A Summer Moment’s Wilderness

Hiking the fantastic terrain of Fountainhead Regional Park

Cradled in the snaky meandering embrace of the Occoquan Reservoir, squeezed upward from water’s edge into hardwood-canopied undulating green folds of rise and ravine, and threaded through with narrow ribbons of stream and trail was our bit of wilderness in Fairfax County, Virginia —  Fountainhead Regional Park.

A gap in the canopy sets fern ablaze

dagdvm, Tilly the weiner dog and I strode into Fountainhead’s terrain waves on the second Sunday in July.  Our moment’s wilderness was steamy hot under forest cover, calm, quiet, virtually empty of other people and stunning in a multitude of ways.

Cool lichen on a hot summer day

We used our impromptu pattern of geocaching objectives  — Weird Stone House (GC81C0),  Kicks Rocks Barefoot (GC1HTG),  Rabbit’s Eye (GC29TYN) and six others — to give us direction.

Tilly finds an oasis of relief after a hot climb

After making big climbs through the trees for geocaches like Dude, Where’s My Car? (GC1NH26), we really enjoyed rolling back down to the low points where water gathered on its way to the Occoquan.

Ephemeral arc in a drying stream bed

Bits of magic revealed themselves to us whenever we stopped within the quiet and opened our senses to the forest.   Fountainhead really gave us a feeling of being away from normal northern Virginia life.  The green forest ceiling, the sound-absorbing rolling terrain and the lack of other people in this captivating space made our day there very special.

The three of us really enjoyed our  five-mile, nine-geocache  summer experience in Fountainhead Regional Park.   Pick your own time and motivation for entering this park  and you’ll be sure to live  some beautiful moments of your own.

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