Sunday was hot and humid but not wanting to stay indoors I decided to hike in the Manassas Battlefields. I've covered much of these grounds on previous trips but today I was hiking a new area for me known as Brawner Farm, a lesser traversed trail, and especially being a holiday weekend, I didn't want to be in crowds.
Some great images are here.
A description of the Second Manassas Battle fought on this land is here. As I stopped to read, I tried to imagine how these men must have fought. With little training, wearing heavy uniforms, they fought on an August evening, likely in a similar wet, clammy atmosphere as I was hiking in today. They carried heavy guns, pulled and pushed armory or supplies and fought physical fights. And here I was, and those people back in the house, wearing flimsy clothing, with nothing more than a light backpack, and walking slowly over prepared grounds. We wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds...
Those soldiers were constantly in my thoughts as I walked the trails, and whenever I stopped, I'd look about, studying the terrain, and wondering how different it would have been back then.
a great little article about it here, with more photos. The Henry Hill Monument that they refer to is over near the visitor's center.
I eventually managed to find my way back to the farmhouse. I could have gone over into the more popular areas of the battlefields but I preferred to stay in the beautiful scrubby landscape that was filled with so many varied plants and wildlife. By the time I got back to the car, I'd likely hiked about 6-7 miles. I was hot, sticky with the humidity and feeling a few bites on my legs that were starting to itch, but I'd loved this afternoon, and this gorgeous part of the park is now a firm favorite on my local hikes list.
3 weeks ago