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Sunday, December 28, 2014

#50 - Revolution

Revolution #50: 01 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2014
On New Years Day 2014, I kicked off "Fifty Hikes at 50." A chance to get back outdoors, see things I hadn't seen, to see things again, to think, and to live more outside. I was excited; and the timing was perfect.

For my first hike on January 1st, I headed to Great Falls National Park. It was nearby, it was beautiful, and it was the catalyst that lead to 49 more hiking excursions.

So where to go for #50? As I complete one revolution of the sun, I chose to circle back to Great Falls; where it all started.

Jan 1, 2014
Dec 27, 2014
I recall day 1 fondly, when Bonnie and I started out on that first hike. Sunny, slightly chilly, a beautiful day. Today, similar, though more mild. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky.

Three of my children joined me today. I have had numerous hikes with my wife, a number with each of my four kids. Each one was great! Each one a memory I will never forget.

We started at Difficult Run. Surprisingly, trail maintenance efforts have started and are nearly complete. Floods in the area had previously deteriorated the trail making portions of it impassable. Now, many portions of the trail are new and wide, allowing you to enjoy the views, move along, not nearly as treacherous.

Difficult Run

From a previous visit, I knew there were a pair of nesting Black Vultures in this area. We saw them both, but only captured a photo of one, as the other flew upstream as we approached.

One of the nesting Black Vultures
 As Difficult Run comes to its end, it empties into the Potomac. It is at this point we began our hike westward toward Great Falls.

Confluence of Difficult Run and Potomac River
This is such an enjoyable hike. Fresh air, nice views, pick you distance, and while it's far from isolated, it's enjoyable to see others enjoying a day out.

Mather Gorge awaits as you make your way toward the Falls. There are plenty of areas to stop and enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the area.

Sarah at the Eastern end of Mather Gorge

Across the river, Maryland - and Billy Goat Trail

A lone kayaker makes his way downstream
A Rock Climber, kayaker, and paddle-boarder all enjoying the day
Hike #50 was about enjoying the day. Enjoying my kids. Enjoying the past year. Recalling great memories. The excitement for the year ahead.

And with that, "Fifty Hikes at 50" is complete! Oh, I'll still hike - and hopefully by Spring I'll be out backpacking some. I'll be a 51 year old man hoping the trail never ends - and enjoying the journey along the way!

January 2014
August 2014
December 2014

Riley on one of her many hikes!

Keep hiking, friends!

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