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Monday, July 29, 2013

Taking My Darlings On A Hike

Of course one might say that they took TheQueen but the little white Nissan was the chariot and that's basically mine so let's pretend that I took them to the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail 
This is my second trip up to King George Co. - last spring we did a short leg of the journey but this was the first time LD had seen this glorious emerald tunnel. The reward for me was the look of delight on his face when we pulled of the road and got out. 
Walking old railroad beds is fun because they're so flat. As you walk along you you might be looking down into a stream bed or swamp
Or be looking up at the roots of tall trees when only moments before you were walking among the branches!

There was very little along the path besides this single sign at the beginning and a few rough and simple benches. It was obvious that someone had recently been through with a saw to clean up storm debris.

Mostly though it was long straight tunnels through the jeweled green of high summer.

A crane here of there in a swamp or a smattering of home geese - a flutter of wood duck across the swamp - but beyond that there was very little animal activity.

Except human animals, that is
Not even very much railroad detritus was evident - of course - a box on a stand in the woods is too tempting to pass by - but it was empty. Wonder what it used to contain?

Roads, most of them much more primitive than this one, intersect the trail all along the way. They tempt you to explore, but we were doing a 3 mile stretch and 3 miles back so we didn't wander off.

So in 6 miles, this was the only blossom I found. I haven't  identified it yet - it looks like a tickseed or a sneezeweed but ... look at those leaves! It's a mystery still for me.

Horseback riding is allowed - I wonder if this guy ever gets to lope down the path. He (she?) sure looked like she'd enjoy it. He was standing there both times we went past.

I always have the best time when I go off with my guys. Two princes they are.

We turned around here - just past mile 11 - beneath this highway bridge. Hmm. I think I need to go back and look at the map to see what bridge this is.

Even though we backtracked over familiar territory, the magic of being in this green arbor continued to hold sway over our spirits. Quiet, but for our soft voices, was the order of the day. We could talk about nothing or everything or say nothing at all.  That's the fun of a straight flat course. Our stopping point was back at milepost 8 - just around the bend from where we parked the car.

By this time it was nearly 2 o'clock and we were hungry. We had lunch at the Port Royal Tavern which has re-opened as Lynn's Inn 1852.  They served huge sandwiches at reasonable prices. They also make something called a Mojo - which is slices of potato rounds dipped in spicy flour and then fried. I am figuring 100 calories for 2. Yes. I ate 3. Then we went home, freed the dogs, walked them out to Robert's Landing and went swimming. 

So it was a happy delicious summer Saturday. I was a little sore on Sunday but only, surprisingly, along my shins. We still walked over to White Oak Swamp and did the circle, but I napped the afternoon away.

Yes. Sometimes summer is just so sweet.

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