Tag: outdoors

Meridian Hill Park in the rain

This evening, I hiked to Meridian Hill Park with the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group as part of their Hike DC series. Meridian Hill Park is a bit off the beaten track. It’s not in a part of DC that tourists typically see. It’s situated along 16th street (see map below) and is managed by the National Park Service as part of Rock Creek Park, although the main sections of Rock Creek Park are nowhere to be seen. (See the NWS page about the park for details.)

Photo of our group taken by hike leader Toby
Our hike started and ended at Dupont Circle. Right before the hike started, we were unexpectedly hit by a drenching thunderstorm, prompting a few of us to scoot over to CVS for umbrellas. The park was unexpectedly lovely in the rain.

These weekly four-mile hikes have been a perfect way for me to train for my participation in the Avon 39 in Santa Barbara, Calif., later this year. Plus, they’re a lot of fun, and they have given me an opportunity to meet lots of nice people!

Here’s a map that shows the location of Meridian Hill Park:

Carlisle Chrysler Nationals

The Carlisle Chrysler Nationals are held each year during the second weekend in July. The 2017 show was held over the weekend of July 14-17, 2017, and we were there!

Barry’s a certified (certifiable?) car nut. I’m not. Barry would happily go to any Carlisle car show — from Spring Carlisle through Fall Carlisle, and everything in between — checking out the tool booths and looking over the old car parts. Not me. I have a special affinity for one, and only one, car show — the Chrysler Nationals.

I’ve never had a Chrysler in my life, but there’s something about those muscle cars from the ’60s and ’70s that really speak to me. I love the crazy colors, from Sublime Green to Plum Crazy Purple. I love the time and care people lavish into making them look like new. I guess those old Chryslers bring back memories of simpler days for me.

Here’s a gallery of images that shows you some of the many sights we saw at the show.

And here’s a video that can give you a sense of how BIG the show field is:

Was it fun? Would I go again? Yeah to both!

Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is about 110 miles north of Washington, DC. Here’s a map:

Hiking at Savage Mill

I’ve been to Savage Mill in Savage, Md., several times before, but never as a hiking destination. I will definitely go back there again!

Savage Mill has a funky, old-timey vibe. It has lots of places for an after-hike lunch, including the Ram’s Head Tavern. According to Wikipedia:

“The Savage Mill is a historic cotton mill complex in Savage, Maryland, which has been turned into a complex of shops and restaurants. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It is located in the Savage Mill Historic District. Buildings in the complex date from 1822 to 1916.”

The Savage Mill is close to Savage Park, which features a number of hiking trails. We hiked on some of those trails today. Here are some pictures from the day.

Tulips in the early morning sunshine
Tulips in the early morning sunshine
Hikers on the Bollman Truss railroad bridge adjacent to the mill
Hikers on the Bollman Truss railroad bridge adjacent to the mill
Rocks and rapids on the Patuxent River
Rocks and rapids on the Patuxent River
A bridge support on the Bollman Truss bridge
A bridge support on the Bollman Truss bridge
Pansies at trail's end
Pansies at trail’s end

Hiking at Lake Audubon

I participated in a 4.5 mile hike today at Lake Audubon in Reston, Va., with the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group. Even though it’s officially spring, it still looked a lot like winter today, and the air was chilly and damp.

streambed

It was a wonderful hike, and as a first sign of spring, we saw lots of skunk cabbages poking up in some of the swampy spots.

skunk-cabbage

Spring will get here, it’s just taking its own sweet time!

Connect

Today’s Photography 101 theme is “connect.” Today, I connected with a group of people who love to hike!

I’m a member of the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group, and this evening’s hike was the first of many weekly hikes at Centennial Park in Ellicott City, Md.. for the 2015 hiking season. The evening was warm, even though there’s still snow on the ground. The snow didn’t deter these intrepid hikers, who were all excited about getting outdoors and connecting with other hikers after a long, cold winter slog!

connect

Washington, D. C., Cherry Blossoms, 2013

This year’s crop of cherry blossoms has come and gone, but they were oh, so lovely while they lasted. Peak bloom was expected to be late this year, but nobody seemed to anticipate just how late that would be.

Cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
Cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)

According to RestonPatch.com, the National Weather Service originally forecast peak bloom on March 23-30, and then shifted their predicted peak bloom dates to April 3-6. The Washington Post’s final prediction was for April 6-10. The dates kept shifting back because of an unusually stubborn cold spell in the D.C. area this spring.

I was at a conference in Baltimore during the predicted peak bloom days, and I was so worried that I would miss the blossoms. I needn’t have worried, though. This year, the blossoms started peaking on April 8, with the absolute peak on April 9, and I was there, camera at the ready, on both days.

Tourists, cameras in hand, attempt to capture of the beauty of the cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2012)
Tourists, cameras in hand, attempt to capture of the beauty of the cherry blossoms. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2012)
So were thousands of others, all snapping away in an attempt to capture the ephemeral beauty of the cherry trees in full bloom. I’ve seen some beautiful photos others have taken of the same subject over the years, and I know mine don’t hold a candle to those. But, still… I want to share my photos with anyone who missed the blossoms this year and wants to take a look.

I want to say one more thing, and then I will just let you look at some pictures. If you’ve never seen the Washington, D.C., cherry blossoms for yourself, you really should put that on your bucket list. The experience is like strolling through soft, pink clouds under a clear blue sky. Add to that the warm sun and the gentle spring breezes — you couldn’t experience those if you gazed at a million photographs. As I said earlier, it’s kind of hard to predict when the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom, so, if you’re from out of town, you should plan to stay in D.C. for at least a week. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things you can do here while you’re waiting for the cherry blossoms to pop.

Jefferson Memorial, framed by blossoming cherry trees. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
Jefferson Memorial, framed by blossoming cherry trees. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
A couple poses for wedding portraits at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
A couple poses for wedding portraits at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 8, 2013)
An artist captures the cherry blossoms in pastels. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
An artist captures the cherry blossoms in pastels. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
Ducks paddle beneath a flowering cherry branch. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
Ducks paddle beneath a flowering cherry branch. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
A stately old cherry tree shows off its spring finery. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)
A stately old cherry tree shows off its spring finery. (Photo by Andrea Kenner, Apr. 9, 2013)