"With the coming of spring,
I am calm again."
Copyright © 2015
Words and images
by Ralph F. Couey
Once the holidays pass, winter is something I just endure. Throughout those long, cold months, I yearn deeply for the days when the air turns warm, the world awakens, and color returns to the landscape. It seems that the older I get, the more impatient I am, waiting for the return of the season of life.
I turned to hiking last year mainly for exercise and to reduce the pounding on my joints that comes with running. But I found something unexpected. The peace and solace of the woods.
I'm covering three hikes in this posting, mainly because Cheryl and I are in training after several months away from regular exercise. Plus, she is breaking in a brand new set of boots. Next month, we go to Las Vegas and will spend a day or two hiking in the mountains south and west of the city. Looking at the trail guides, those treks will involve a completely different kind of terrain than what we have grown used to here in verdant Virginia.
The Bluebell Loop
This past Sunday, once we had discharged our responsibilities at church, we managed to squeeze a little more time out of the lengthening day for a short jaunt. We drove down south to the Bull Run-Occoquan trailhead, an easy stretch for a couple of aging boomers. Just off the main trail, their is a spur called the Bluebell Loop. Aptly named, for the landscape in spring is liberally sprinkled with those bright blue beauties, as well as another lovely bloom called Wild Blue Phlox (photo at the top of this post).