Monday, February 6, 2012

Mason Neck

Kerri showed her support and, on Sunday, escorted me to Mason Neck State Park and National Wildlife Refuge in Lorton, VA.  We were anticipating some rainy weather, so we spent the overcast morning brunching and driving to 2 Target stores to scope out the first day of the Jason Wu collaboration line.  We got to our first Target at 11:45 AM.  The collection was already gone except for a few size XLs hanging all lonely-like on the racks.  The second Target was much the same - a sad scene indeed.  Unfortunately, Kerri is actually an XXL and I'm an XXXL.  The good sizes always go first...

By the time we'd scoured the Targets and Best Buys and TJMaxx's of Virginia (such a treat for me - the same stores in the city are just not the same), it appeared the clouds were parting and the sun was poking through.  We took a risk that the weather would hold up and started the 45 minute drive to Lorton.  And can I say, wow, the day only got more beautiful.  By the time we got to the park, the sky was bright blue and the sun ashining.

I'm a little confused about the geography of Mason Neck - 60 Hikes says that there is a 12.9 mile loop with modified routes available, but Kerri and I did about 5 miles and there was seemingly nowhere else to walk.  My only explanation is that, since it is a nature reserve and there are many indigenous species roaming the park, they close certain trails during the winter so they can hibernate and procreate and what not in peace.  Seriously.  I read that on a sign.

We parked at the Woodmarsh Trail

Mason Neck was so amazing though - the first 2 miles of our hike was on a bike trail.  It was that soft cushy tar that made me wish I lived nearby, so I could go on long runs on that heavenly ground.  There were some places where I think during the summer months we may have ventured off the bike path, but as aforementioned, those trails were closed - so we went straight over some creeks and through the woods about 2 miles until we came onto another parking lot that directed us to all different kinds of naturey trails with leaves and everything!

Kerri and I took the Wilson Spring Trail.  It brought us through the woods to a 'lookout' spot where you could sit and look for nature.  We didn't do that.  We kept walking until there was the most incredible view of a body of water called Belmont Bay.  I also read a pretty interesting sign about the soft soil absorbing rainwater, taking all the nutrients out of it, purifying it and then that water trickles into the Bay making it clean and pure...or something.  I don't really remember.

 For those of you new to technologies like "Google" and "The Internet"...
The blue dot is where we were standing!

Ok, and that is actually Belmont Bay

There were multitudes of fallen trees such as this - not chopped down but ripped up from their roots.  What would cause that? Strong winds? Godzilla?  I don't know.

I was very excited about this tree because look how GREEN it is!  In February!
Spring must be just around the corner.

It felt great to be back on a trail and I have to give special thanks to Miss Kerri for accompanying me.  I'm going to insist that she and her amazing, fuel-efficient Prius make more guest appearances on the blogosphere - even if it's just to take me to Target.

I would highly recommend Mason Neck Park as a beautiful, relaxing way to spend a day.  There is a huge playground and picnic area with grills, so it's also very family friendly.  We didn't see any animals, but it was no biggie because on the way to Target we saw a hawk sitting on a power line.  And that's how I like my nature anyway - commercially developed...Preferably collaborating with Jason Wu.

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