Of Wovels and Snowshoes

It’s Presidents Day, the holiday we really don’t much need but are stuck with. We had Christmas, New Years, MLK, and Presidents Day in quick succession then bupkiss. Who’s in charge of this calendar really? The long march to Memorial Day begins. Thank god baseball starts up in a month or so. Hell, I’d swap one of these holidays for opening day in a heart beat.

As luck would have it, we are having a cold spell combined with a winter storm. I think we had five or six inches here in Mount Vernon Virginia. It was just the right amount of snow for woveling. I woveled and shoveled for about 90 minutes this morning. The snow kept falling. The snowplows kept plowing my cars and driveway in. I kept woveling. I won.

After a late breakfast and some lying about I decided to drive to Fort Hunt Park for some snowshoeing. IT seemed awfully cold outside but once I put on my bike commuting gear I was perfectly comfortable.

When I arrived the park was empty except for a giant SUV doing donuts in one of the unplowed parking lots and a pickup truck plowing the park loop road.

I waved to the SUV people who were having a blast and headed off into the powder. Except for some cross country ski and critter tracks the snow was untouched. It was remarkably quiet too. Just me and my breath and the crunch of the snow under my snowshoes.

Breathe. Crunch. Breathe. Crunch.

I made a big circuit of the park.  Park of the park’s road system is blocked off so I checked it out. The snow was clinging to the trees. It looked like a giant donut baker had sprinkled powdered sugar on everything. So pretty.

The closed section of road comes back to the main loop road so I veered off down a path into the woods. I tried a steep section. I was stiff legging it, afraid I’d fall down despite the grippy teeth on the snowshoes. No problem. Sweet. Some of these trails are used by high school cross country runners so they are perfect for snowshoeing.

I was getting close to the GW Parkway. It was lightly traveled on this snowy day. I knew I was near a big bald eagle nest. I found two. One was in an evergreen tree. The greenery was only present at the top and the nest was just beneath. It didn’t look like the nest I have seen from the Mount Vernon Trail so I kept looking and soon found a nest made of large branches. This had to be it. (I managed to screw up the picture so you’ll have to take my word on it.) There were no eagle about so I kept slogging ahead.

After making it back to the main loop road I noticed something in a tree on the far side of the road. The underbrush kept me from getting close but it certainly looked to be the size of a bald eagle. It wasn’t moving though.

As I made my way back to the car, the snowplow came around the loop again. He slowed and waved to me. We were the only ones in the park.

Maybe Presidents Day isn’t so bad after all.

 

 

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