2012 HAS ARRIVED and poof! - just like that! - 2011 is but a shrinking speck in our collective rear-view mirror. The first morning of the year dawned with mild temperatures and sunny skies, and so while everyone else in my family was snoring away the first morning of the year, I decided to take my personal color commentator almost-seven-year-old son and Mac the Dog for a Long Explore.
We live within spitting distance of all the Starbucks, grocery stores, McDonalds and 7-Elevens anyone could possibly need, and yet we don't have to venture too far beyond our back gate to find this:
We hiked up the Pepco power line right-of-way to Seneca Creek. Along the way, Peezer was all
...because you can't take a boy into the woods and expect him NOT to climb a tree, right?
So we're hiking along and we realize that we're close to a new bike trail that's opened within Seneca Creek State Park. We hop on the trail and follow it in the direction I imagine will eventually bring us out to the main road that goes by the entrance to our neighborhood. We walk and we walk and we walk and we're not exactly lost, but it seems to be taking a Very Long Time to get to where I think we'll end up. We finally spied a clearing, so we hiked up the hill and found this:
There was a paved path and several wooden structures, all of which appeared to be defunct, and piles and piles of blue-dotted tree trunks:
The blue dots reminded me of when our friends at Pepco came by our home recently. They were concerned that several of our larger trees might, if they were to fall, be at risk of tumbling into their power lines, and would we allow them to take these trees down? We said Have at it, because they were ones we, too, were concerned about falling (though thinking they'd be more likely to crash into our bedroom versus the power lines) and it ain't cheap to take down a tree. Meanwhile, Pepco has been on a mighty PR campaign, talking about how they're Hard At Work, in Our Community, clearing branches away from power lines which will, they say, improve reliability. However, you need only drive down some of the roads in our community to see the significant removal of numerous big old trees along the road to wonder if perhaps our power company hasn't gone a wee bit overkill on their campaign. But hey, they sure do look Busy! Busy! Busy! And it dovetails nicely with their latest media blitz.
So apparently, my kid and I stumbled upon Pepco's tree trunk graveyard, which, it turns out, is on the defunct National Capital Skeet and Trap Club, just up the road from where we live, that closed five or six years ago. (Interesting reading here about the as-yet unsuccessful campaign to petition Maryland to reopen the Club.)
By this time, we could hear traffic, which was a reassuring sign that we were close to the road. Before we got there, we poked around the old structure that's at the entrance to the club lands:
...and a closer view of the window:
We ventured home from there, Peezer happy in having completed a first-day adventure and Mama content in having earned her Holiday Nap.