up, I had some fun taking pictures of myself with the self-timer on my camera. yippee. :)

And I was tempted by this trail leading off into the forest and couldn't resist.

And I went for a wonderful hike. Didn't see another single living soul the entire time.

just a whole bunch of really fascinating mushrooms

and an adorable box turtle munching on a mushroom right on the edge of the trail. :)

The path led to this bridge and then looped around and went back. The weather was remarkably gorgeous and cool and I just felt so good to be all alone, just doing whatever I wanted to do in some of my favorite places on earth.

Sort of amazing.


Jennifer said...

I'm impressed by the whole going to get the car story. I love the idea of being by yourself in a place you knew as a child and just enjoying it. So great and those are some funky shrooms.

Mom B. said...

Yay for you Kristen for being so brave. I can just imagine how happy you felt to be back "home". I'm so glad that you were able to go.

Christina G. said...

Do you remember looking for pyrite at the park? All those school field trips and I always remember this park for the pyrite and that set of swings you were on. One of my favorite places in NoVa. Your pictures make me want to go back now!

Alyssa said...

Completely amazing..and refreshing. I think I need you to send me a few of those forest shots you took. I was contempleting those just the other day as there is where they would have us go off to read those notes and have study time alone at youth conference trips and what not. That first one takes me right back...I've been feeling nostalgic lately too. We sure had the world by the tail back then didn't we?

Colleen said...

Gorgeous photos! You're brave to go hiking alone, I would be totally paranoid the whole time.

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