To officially make our hikes a “thing” we embarked on ILikeHike number 2. 60 Hikes brands it the “Columbia Island” hike. But being that I’m a tourist in my own city – I don’t know where that is or if we were there. This is how I see it: we started at Theodore Roosevelt Island, walked to the LBJ Memorial Grove and then looped back to Teddy’s pond. I don’t have a poetic title for this one – but good stories ensue.
Spandex v. Shorts
Matt and I thought we were a little more prepared this time. I’ll censor the blog for the children, but Matt and I finished our last route somewhat uncomfortably. We each have a special name for our common ailment, but I’ll just say this: It involves thighs. Inner thighs. Being more prepared, and ever the lover of spandex (blame it on my ballet and rowing days, or just blame it on too much Saved By The Bell), I wore bike shorts. Poof. Problemo solved. Matt thought longer underwear was the answer. It wasn’t. Shorts – 2. Matt – 0.
Enter my Mom, Claudia, who was in town for the weekend to go see Wicked with me. It was a fabulous show, and I was over the moon that she came up just to see it with me... but I digress. Claudia wore jeans on this hike, which I unfairly gave her a hard time about. (But Moooooommmmm - Matt kept calling me Farrah, you figure it out.) I can’t say the jeans slowed us down though because Matt and Hudson weren’t exactly on their A game either. Matt will retaliate that I was some type of steroid-enhanced speed demon on this particular Saturday morning (and he’d be right), but these are my feelings, and I’m entitled to them. As I sped ahead, it turned out Matt and Claudia are a match made in Heaven! They chatted politics and had a blast! Mom: Matt is reading the book you suggested and can't put it down. He told me to tell you "Love It" is an understatement. *Sigh* I love it when my parents like my friends... :)
In addition to speedy, (and I wasn’t going to mention this, but in the spirit of full disclosure), I was cranky. Don’t ask me why, I’m just a woman. So, I’m cranky. And we got lost. On the GW Parkway. No trail. Just highway. Going rogue. Needless to say, after turning around a few times we found our way back to the trail. But some jaywalking occurred and I’m flashing back to screaming across the highway, “Well, I’M NOT GOING THAT WAY.” Not my proudest moment. The up side to this is that even though the book says the Columbia Island Hike is 5.7 miles – our detours I’m sure made it significantly longer and therefore more exercising!! Despite getting lost, this trail only took 2 hours and the book predicts it taking 2.5 or 3.5. Long story short: We’re awesome.
What was really fun though is that we ventured into an area that Mom, Matt and I had no idea even existed: the LBJ Memorial Grove. We ran into 2 very nice women in the grove that took our picture and – in a weird turn of events – actually know the author of the book which inspired and maps our 60 hikes. Small world, right? These women told us two things: 1) The author has a listserv Pelliyacht@aol.com that organizes naturey, outdoorsy kinds of events around the Metro area. I mean, nature may not be my cup of tea, but I do have a blog about hiking now, which puts me about one dreadlock away from buying Birkenstocks and clothing made out of hemp. Don’t worry – I don’t need an intervention. Yet. Oh, and 2) Apparently this LBJ Grove is one of the best places to watch the fireworks on the 4th. A little hidden treasure, if you will. But you didn’t hear it from me.
In speaking to one of the women, I quickly realized that Matt and I – through 15 months of friendship and our hikes - have become somewhat of a ‘We.’ Just 2 hikes in, we have stories about ‘our’ walks and I talk about Hudson as if he were my own. “Oh, yes lady I don’t know, WE hike every week…WE always bring the dog…WE are going to blog about our hikes…WE love Netflix.” And on and on and on. When she said, “Oh, don’t worry, he’ll take care of you…” (I think we were talking about the high price of real estate in DC...ok, I know we were) Matt and I made eye contact, awkwardly looked away and said “Oh, it isn’t like that.” But it is. No, it isn’t. It kind of is. Nah. Well, we thought it was funny.
The Marine Memorial
'I <3 Oz' Shirt Courtesy of Mom!
In addition to my mother and some women who know the author of 60 Hikes, we had yet another guest star in this week’s hike. Diana. See – Matt is my boss Rob’s second cousin and Diana is Rob’s girlfriend. Small world AGAIN, right? We ran smack into each other, totally unplanned at 9am on the trails. Diana has done the Breast Cancer walk a few times now and is training for one upcoming in California. She walks a thousand miles per weekend to train. Maybe not a thousand, but she literally walks to Vienna and back. It’s too far for me to even Metro to Vienna. Enough said. It was wonderful seeing her though and kudos to her as she walks further every weekend than I could ever hope to. WE really enjoyed seeing her.
Overall, though the weather was gloomy and the map was difficult to read, having my dear old mom along for the ride was really exciting. Now that she’s taken part, WE actually have a witness to our little challenge. Diana witnessed it too. This is not a drill, people.
I just have to decide who will play Mom in the movie. The woman in the park will be played by Halle Berry and I actually told her that. True story.