a less than original thought...

it was a less than original thought...
yesterday as we finished our drive back from visiting the inlaws in pittsburgh it was discussed that we spend our Sunday taking the boys and our black dog Brutus to Great Falls on the Maryland side of the Potomac to hike The Billygoat Trail
there was talk of an early rise which was to include a healthy breakfast

well... a late Saturday night and a slow morning that was occupied with all sorts of LEGOS had us leaving out of the house well after lunch...
in fact late enough that I was sort of worried about the remaining sunlight of the day

fearing a shortage of time and considering avoiding the drive I proposed hiking local in the woods of Rock Creek Park but we were drawn to the notion of The Billygoat Trail and all of its rocks and scramble potential
so... we stuck to our original plan

while I packed a bag of snacks Lisa called to see if the we could my brother's wife and their two kids to join us
we knew my brother was our racing his cyclocross bike
sure enough... we caught them in between activities... they were game
we loaded up the car and headed out of the city

it was a short drive with no traffic to speak of
when we arrived at Old Angler's Inn there was no where to park

each lot was full... so full that kayakers were carrying their boats far further than usual
cars lined MacArthur Blvd blocking the bike path
it was like trying to find a parking space at the mall on Black Friday!
Lisa dropped us off and drove around looking for a space
the dog pooped and the boys played as we looked for the cousins
there was a parade of people marching down the towpath towards the trail

without any argument I swayed our party of three adults, four children, and two dogs to take the path less traveled

we headed towards the trails that weave about the land between Old Angler's Inn and Great Falls in between the C&O and MacArthur
it was a good choice the boys were free to run and I felt a lot less guilty about letting my dog run leash less
it should have been obvious that on a 65 degree day at the end of the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend that the trails would be packed
yet somehow we did not factor that into the plan

the alternate plan worked out well
the boys and the dogs got to run wild while the parents walked a steady pace and managed to keep up

we hiked one larger loop that took us through some moderately deep woods of leafless trees
the apex of our hike was a high point that gave a good view of the river and the falls
with our shortage of time and a group of boys that were sure to soon lose strength we took the tow path back

the tow path was crowed with a parade of people
so we migrated to the lesser known service road that runs parallel to the tow path between Old Anglers Inn and Great Falls

to keep the boys moving and entertained I staged a few foot races

it was a good day
no time on the bike... but a good day just the same

the Billy Goat Trail may be reserved for week days or cold days in winter...
this is not the same world I grew up in

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