This past weekend the weather was ideal for some trail running, but with all the snow we've had, we were worried about the amount of mud we'd find along the way. Lately, our trail runs have been especially muddy, which means that we have to slow our pace to a crawl rather than risk ending up on our behinds.
So we wanted the joy of nature without the hassle of goopy trails. Our solution: Run the US National Arboretum in DC. Inspired by this article, we knew that we could log about 4~5 miles in the park without much difficulty.
And sure enough, the Arboretum delivered. The grounds were beautiful, yet for the most part we were on paved roads. Mud problem solved. While most of the trees were bare, the Magnolias and Bamboo were especially green and alive and the sunny and 60°F temperature was absolutely perfect.
I didn't log the specific route we took, but essentially we looped around the park twice. Just pick up a map of the roads and go for it.
Nearing the end of our run we even hit a geocache in area (apparently the one in the Arboretum). It wasn't a trivial find, so that made it all the more impressive when we did finally discover the cache. We also stepped into the Bonsai display, and were awed by the amazing specimens there. The oldest tree appeared to be from the 1700's, which is staggering if you think about it.
All in all, it's an absolutely wonderful location. It's definitely one we should make a habit of running ever few months to see the various changes the scenery has to offer.
Below Dawn and Shira pose in stand of Dawn Redwood Trees. They were considered "one of the greatest botanical finds of the 20th century" -- the trees, not Shira and Dawn.
Yum! That looks like sumac.
See the cache peeking out there? Now go find it.