Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Hike of the Year, Bethesda MD

Sunday was a beautiful Spring day so Barb, Steve and I set out for our first hike of the year. We were supposed to meet a group but directions were vague and we ended up going it alone. We went to Westmoreland Hills Park in Bethesda and hit the trail at a brisk pace.
Barb made a comment about me acting like a dog just released from its leash and she was pretty close! I was so full of energy and couldn't determine whether it was brought on by my new diet and fitness regime or the lovely sunny day.
I was delighted to see clumps of snowdrops scattered on the floor of the woodland. These flowers are prevalent in England and are always the first flowers of the year to bloom in the wild. We left the track and joined the Capital Crescent Trail which was still covered in areas by snow and ice.
We walked through the dampness of the Dalecarlia Bridge, built in 1910, and spied some pieces of paper taped to the side of the entrance about 7ft up.
It was the poem, 'How Do I love Thee' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  I couldn't identify the top poem and had to assume it was written by the person who had put it on the wall. There was no explanation for why these was here but it was obvious that they were meant to be there for a while since they were protected by plastic sleeves.
We continued along the path and then dropped down onto the C&O Canal Towpath. We came across a boatyard which was being cleared up after the snow storm. Fallen trees and debris littered the ground and the edge of the Potomac River.
There were plenty of kayaks waiting for Memorial Day when they'd be put in the water. I was so tempted to take one out but the freezing water and lack of a paddle thwarted that fleeting notion.
We also saw this huge buoy chained to a tree and wondered what on earth it was doing there. It was unable to float as the base was punctured with holes yet someone was making a strong effort to keep it in its place as the chain had 5 padlocks on it. I thought it would look great on my patio but quickly realized that an unnoticed getaway was an impossibility.
After mulling around, we decided to head back once we'd come to a mutual agreement that beer should be next on the agenda. 
We route marched back towards the car reckoning that we'd probably hiked about 6 miles which wasn't a poor start for the season. Heading to Glover Park, D.C. we found a pizza pub which served us with a superb pizza and beers. An excellent end to a hike!

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