Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hike 3 - Park Preview

For the next two weeks, Matt and I will be doing Tuesday hikes because we’re busy/out of town during the weekends.  This past Tuesday we trekked around Great Falls Park, VA.  Un.freaking.believable.  I didn’t know such beautiful nature even existed in the Metro area.  You haven’t seen the Potomac until you’ve seen it like this.  If I can say that, anyone who’s actually into nature would really go gaga.

Check out the little kayakers!

The murky green waters that snake through the District and around our monuments don’t hold a candle to the white-capped rapids that break in Virginia’s Potomac.  Breathtaking.  Shoot, now I feel guilty that I’m rounding my three-year anniversary here in DC and I had no idea this little gem even existed.  I knew the Potomac existed, duh, but not like this.

In addition to experiencing the River in a completely different way, the drive up is equally pleasurable.  Again – I didn’t know homes so grand existed in this area.  Am I really going through life with blinders on?  Oblivious to the wonderful city I live in and all it has to offer?  Keep it to yourselves – those questions are rhetorical.

*Sidebar – After almost getting hit by a car 2 days ago at 19th and L, I had the random conversation with myself about what it would be like if we had no peripheral vision.  Weird, right?  It’s fun inside my head.  I go there all the time.

Oh –as I was saying: Sprawling acres, gated and stonewalled mansions, it’s a Real Housewife’s dream.  Being a sucker for real estate and home décor publications, I just gawked out the window - hanging my head out farther than Hudson - recurrently gasping, “Look at THAT!” 

Then came the obvious question, “Seriously Matt, how do I marry into that?” I kid, I kid.  But as my dad, Ed, always says, “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as it is to fall in love with a poor man.”  And I always listen to Ed.

We had to cut this hike short because an important thing to note about Great Falls is that it’s a solid 30 to 40 minute drive from DC.  By the time we both got off of work, I biked to Matt’s (more to come on that debacle), and we high-tailed it out to Virginia, there was only about 40 minutes of light left in the day.  It was even darker in the thick of the woods.  Hudson was scared, so after promising each other to come back on a Saturday morning and do the works - kayaking, hiking, and grilling – Matt and I reluctantly drove back to the mothership – er, land. 

Now comes the funny part about my bike ride to Matt’s house in Eastern Market.  It’s actually just pitiful, but I figure if I write enough embarrassing stuff I can shame myself back into shape.  Here goes:

I recently have been dabbling in Capital Bikeshare  – a bike rental company in DC.  I tested the waters with a few one-day passes and a couple of days ago I signed up for an entire month.  Reckless, I know.  In the spirit of my new healthy-ish lifestyle, I decided I’d snag a bike around the corner from my office and bike to Eastern Market.  Easy-Peezy.  And it was.  Not.

Do you know why they call it Capitol Hill?  Because our Capitol Building sits on an actual hill in DC and it is the highest point in the city.  I know what you’re thinking: It’s not Everest, Chief.  But, let’s face it, I would never climb Everest because I hate the cold and I complain too much – so the Hill is my Everest.  Just go with it.

One thing leads to another and I’m pedaling along, minding my own business, when I realize the route I have taken will bring me right to the belly of the beast.  There’s no turning back.  Independence Avenue.  Between the Capitol Building and the House Office Buildings.  The Mother of all Hills – or at least the Mother of all Democratic Hills (a little political humor, if you will).  It was too much, too big, too soon. 

I made it past Rayburn – which Washingtonians know is only a third of the way up - and then I had to stop and walk the bike up the rest…hanging my head ashamed as I passed the Capitol Police and they looked at me with disdain.  Judging.  And thinking, “That girl is weak.”  I made that part up.  They didn’t notice me.  But it was still embarrassing, especially since I didn’t even think – as I gasped for air, and my quads burned like the fires of Hell– that I was going to be able to make it walking either.  I went into my head picturing the horror of waking up, trapped under this bike, with Capitol Police zooming to my rescue and reporters rushing to the scene.  ‘Alert DC’ texts going out saying, “Chubby girl wipes out and blocks traffic to the Hill.  Congress shut down until further notice.” 

Just kidding – Congress isn’t even in session right now.

In the end, where Independence turns into Pennsylvania, I got back on my horse.  Luckily, I didn’t see anyone I know, but the Hill got the best of me.  Oh well, it wouldn’t be the first time.

This story went on forever, but humor me.  You’ll appreciate the film version.


  1. I'm still trying to figure out how to smoke a cigar while riding a bike. Have the cigars, but no bike....

  2. I'm proud of you Kat, you didn't give up, but just used a different method to best the hill! Just keep working on it and you'll bike it all the way one day. Endeavor to Persevere (Little Big Man).