Actually, this post is about hiking over the entire month of December, to date! But given that merchants, the media, and accompanying decor shift into Christmas holiday mode the very second after the Thanksgiving feast is served, I figure I’m on solid ground. Here’s a few selected hikes from the past month.
Historic Vienna and the W&OD Trail
The first weekend in December were taken up with a hike at Buzzard Rock, which I wrote about reconnoitering earlier, and a hike along the W&OD Trail in Vienna, Virginia. The W&OD Trail can be rather uneventful, since it’s flat, paved, and relatively straight. However, these disadvantages are positive virtues when rain is in the offing and you don’t want to be caught slogging around in the mud on a rainy December morning. Starting from the Vienna Community Center, our route took us past the historic train station to the “Terror by the Tracks” historical marker and back, with sidetracks to visit Salsbury Spring, which once provided drinking water and cooled the milk for a 250-acre dairy farm, and Freeman (Lydecker’s) Store. All told, 5.5 miles of smiles, finishing up just as the rain began!
Christmas in the City
A lot of folks take off the last couple of weeks in December to fly home, so the second weekend in December was the last opportunity for a hike around the National Mall in Washington DC that you could expect most folks to be available to attend. Starting from the Smithsonian Visitor Center, our 4-mile route took us all around the Mall to check out the National Christmas Tree, the US Capitol Christmas Tree, and visit the US Botanic Garden, which was decorated especially for its annual “Season’s Greenings” display. Almost 200 folks took the time to enjoy the hike!
Old Town Holiday Lights
Wish I could take credit for this idea, but it wasn’t mine. A walk around Old Town Alexandria to look at the Christmas decorations? What else would the Alexandria Walking & Hiking Group be expected to do but visit Old Town? I guess it was a blinding flash of the obvious that just never occurred to me. In any case, we had a nice 4-mile walk from King Street Station to the Potomac waterfront and back, detouring near the end to visit the Alexandria Holiday Market!
Only one weekend left to hike in 2014, but those hikes are the subject for a future post!