Last year I did a lot of meetups, mostly hiking meetups because I really love walking/hiking but am scared to go on my own because of my terrible sense of direction. Also, I thought it would be a good way to meet outdoorsy-handy-type guys, but it turns out most outdoorsy guys don’t join social hiking groups. In my experience, I’ve found that mostly divorced, middle-aged ladies join social hiking groups.
But I still like hiking in a group once in a while and I signed up for an early morning walk last Sunday. I have a terrible drop-out rate when it comes to these things and usually end up deciding not to go last minute, so I offered my driving services as a way to really lock myself in. Two people wanted rides so I was really committed and there was no getting out of it. And it was actually kind of nice to chat it up with the two ladies I was transporting. One was a mostly silent 70ish lady with large pink glasses and a safari hat and the other was a bubbly, late-thirties, recent divorcee with OK Cupid horror stories. Really, I feel very lucky with my experiences compared to the guys this lady’s gone out with. I don’t know why I dread social situations so much…usually I end up having a nice time and wondering why I don’t do social things more often.
Anyway, the “hike” (more like casual stroll, perhaps due to all the elderly people in the group) was in Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, a really unique, interesting and beautiful park in Northeast D.C. And it was lovely. As lovely as being in swamp on the Anacostia River in the middle of summer in D.C can be, at least. It’s not in the best neighborhood, but if you live in the D.C area I highly recommend it. Best to come early in the morning when the lotuses and lilies are in bloom and it’s not as hot and humid. I got lost in the flowers and small details and didn’t get any good pictures of the park , just a bunch of flower close ups. My sister’s company does a volunteer cleanup every year at Kenilworth Park and my says they find tons of syringes, so it’s probably not the kind of place you want to be after closing. That said, there were plenty of people there when I went in the morning and I felt perfectly safe.
This is the only picture I actually took of the park as a whole. There are some short trails around the ponds/swamps and a boardwalk. I started taking pictures though and didn’t make it to the boardwalk.