I need to make a disclosure first. I usually write my “On Location” pieces early in the evening but tonight gave pause to that long-standing pattern. Tonight, I could not sleep. Seriously, I wanted to get to the bed first but—-
I could not fall asleep.
I texted my friends.
So, in an effort to use my time wisely (yeah, writing after midnight having to get up early in the morning is wise), I decided to push on and complete this blog.
Mason Neck State Park is located in Lorton, Virginia which also in Fairfax County. The park resides on a peninsula; Pohick Bay on the north and Belmont Bay on the south. The Potomac River is nearby, more towards the east. If you a bird lover you will adore this locale. I also heard it is one of the best areas in Virginia for bald eagle sights. Walking on various trails, I saw signs listing the different types of birds that inhabited the area other than the bald eagles — birds such as great blue herons, ospreys, and many other species of wildlife.
Now, I began on the Wilson Spring Trail, which was a decent walk, to be honest. The trail itself was typical, enclosed trees, greeny that that cover both sides of the surface ground—pretty standard. What made me give a “side-eye” was towards the break to another trail, Bay River, it was overgrown. My first assumption was to walk on a semblance of a path, one that lessened with greeny. Sadly, that walkway led downhill, near a creek entirely off-trail. That did not sit well, so I went off trail for a few feet and arrived on the Bay River path. That was a good thing because this path was more clear than its first counterpart. My journey continued unabated.
This trail, wow, was exceptional, vibrant and gave my eyes pleasurable outlook to what is to come. I went downhill for a bit, near the water, although I could not see the opening as well due to the wall of trees that was ahead of me. I came upon a small bridge, crossed it and saw an opportunity just in front. It was a wooden walkway that led out into the water, and now I was at the heart of the Bay River trail.
That walkway was showed the brilliance of human and nature working collectively to inspire us. The water cover with lily pads, moss and other vegetation but it also showed a clearness of its depth. If I were hiking in Florida or Louisiana, I would not attempt this walk. To give context, I seen quite a few alligators in my time when I visited relatives on the fishing grounds of nearby lakes and streams. Alligators love lily pads, especially when the sun is at high noon, the hottest point of the day. It gives them shade but also shields them as they hunt. I was glad to be in Virginia that day. I pressed on, and as I walk towards the dirt path, I saw another entranceway. It was another walkway, but this one proceeded into the open water of the river, the Potomac River of the DMV.
As I step on this new wooden path, I was greeted by a dozen upon dozens of dragonflies. They surrounded me as if I was the invader. Which I kinda’ was. I walk right through their so-call dense crowd, and they knew this day was not for them. The dragonflies gave way, form sickly looking walls around me but continued their presence with no pause. I further my walk, furthermore as the journey gave way to more time, the dragonflies left as quickly as they came. I guess they saw another invader, three to be exact, a couple and their young child.
I exited the first walkway, and as I started uphill, I saw a black snake ahead, crossing my path as it entered the underbrush of the woods. I stood still for thirty seconds and proceeded onwards. That was the first and last I saw of it. I’m not too fond of snakes. Therefore I did not have a witty reply to its presence. I was just happy it left without an incident.
I exited the Bay River trail and came upon a children’s playground and numerous picnic tables. I also stumble upon a piece of history, the “War in the Chesapeake” a battle in the War of 1812. The British and the American forces fought to a stalemate. No clear winners but morally, the Americans were victors. They protected that vulnerable part of the region which showed they were a military force. Even though in the historical summary, they lost the war in general.
Well, that is it for this On Location Series. I welcome the support of all my followers on the many different social media platforms. Please be on the watch for another trek in the woods, may sometime in October??
Time will be the factor for the next journey in kind.