Friday, May 11, 2018

DC Trip 2018 - Great Falls National Park

Today has been one of my favorite days of this trip. I needed a break from museums, some fresh air, and to get away from the city, and the metro. :)  Some hiking was just what I needed.

We got a Honda Fit through ZipCar and drive to Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and the kids picked up Junior Ranger packets.  We confirmed that the trail we wanted to hike was open (it had been closed by high water the day prior) before heading out to tackle the Billy Goat A trail.

First, we decided to walk out to the overlook of the river:

I thought this was it...

...but THIS was actually it!   Haha!

(I asked a woman to take this photo for us, and when I asked if she could step up a couple feet onto some flat rocks where I had been standing to set up the shot, she said, "Um, I'm not that outdoorsy".  Hahaha!   We used that quote the rest of the day.

Just the two of us

Keenan busy at work on his Junior Ranger book

I still thought the smaller parts of the rapids were still pretty terrifying

I sure love these three!

We came upon a pair of Canada geese and their two Adorable goslings!!

Pretty shot before turning onto the trailhead

It was a Fantastic trail, with a rating of 'difficult'

I spotted a kayaker on the river, so we climbed up to watch him
(you can see him in the far right of the picture in a red kayak)

Miniature beauty

Keenan took this for us (this was not somewhere I was comfortable with the kids posing for a picture)

Happy hikers

I stayed up on some high rocks to take pictures while the others started the steepest part of the hike

These are some of my favorite shots of the day!!

Catching up to them

 Philip taking a shot on his phone back down at us

It was SO steep!!

Looking back down

After that climb, we were all ready for lunch!

Homeschool on the go!  ;)

This is random - it's my new phone in it's sparkly pink cover.   I may be too old for it, but it makes me happy :)

Moriah spotted this garter snake as she stepped over it!

Jus' me

This quiet pond covered in lily pads was a pretty surprise!

Blue Heron

Taking flight

A fun bridge

Spotted Skink I think

The terrain was constantly changing and was so beautiful!

The water was looking pretty tempting as we got hotter and hotter
(We didn't go anywhere NEAR the water though, as there are an average of 7 drownings in this park every year because people are fooled by the look of calm waters on the surface that are deadly currants underneath)

This looked one of about three sections that were probably underwater yesterday

Another snake!  Caleb spotted this one in the path

Little sweat head getting a drink from the Camelbak

I love this shot of us - how beautiful is that background??

Such pretty reflections on the water (and it was FULL of fish!)

This portion of the hike was on the towpath running next to the actual C&O Canal

We got to see a beautiful doe in the water, eating pond moss!

There she goes..

And look who else we spotted again?  :)

So cute, I can't even stand it

Almost back to the Visitor's Center where the kids got their Junior Ranger badges (and the drinking fountains that had the most delicious COLD water we'd ever tasted) :)

We then made the 12 mile drive to get to the visitor's center at Great Falls Park on the Virginia Side of the falls even though, as the crow flies, it was only half a mile away!

I snapped this on the drive and, when I was editing, I loved how it looked in black and white

He was still asleep when we arrived, so Philip took the older two in to get started on their next Junior Ranger books, and I took the spot under Caleb's sleepy head.

The kids saying the pledge with the ranger to get their second badges

Trying out the type of kayak that people traverse these waters in!

Two little gophers in a tree stump

Moriah pointing at the signs for high water marks from the past!

Fun jump shots

The most straight on shot we got of the falls

What a fun day!!   We drove home, had dinner, and then Philip took the kids out to a park while I spent time blogging, and catching us up on the last few days.   On to new adventures today! :)


Mom W. said...

I did see all of them but will just comment here. SO enjoying your travel Log. It is amazing what all you can see and not even have a car all the times.

Angela looks good and her boys are so cute (especially the little guy!!)

Enjoyed the pentagon one even without a lot of pictures and your hike was wild with the rock climbing part. Not sure I would try that!!

Very educational for your home schoolers!!!

Anonymous said...

So many beautiful pictures! I can't believe how steep that hike was! You guys are awesome!