Hemlock Overlook in Winter Snow and Summer Sun

On the trail at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, 1/22/2012

Geocaching in Hemlock Overlook Regional Park during two outings months apart gave us more ways to appreciate the same beautiful place.

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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.

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A Purposeful Walk In the Park

In search of a geocache in Hemlock Overlook Regional Park

“I have always hated to exercise just for the sake of exercise,”  my good friend dagdvm once told me.

I agree completely.  Sometimes it’s hard to just get on a treadmill and walk in place or go outside and walk in circles around some block or track or route or go out a ways and then turn around and come back.  Yes, it’s exercise, but walking without purpose can get a bit monotonous.  Wouldn’t it be great to have another reason to walk a good distance?

Geocaching,” dagdvm continued, ” is getting me out and walking for hours at a time.  It has to be good for my body.”

It sure does.  If you go out looking for certain geocaches you’ll get some exercise without even thinking about it.   If you go to a nice park full of geocaches you can walk around for hours having fun finding as many as possible.   If you go to that park with a friend who belongs to an avid hiking superdog, well — it’s hard to think of a better way to spend a nice healthy day outside, and that’s exactly what dagdvm, her weiner dog Tilly and I did at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Fairfax County, Virginia on a fine Sunday in June.

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The Return of Bear’s Lodge

Walney Pond at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Walney Pond at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Last  Sunday afternoon in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park I found a geocache I’d first gone looking for in March, Bear’s Lodge (GC18HZ8).

This is the first time I’ve watched the park move from winter into spring.  Walney Pond is transformed from frozen gray into an explosion of life, including  lily pads, yellow irises, mallards, Canada geese, red-winged blackbirds and all of us humans who flock to be in the presence of all this beauty.  Walney Pond is a worthy destination and the perfect point of departure for the trails that lead up and away into the woods beyond.

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