Sun, Mar 14 2004 - Difficult Day Hike (Bull Run - Occoquan Trail) (View Original Event Details)|
Joanne Milne, Chris Whalen
|Participants:||Chris Whalen, Joanne Milne, Jeff Schneider, Donna McLaren, Douglas Smith, Adam Miller, Allyson Green, Ronit Fix, Katie Stofer, Colin Babb, Christine Di Lapi, Debbie Haggart, Doug Wise, Ryan Meadows|
About 15 enthusiastic hikers met at the Vienna Metro
for a Sunday almost-springtime hike. We drove to the
Bull Run Occoquan Park, where we waited for a few
We began the hike with nice rolling hills along the lake.
Occasionally we stopped to catch our breath. Two of
our hikers headed back with minor injuries. Meanwhile,
Joanne and Alison tore up the front of the pack like
crazy women. Doug S. ran on ahead to reach our
destination. After 2.5 hours we reached the halfway
point of 6.5 miles at Fountainhead park. The bathrooms
were locked, so we ate our lunches and took a much
During lunch, the temperature dropped, the wind
picked up, and we realized we had to get started again
for the return trip.
With sore feet we started off again. About halfway back,
we all stopped for about 20 minutes to rest, joke, and
poke fun at one another. The next hour seemed
interminable! Those gently rolling hills we encountered
earlier became monstrous obstacles. We finally made it
back to the cars around 4:30 PM.
We sat and rested in the parking lot while hikers
continued to join us. Jeff lost his hiking sticks and had
to backtrack a bit to fetch them.
When he arrived, he announced that Maryland had
beat Duke in the ACC Championship (having magically
acquired this knowledge from a gnome in the forest),
and that they will be going onto the NCAA Tournament
later this week. The Terps among us cheered and
headed for drinks and a nice hot dinner at the Olive
Garden at Fair Lakes.
There, Matt (the waiter with the braids) served us salad
with extra cheese, tasty Sangria, and yummy hot
entrees. One young lady ordered eggplant parmesan,
sans the eggplant. So Matt had to get her some extra
eggplant to make up for it. After our dinner, we paid the
check, as Matt brought us extra chocolate mints! Yum,
We headed home with full tummies, sore feet, and
smiles on our faces.
Generally, a pleasant and exhausting day for all.
Thanks for everyone who made this day so
The weather wasn't as nice as the weather psychics
promised. It was cloudy and chilly. We had a good turnout,
however, and I would like to extend my thanks to everybody
that came out and had fun. Unfortunately, one person had to
leave because of new boots rubbing her heel. Colin was
coerced into entertaining Ronit by jumping up and down on
the bridges. Luckily, there wasn't much foot traffic on the trail
because it's one person wide about half the time. We took a
break at the picnic shelter in Fountainhead Park. After the
wind picked up, we decided to get going before we froze to
death. While taking a break, Jeff learned that Maryland had
tied Duke and they were heading to overtime. Unfortunately,
he left his trekking poles when we started moving again. He
rejoined us in the parking lot, triumphantly. Maryland beat
Duke and made the NCAA Tournament.
After much ballyhoo, we decided on Olive Garden as our
restaurant. We had a great waiter, Matt, and waitress, Emma.
Matt ground about a pound of cheese into each salad bowl
since nobody said 'when.' They treated us with respect even
though we were questionably dressed. The food and
atmosphere was wonderful. The only problem we
experienced was the chairs; it seemed we were the only
patrons who had solid wood chairs. It wasn't very comfortable
sitting in them, but we survived.
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