Monday, June 27, 2011

Oh My Aching Feet!!

I had the whole day to myself almost…and plans were made to go for a walk/jog about 8 miles from here in Prince William Forest Park. The morning was beautifully overcast….not rainy, just cool and fragrant, one of those perfect days….and off I went.

Waterbottle, jogging shoes, shorts…off we go!

When I pulled in to the park, the sign on the entrance shack at the gate said that they only charge for car entry between 9am and dusk! Well THIS is a bonus! It was 7:30 am so I guess I got to go in for free!

I wound my way around toward the visitors center, found the parking lot….there was only one other vehicle there, some guy had just taken off on a bike ride. A whole park to myself? Wonderful!

The visitors center, of course, wasn’t open yet. So I couldn’t pick up any pamphlets or maps that would help me find my way, but I did find this map in the yard:

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See the road that kind of loops around in the center? It didn’t look too bad! I saw where I was on the map ((Even though there were no dots that said “YOU ARE HERE”)) and off I went. I had been told yesterday during class that this would be the perfect place to go, and that the distance around the loop was somewhere between 6 and 7 miles.

At home I’ve hiked around Salem Lake many times, and it is 7.6 miles around….so….not a problem!

I walked a song, jogged a song, walked a song, jogged a song….and was only passed by one biker the whole time!

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Doesn’t this look pretty!? The air smelled so good and fresh!

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I stopped on a bridge to take a picture of the creek flowing by…..there was not a SOUND to be heard other than the birds…..

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On the off-road trails, it was even MORE secluded! I only took one side hike, just a short one…I was afraid I was going to get lost out in the middle of somewhere where I couldn’t be found ---best to stick to the regular road just in case!

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Don’t you love to see trails and wonder where they go?? I do I do! Look at that green…it was such a beautiful morning!

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This marshy area was SO beautiful! And I saw deer! Not that I really could get any in a picture…

I hiked and I hiked and I ran and I walked and I sang out loud to the nature because there was no one around to hear me….

And about mile 8.5 ---- MILE 8.5?!? ((Yes I was tracking my movements on my phone using the imapmyfitness app)) I started to get worried about where I was! Surely, the visitor’s center has to be coming up soon?

It’s a LOOP right?! Didn’t I stay on the loop? I thought so….when I took that side trail, I turned right around and came back after I hit the creek again…

After I hit mile 10 ((TEN!???)) I stopped to chat to a ranger guy and asked him how much farther it was to the visitor’s center ---- You see, I had passed signs with arrows, I pretty much knew I HAD to be headed the right way, but it sure would have been helpful if they would have said how far it WAS to the visitors center from the sign….

And I walked and I hiked, and I couldn’t make my legs jog anymore, and I felt like crawling -----


Total miles? 12.58. TWELVE and a HALF PLUS miles!!

I swear, that loop of road didn’t look that big on the map at the visitors center! AND..it would have been helpful if there were some clues on that map to tell me how far it was…..I just kept going thinking that I had to reach the beginning of the circle SOON!?

So needless to say, the rest of this day has been much about NOTHING. I showered. I grabbed some lunch ((So hungry I could eat a horse!)) and napped for two hours, and here I am.

I’ve got a lecture/trunkshow with the Cabin Branch Quilters tonight….I’ve got fun pics to edit down from yesterday’s workshop. And tomorrow? I’m headed back home….I don’t think I’ll be hiking anywhere for the next few days…. ;c)


  1. I think you've already done your hike for the next few days. Wow! My feet hurt just from reading this. Have fun tonight.

  2. It sounds like you're in training for a half marathon....

  3. Wow, that is a long hike. You are brave to hike through some of the terrain you took pictures of---alone. I don't even like to go to the mailbox a mile away alone. To secluded.

  4. I think you earned a few days' respite with that little walk-about! Goodness! I think I would sleep for 2 daya, but at least you were surrounded by beautiful, peaceful scenery! Out here in the desert, where we've had 110°+ days for a couple of weeks now, I'm having trouble trotting very far.

  5. I like taking long walks, but more than 12 miles (with running inbetween?). Oh my, my legs are hurting. I think You were very brave and really deserved Your nap.

  6. If you hang a right at the dam (by mistake...) at Salem Lake you'll find yourself on a journey about as long as the one you had today...I do wish these park people would put up better signage!! Ugh!!

    Glad you made it all the way around safe and sound!

  7. Oh I know how you feel. I once made a wrong turn and ended up walking 6 miles instead of 3 miles. I ended up bruising my big toe. Get rest and have fun at you next class. Hugs

  8. You realize you did half a marathon right? I think a ice-cream sundae was earned today....

  9. Wow, that was a jaunt!! At least you kept going at miles 8.5 and 10. I would have been tempted to turn around and go back, knowing at least I would end up by my car--think how long that would have been.

  10. That's almost a half marathon! Nice work Bonnie- even if it was unintentional.

  11. Anonymous8:05 PM EDT

    Carol Rogers cd7158@shentel.net

    If you come south on 81, stop again at the VA Quilt Museum. The new exhibit is quilts by Carolyn Lynch of the McLean Quilters Unlimited. It is currated by Hazel Carter. Some very humorous quilts!

  12. That was a very long walk. Glad you finally found your way back to the car. I would still be napping.

  13. You'll sleep good tonight, that's for sure, but your legs & feet might be sore in the morning.

  14. Anonymous9:48 PM EDT

    Oh my . . . walking around in such a secluded area. Do be careful! Loved the photos.

  15. What a beautiful primeval place, but oh, my! What a long long walk!

  16. just think - it was very nearly a 1/2 marathon...and you didn't even train for it! Imagine what you could do if you trained :) Laurie

  17. We have done that before, sometimes things seem shorter than they actually are, lol. It looks like a beautiful place to hike though.


  18. Beautiful place....did you feel like you should've brought bread crumbs to drop?!
    I agree - more frequent signs would have been welcome.

  19. Bonnie,
    Be safe. We need you, your posts are the delight of our day! I'm SO glad you are safe...and, sorry your feet got such a workout!


  20. Your such a brave lady to do that hike. I think I would have paniced about half way through. But I agree with you, there is nothing like hiking, and nothing but the sounds of nature.
    On a different note, I blogged about being a fan of yours today, complete with a rectangle wrangle of my own. Now, I find myself thinking about what else I could make from the book.

  21. I admire your stamina and the fact that you go out and see the sights while traveling & teaching, but now the "MOM" in me kicked in so now I'll worry when you are by yourself hiking so far. As I've always told my girls, please take a buddy!

  22. Bonnie, don't you get scared walking like that all by yourself? I think I have read too many Mary Higgins Clark novels as I am such a scaredy cat. Please be careful. Carry some pepper spray for sure.

  23. We have discovered that lots of parks with maps don't really give a good idea of what kind of trail it is. At our age (60's) we have decided not to go on a hike unless we really know how long it is and if it has lots of ups & downs. DH can't take too many ups - and neither can I. We took a trail last month that said 1/2 mile to the beach and it HAD to be lots longer than that! There are lots of us seniors camping and we need to be careful. I don't include you in that category, but I agree with a previous post that it is a good idea to carry something with you for protection.

  24. Oh man, this is twice what you had expected ! And rather long, but the landscape was wonderful. Though it's better to be prepared ! At least a bear didn't eat you lol.


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