|Kids at Great Falls|
You see, I like to hike because a lot of people don't. I love to get outdoors into nature and take it all in. I love to spend time with the family but I also enjoy the peace and quiet. I enjoy being able to let my dog roam (mostly) free because there's no one around to worry about. I enjoy that most parks are empty when we visit them and those that are there are hikers and nature lovers like us that understand the rules
Today we went to Great Falls National Park on the border of Maryland and Virginia. It is fairly close to Washington DC so it's not very far from a lot of population. The combination of the great weather, the proximity to DC, and the no fee weekend made this trip less than desirable.
When we arrived mid morning it was all we could do to find a place to park. I have never seen so many people at a park before, people were literally driving around the parking lot searching for spaces like it was the local Walmart. The trails were also packed with mostly people that don't get trail etiquette. I kept my dog close to me, but couldn't begin to count how many kids passed by and just reached out to pet my dog (good thing she's friendly. I also spent plenty of time weaving in and out of other trail-goers who decided to stop and talk with someone and chose to just let their dog run out to the end of their 30 foot retractable leash. Yes, it was a frustrating time.
We only hiked about 2.5 miles before I decided to give up. We left at around 1:30PM; as soon as we approached our vehicle we saw another vehicle impatiently waiting for us to vacate our parking spot with their blinker on. When I see that my instinct is to wave at them and then sit there in the parking spot until they give up and drive away, but my wife wasn't in the mood for me being a jerk so we just pulled out. On the way past the entry gate I counted 40 more vehicles lined up just waiting to get in, what a madhouse!
Anyway, I'm glad these free activities only happen occasionally. Next weekend we'll go to a park and probably have the whole place to ourselves.
It was a very mild unrestricted day, I ate well and got some decent exercise in to boot. 105 Days in the books, on to a new week and Day 106.