i am a complete contradiction in many aspects of my life. for instance, i hate bugs but love being outdoors. so how does that work? i don’t really know. let’s just say i’m down to play outside, just don’t ask me to go camping. a good form of noncommittal outdoorsy-ness is hiking. and thus my latest intention was born.
one of the things i do that makes me feel the most at peace is being outside. whether alone or with a friend, it’s just nice to get some fresh air and be around nature. this is also where i most feel like a kid. in complete awe of mother nature; a gorgeous spring breeze, leaves ablaze in the most orange and red tones, and white fluffy snowflakes that instantly take me back to my childhood.
i’m so lucky to live in such a green state. sure, dc is 20 minutes east. but about 30 minutes west, i have rolling hills and the mountains as my playground. as committed as i am to exploring the city, i want to make that same commitment to enjoying nature. so that’s why i wanted to make sure to add this to my list.
this hike just happened to combine another favorite past times, drinking wine. hey, life is all about balance, right? virginia is stepping up it’s wine game and while it still has a long way to go, it’s great that there are so many wineries within an hour of my house. one of my favorites is barrel oak winery. the winery sits atop one of those rolling hills i mentioned earlier with a spacious tasting room, a lovely outdoor patio, and lawn area. of course the wine is good too. what really set them over the top is the friendly staff. i actually received a hug the last time i went. my friends were wondering if i knew the person. i didn’t. they were just happy to have me back. this friendliness extends to mans best friend. in fact, dogs aren’t just allowed, they are encouraged. how cool is that?
so back to that hike. the winery was hosting this 3-4 mile hike around the grounds so i decided to go with a few friends. we were handed a map as we arrived and sent off to explore on our own. the trail was marked and you had to collect a set of cards at these pit stops. once you collected all of them, you could bring them back for a prize. per usual dc weather, the spring day was more like a summer one. luckily, the trail went well into the woods so we had some cover. we also met a few friendly horses along the way. our own reward at the end involved grabbing a table with our snacks and a few bottles of wine. a truly perfect day of being outside, getting some exercise, and then offsetting that exercise with alcohol.
wine aside, the hike was just what i needed. one of my favorite quotes is “adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” and i really believe that truer words have never been spoken. her patience encourages a welcome calmness.
it’s starting to get hotter so my tolerance for being outdoors wains accordingly. so i better get more hikes in soon. 17 down, 35 to go.