A New Year

2012 HAS ARRIVED and poof! – just like that! – 2011 is but a shrinking speck in our collective rear-view mirror. The first morning of the year dawned with mild temperatures and sunny skies, and so while everyone else in my family was snoring away the first morning of the year, I decided to take my personal color commentator almost-seven-year-old son and Mac the Dog for a Long Explore.

We live within spitting distance of all the Starbucks, grocery stores, McDonalds and 7-Elevens anyone could possibly need, and yet we don't have to venture too far beyond our back gate to find this:

2012-01-01 the woods

 We hiked up the Pepco power line right-of-way to Seneca Creek. Along the way, Peezer was all

2012-01-01 Peezer

…and all

2012-01-01 Peezer on tree

 …because you can't take a boy into the woods and expect him NOT to climb a tree, right?

So we're hiking along and we realize that we're close to a new bike trail that's opened within Seneca Creek State Park.  We hop on the trail and follow it in the direction I imagine will eventually bring us out to the main road that goes by the entrance to our neighborhood. We walk and we walk and we walk and we're not exactly lost, but it seems to be taking a Very Long Time to get to where I think we'll end up. We finally spied a clearing, so we hiked up the hill and found this:

2012-01-01 skeet trap shoot

 There was a paved path and several wooden structures, all of which appeared to be defunct, and piles and piles of blue-dotted tree trunks:

2012-01-01 logs path

The blue dots reminded me of when our friends at Pepco came by our home recently. They were concerned that several of our larger trees might, if they were to fall, be at risk of tumbling into their power lines, and would we allow them to take these trees down? We said Have at it, because they were ones we, too, were concerned about falling (though thinking they'd be more likely to crash into our bedroom versus the power lines) and it ain't cheap to take down a tree.  Meanwhile, Pepco has been on a mighty PR campaign, talking about how they're Hard At Work, in Our Community, clearing branches away from power lines which will, they say, improve reliability. However, you need only drive down some of the roads in our community to see the significant removal of numerous big old trees along the road to wonder if perhaps our power company hasn't gone a wee bit overkill on their campaign. But hey, they sure do look Busy! Busy! Busy! And it dovetails nicely with their latest media blitz.

So apparently, my kid and I stumbled upon Pepco's tree trunk graveyard, which, it turns out, is on the defunct National Capital Skeet and Trap Club, just up the road from where we live, that closed five or six years ago. (Interesting reading here about the as-yet unsuccessful campaign to petition Maryland to reopen the Club.)

By this time, we could hear traffic, which was a reassuring sign that we were close to the road. Before we got there, we poked around the old structure that's at the entrance to the club lands:

2012-01-01 abandoned bldg

…and a closer view of the window:

2012-01-01 window

We ventured home from there, Peezer happy in having completed a first-day adventure and Mama content in having earned her Holiday Nap.

3 thoughts on “A New Year

  1. New Year Hike! It’s an official Trend now, I think, but a very good one. I wish I had thought to do one yesterday with our boys, it would have been fun. Yours looked like it was fun and full of the adventure and exploration and outdoors that all kids (and grownups) love. But wait — wasn’t that the Blair Witch House? Sure glad you didn’t go at night… ;-)
    PS: Love the pose of Peezer with his hands on his hips!

  2. Looks like fun, especially the part about pokin’ around that old house.
    My father could put all that wood to good use in his wood burning furnace, in case you hear that the power company is looking to give it away. Of course he’d have to come get it and load it and drive it home, but it’ll keep him from chopping down every tree in my yard, at least for a day.

  3. A few years ago PG&E took down two giant maples from the front lawn of the complex where I work(-ed, worked, until January 1st). They took the trees down to the ground, hacked up the limbs, dug out the stumps, filled in the holes, and planted two new magnolia trees in their stead. All this by 3:00 p.m. in one day, and all without informing the property owner. He was STUNNED when he saw it for the first time, two weeks later!

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