Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Had Myself a Ball in a Small Town: Potomac Overlook Park

Since our rather unsuccessful trip to Huntley Meadows, mom has been wanting to do another outdoor adventure with us.  We decided to head back over to Virginia, all good sense aside, and take a hike at Potomac Overlook Park.  It was a gorgeous day and we were up and at 'em early -- we arrived at 9 a.m. despite rush hour traffic.  Because the nature center doesn't open until 10 a.m., we headed off into the woods.  Only to find that we actually just took a neighborhood shortcut to a swimming pool.  And downhill.  So we trudged back up hill to the parking lot and tried again.

We started off toward the path marked "Potomac Overlook" and when we got closer mom burst out laughing.  On the drive in to daddy's office that morning, daddy asked mom where we were headed that day.  When she told him Potomac Overlook, he said "Hmm.  Do you think there might be an overlook of the Potomac there?"  (see, it's not just mommy's fault that we are smart a*ses).  Mommy replied, "I don't know.  It might be a red herring."  And she was right (see signage below, which picture mommy texted daddy "f'in red herring.").  

We took the path anyway and had a nice hike in the woods.  Although after a bit I totally faked an injury so that mom would carry me.  First I told her a bee stung me.  Then I told her something was in my sock.  Then my shoe.  And finally I just screamed at the top of my lungs every time she tried to put me down (which meant that I hiked for a fair bit of time screaming at the top of my lungs).  Once I quieted down, we saw a deer come out to drink at a stream.  The trails are well maintained and marked fairly well, but we don't suggest bringing a stroller -- it's quite hilly.  Mom gave us our first lesson in trail marking (as in how to find a marked trail, not how to mark it ourselves) and we had a lot of fun following the different colored trails.  

We intended to hike to the point where you actually can see the river, but somehow ended up at the nature center (guess the trails weren't that well marked - it surely couldn't be user error), which was AWESOME.   There is a super cool Kid Cave (meant to mimic a bat cave, so you know Kane was out of his mind psyched) and we played in there for quite a while -- making cave drawings, listening to cave sounds, and making sure Batman and the villains checked it all out.  And then we went upstairs and were so excited to find a bee hive and large taxidermied animals!  There was also a neat exhibit on energy that would be interesting for slightly older kids.  We spent a fair bit of time upstairs and loved the library -- of course Kane wanted mom to read him the thesaurus (which worked out well because he had asked her earlier what the word "mighty" meant and mom got herself in quite a pickle trying to explain that it meant multiple things like "very" and "strong" and Kane wanted to know what it meant then if you said something was "mighty strong.").  

So given that we were out and about hiking around the vast Virginia wilderness, you might be wondering why the title to this post starts with a little J.C. Mellencamp.  After we were done at the nature center and were playing at the small playground (which happens to have a mean slide) we ran into the KidFriendly DC crew, who were also checking out the park on recommendation of No Monsters In My Bed.  It was too much - what a small town.  And it was nice to meet one of the KFDC kids and their friends (even though Kane pulled some of his Batman stunts).  

We LOVED Potomac Overlook and already have plans to go back.  Although a stroller wouldn't be good on the trails, there is a paved road you can walk down to visit the nature center.  So this is a totally visitable place with littles.  

yes, i think this outfit is totally appropriate for hiking and i insisted on it, including polka dot socks.

lots of live (although not lively) animals in the nature center.

snake skin! 

this is the culprit.

treehouse dance party.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Finally catching up on my blog reading. So fun to run into you there, meet Batman and Cami, and find out we both got the idea from Darcy. :) See you next week!