Lebodome: A Day Outing to Great Falls

by Borderstan.com April 18, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,779 0

Great, Falls, Virginia, Potomac, River

The Potomac River at Great Falls, Virginia. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.

As the weather begins its turn from delightfully warm to overwhelmingly balmy, the move of city folk to outdoor space is easy to spot as the green areas such as Dupont Circle, Meridian Hill Park and the National Mall get a little crowded. Frankly, it’s a bit of a limited selection when looking for green space in our concrete jungle. Thankfully, the National Park Service exists to maintain our pristine and beautiful landscape around us, like the Chesapeake Bay and the waters that run into it. With that in mind, I encourage everyone in Borderstan at some point this spring or summer to visit Great Falls in Virginia.

If you read my space regularly, you will have noticed the trend of day trips on the weekends to get out of the city. I am a huge fan of taking a day, getting past the Beltway, and seeing where you can go and what’s out there. Now of course I understand that I have the luxury of my car, but if you live in this town and either don’t have/know someone with a ZipCar account or a car itself, you are not good at friending for benefits. It makes living in this city good to great so get on it if you haven’t already (I mean I know some people are nice to me just for my Ford Taurus, I don’t mind).

Great Falls is just serene. It is an easy 30-minute drive, $5 dollar parking, and then the activities are up to you. Running, picnicking, rafting, bird watching, this place has got it all. Many people go there for the extensive and varied hiking trails that lead in all different directions. Here are just some of the highlights:

Oh, The People You Will See: Now here in Borderstan there are plenty of great places for people watching. Great Falls has all that and more. My girlfriend and I must have spent an easy hour sitting quietly on a bench enjoying the fresh air, seeing a pretty great sampling of the American experience. Favorite thing: people who dress up formally for the outdoors; it is totally okay to wear shorts, people.

Rapid Watching: There is something peaceful about watching water move. Maybe it’s the forces of nature right before your eyes, but I could watch the Potomac River hit massive boulders for hours. There are also brave souls who kayak these waters and watching them navigate is quite a scene.

Picnic Heaven: Massive amount of picnic space. Public grills that only require your own bag of charcoal. No alcohol as it’s a national park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grill some dogs and enjoy the crisp clean air.

So the next time the city has you boxed in, the Red Line has maintenance, or you want to avoid large clumps of tourists taking pictures of monuments, take a drive to Great Falls and go hike.

This Week’s Thought

If you aren’t watching the NHL playoffs, you are missing out. This year has turned into one of the most physical and violent playoffs I have ever seen. Tune in for the mayhem.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Our local Washington Nationals are doing so well, even the New York Times is writing about them.
  • John Kerry and huge Obama face cut-out. Funny.
  • I am saying it here. The implications and possible snowball effect of 3-D Tupac is extremely worrisome.
  • Woman have a hard enough time breaking into professional sports. Here is another step backwards. Credit here goes to a new blogger and old friend. Read her stuff; it’s original and on point.

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