Saturday, August 3, 2013

Douthat State Park

It got chilly overnight! YAY! I woke up around 3am and put on my long pants, long sleeve shirt and fuzzy socks!  What a happy treat for my last night out! I slept in until almost 8 too!  Latest I’ve slept in in months! 

So much for getting an early start on a hike though!  After I lingered over one more morning sitting at my picnic table drinking my coffee reading my book, I studied the trail map and picked a hike. 

The map wasn’t very clear on how long the trails were so I decided I’d just head back to the park office and hike up the Beard’s Gap Trail and turn around at the top and walk down, it was only going to be about 2.5 miles but I figured I could do it quick and be on my way. 


The hike up was through a Gap and followed a creek!  It was very pretty with the morning sun and very different from anything in Colorado, yet totally Virginia!


P1140654The creek had a rocky bed.  It wasn’t just a bunch of little rocks, the creek was flowing over great big rocks!  Makes me wonder if the Appalachian Mountains were once rocky on top like the Rocky  Mountains?  The Appalachians are older than the Rockies, that’s why they are lower and more rounded.  If they were rocky at one time, where’d the dirt come from that has allowed the trees to grow? 

At the top of hill there was a trail junction with excellent signage.  There were no views however.  The sign said that there was another trail junction in 3 tenths of a mile, I figured I’d hike to that trail junction and turn around view or no view. 

I got the the trail junction, there’d been no views along the way.  Just a tunnel of trees.  I decided to hike down the other trail.  I wasn’t exactly sure where this trail would  come out, but I figured it would cross the road and worst case I could hike the road  back to the park office where I’d parked. 

About a 1/3 of the way down there was a spur trail labeled “overlook”.  I had to take it!  It was a lot longer than I thought it would be but I at the end I got a view of the lake!

P1140660This trail would be much better in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees!

Soon I was at another well signed trail junction.  There was a trail that lead 8 tenths of a mile back to the park office.  A little further than I though it would be! It was almost 11 and I’d wanted to leave by 11:30…I had to book it to get back to the van! Luckily this was a flat trail and it was very easy to move fast!  I did stop to check out some bright orange mushrooms!

P1140663Surprisingly I arrived at the van just before 11!  I either mis-read the time or walked a lot faster than I thought I could!

I was thinking I’d stop and get lunch when I got fuel so I got a quick snack and started down the road!

The last 200 miles went fast!  Before I knew it I was at Fuel City near Steeles Tavern, almost to where I-64 splits off to Richmond and 81 goes north to Front Royal.  I got fuel but wasn’t hungry for lunch so I kept going and soon I was in Front Royal!  It was a little before 2 and I knew I was going to get to Manassas with time to spare for my CSA pickup.  I ate a late lunch and wandered the Wal-Mart then headed toward Manassas.  In Manassas I checked out a bike shop (they didn’t have anything of interest to me! boo.) and wandered Harris Teeter.  I didn’t have enough time to make home & come back, besides once I got home I wanted to have time to unload and get settled.  Finally it was time to get the farm stuff and head for home!  

It was strange being home.  My kitchen is bigger than my whole RV! It took me a little while to get comfortable in my own house!  I kinda wanted to go back to the RV! It took about an hour to unload the RV and move everything into the house!  Now the house is trashed!  This morning (Saturday) I cleaned the RV and took it back to the storage place.  sniff. sniff.  All put away. 

We live in such an amazing country! It’s huge and diverse! I think you can really only appreciate the size and variety by driving.  It’s only when you’ve driven across the never ending corn fields of Illinois that you can truly appreciate the mountains of West Virginia.  The barrenness of Nebraska makes the Rockies that much more impressive.  When you drive you can also see the contrasts better.  The way the Rockies rise so sharply from the plains, the way the Appalachians gradually show up.  You start to have an interest in geology and wonder why Kansas has corn fields and Colorado has mountains and Utah has high desert? You can really see just how much farm land we have and exactly how much corn is being grown! When you fly across the country to visit a place you zoom over all these things and then explore that place and return.  You miss the finer details of the landscape!

No comments:

Post a Comment