Back on the trails! It’s been so cold for the past couple of weeks that going outside felt like my eyeballs might freeze (which brought back some very unpleasant memories of walking between the parking garage and the office in Buffalo in January and February… and March… and April…) and we have not been spending any more time outside than absolutely necessary. There’s been a lot of shivering on Metro platforms, typing in my coat, and downing cup after cup of green tea. So I think I’m in good company when I profess a great deal of relief that the temperatures actually broke a few weekends ago, and it was possible to get outside for a hike. It’s not just that I have cabin fever – even though I do – but I signed up for the 52 Hike Challenge this year, which means I have to keep up a one-hike-per-week pace all year long, and I was already behind after starting the year with two indoor weekends. Well – I’m slowly catching up!
For the first hike of 2018, we decided it was fitting to pay homage to Teddy, everyone’s favorite rough-riding President, and we headed up the GW Parkway to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Rebecca was confused when I mentioned that we were going to hike there. Ummmm, she said, Roosevelt Island is in New York. But there’s actually one here, too! And now you know. So what makes it Roosevelt Island, you wonder? I’m glad you asked.
NO BIG DEAL JUST A GIANT STATUE OF TEDDY.
In a clearing at the heart of the island is a memorial to Teddy Roosevelt, where the conservationist president and enthusiastic Antiquities Act ninja is caught forever striding and waving to his fellow hikers. (Nugget fell in love with the statute and was disappointed that he couldn’t touch it. Get taller, kid.) Surrounding the statute are large concrete placards with quotes from the great man himself. The above – on “NATURE” – was my favorite, of course.
After our visit to Teddy, we set off to make him proud by hiking the circumference of his island. The first part of the hike included river views, thanks to the bare winter branches. And the occasional DC landmark peeking through the trees. See the Kennedy Center up above?
We wouldn’t be us if we didn’t get a little bit lost, end up on a side path, and add distance and adventure through our lousy navigation skills. This looks like a trail, right?
I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day… Take me to the place I love, take me all the wayyyyyyyy
Oops, sorry. I can’t walk under a bridge without singing Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Eventually we found our way back to the trail, and soon the boardwalk through the marsh picked up, right where I remembered it. As with so many other hikes that we haven’t taken since having kids, it looks like the boardwalk has been greatly improved since we were last on it.
Lovely winter wetlands. (This view reminded me of Tifft Nature Preserve, one of our favorite hiking spots in Buffalo. Another urban oasis of wetland that is beautiful all year ’round.)
We looped around the island and soon found ourselves loading back into the car to drive to hike #2 for the day (and the year) – haven’t had a two-hike day since Joshua Tree last summer! It felt great to have trail under my boots again.
Have you been out enjoying the slightly-less-frigid weather lately?