Monday, October 3, 2011

Rock Creek Park

Hiking or biking through the nine mile oasis of untamed forest beauty, you'll completely forget you are in the middle of a metropolis.  It's amazing.  Vines and ivy climb around the tall tree canopy as if you're in an old growth rain forest.  Rock Creep Park is like nothing else I've yet seen in the world.

Just driving down the Rock Creek Parkway is a spiritual experience.  Giant stone bridges arch over your head and nature stretches and creeps to consume the mortar back into earth.  But, Rock Creek is especially spectacular by foot or bike.  Paved and unpaved paths follow the creek or meander through the forest, up and down terrain.  The paths along the creek are easy, but venture elsewhere and the difficulty ranges from moderate to downright precarious!  

The bike route parallels the creek and road, but is best on the weekends when they close Beech drive to motor vehicles.  Bikers completely own the two lane road through the park, and pretty much anywhere along the way could be a stop for a picnic or exploration.

Can you tell I love this park!?  Believe I grew up in DC Metro area but NEVER knew it existed until moving to Mt. Pleasant in 2005.

That's also when I got pregnant with Kaio.

Nature's Playground

So the park holds a special place in my heart since I lived nearby for almost a year and Mari and I spent time hiking together there.  Sometimes while I was unknowingly preggy.  My last memorable moment at the park was during a snow storm of 2006.  My friend Tama was visiting from British Columbia on her way to Peru and we took a hike through the snow down to the meadow, finding spots to sled and throw snowballs along the way.  Kaio was growing inside me but I had no idea.  We trekked back to our row house apartment and I had a-hunger-like-no-other for Chinese food.

On of the coolest things about the park is that you can just duck into it like a forested cave.  You can walk off the Connecticut Ave sidewalk onto a Rock Creek trail that takes you into the freggin forest and see NO CARS, no buildings, no traffic lights.  It's amazing to be transplanted in a matter of seconds from busy city life into wild woods and giant tree canopy.

Last Monday, kids and I ventured to the Brazilian Consulate for the third and last time to pick up our entry visas.  I packed a picnic lunch for us.  From downtown K street to the Rock Creek Peirce Mill took maybe 15 minutes by car.  There was plenty of free parking and open benches to eat.  Kids and I hiked for about a mile before and after lunch.

"Can I pet the mushrooms?"

I explained what roots are, "they take the vitamins from the soil into the tree."
We also saw tons of mushrooms growing on fallen branches, "eating the tree for lunch...and they will poop soil out."  lol.  Trying to bring it down to their level.

We had a lovely time.


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