Posted by Genevieve.
In an attempt to increase our mileage, Meg and I decided to hike all weekend: one hike on Saturday and one on Sunday. On Saturday, Meg and I met in Haymarket, VA at Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve to set out on a 7.2 mile hike. As we left the parking lot and headed towards the starting point, we passed a tour bus and wondered how crowded these trails might be. We attempted to follow the hiking upward route and headed straight up to the overlook. As we approached the old mill that can be seen from the trail, I was about ready for a quick break, but Meg and I looked up and saw the tour bus on a break as the guide informed them about the mill. So unfortunately we have no picture of the mill because we felt like it might be a good time to scurry passed them.
We continued up and were mostly silent as we were dripping and panting, but we were moving! My thoughts mainly consisted of: “why am I hiking in the hottest month of the year – I am not very smart”. Anyway, we made it to the top where we took a short break, but shorter than we might have wanted because soon the tour bus group approached the top. As most of you probably know, I tend to voice my opinion about things (things = anything) and on top of that, I am not always quiet about them. So turning to Meg, I think I said something like “Well, that’s the end of our peaceful break overlooking the mountains” (add big roll of the eyes). And at that point, I met another person who apparently likes to voice his opinion. After he chuckled, he looked right at us, and said something like “hope you weren’t really trying to enjoy the overlook”…and then 25-35 people trampled passed us.
We left the overlook and attempted to follow the selected route. I say attempted because the next few trails seemed to be the road less traveled. After passing through countless cobwebs, the trail would randomly end. So we would turn around and try another trail and once again the trail would just end. At this point, the goal was to get in a certain amount of miles and it really didn’t matter to us what trail it was on, so we just starting taking turns and seeing where it would lead us (this probably isn’t suggested, but for the most part all of these trails led to the parking lot, so we didn’t worry about getting lost). Moral of the story: (1) Meg and I felt good about our hike, (2) we both need to work on our reactions to spider webs (wish I had a video to share with you; it was quite entertaining to say the least), (3) hiking poles have many uses, one of which is destroying spider webs prior to walking through them (we look kind-of funny swinging the poles out in front of us, but not as funny as walking through webs) and (4) we feel like we have checked this hike off the list and will probably not come back.