REI and D.C. Parks

Can you believe I live in a place that doesn’t have a nearby REI?  I have never been to an REI store, but while visiting my sister-in-law’s house near Washington, D.C. there was a store about 20 minutes away!  It didn’t take much convincing to have them take me for a visit!

My heart skipped a beat and my breathing quickened when we pulled into the parking lot.  I skipped to the store to be the first inside.  Upon entering the store I stopped dead.  My eyes taking in all the wonderful sights of outdoor EVERYTHING!  Snapping back to the task at hand was difficult!  My husband had been wanting some hiking boots for when he goes out with me and of course I couldn’t wait to look around and see what I could find!

First things, first.  I scoped out the different brands of boots for Dave and chose the Merrell Moab Waterproof Mid height boot.  He wasn’t sure he liked how they laced up, but he liked how comfortable they felt.  He tried on a few others, but those were ones that we took home.  He’s excited to wear them tailgating at Bills games next year.  What can I say….he has other priorities than I do.

Finishing with his purchase I moved on to my own!  I plan to do more winter hiking and need some micro spikes.  A helpful REI representative helped me find what I needed in no time and made sure they fit my boots – Keen Durango.  That was easy!  I continued to browse the store and tried on some Kuhl coats. They were a little out of my price range for now. I needed a new water resistant pair of gloves and they had a large selection that made me very happy! I picked out my favorite and browsed my way to the register. My brother-in-law is a member so we were able to get the member price or he got the points or however that works.  I was shocked that I didn’t buy more things, but then again my hubby was with me to control my spending!

My brother-in-law, Wayne, knows a lot of neat parks and places to visit around D.C. so we spent some time exploring!  We visited the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.  It was close to dusk when we arrived so I only had a short walk about.  There was a neat trail called the Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling Conservation Heritage Trail.  It was a short loop and every few yards there was a board with names and short biographies of famous conservationists. I learned a lot and said a silent thank you to each one.

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Me and the lake. It was misty over the water and so beautiful. My camera phone didn’t quite capture the true beauty.

Another park we visited was the Lake Artemesia in Prince George’s County.  It is a man-made lake that was created when they were building the metro rail.  The park was named after Artemesia N. Drefs, who donated the land back in 1972.  We had fun walking around the lake and Wayne taught me to identify two seed pods from two trees – the cottonwood tree and the black gum tree.

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The cottonwood pod are the nice round ones and the black gum is the spiky one.

We saw a beautiful white swan flying overhead and many other water birds.  The park seemed to be well used by dog walkers, bikers, fishermen, and hikers.

The last place we visited before heading home was the National Arboretum.  I didn’t even know this existed!  They have a field of state trees, the biggest herb garden that is meticulously labeled, a bonsai museum and the old columns from the Capital.  When the Capital
was remodeled they removed the old columns in the front and placed them on a hill in the Arboretum.  It is quite the sight to see!

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It looks spooky and curious!

Walking through the herb garden was very interesting.

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Obviously, I lifted this picture from their website.  The gardens are not this lush this time of year! http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/herb.html# 
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I was imagining being a little tiny person walking on the gravel path and then sitting under these trees!

All in all a GREAT visit to D.C.!  Thanks for traveling with me!

Author: trailchaser2020

Adventure driven. Training for my 2020 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

2 thoughts on “REI and D.C. Parks”

  1. Didn’t know about the columns at the arboretum! Very cool! Glad you enjoyed your trip to REI…waiting on my dividend so can go gear shopping…I think there may be a new backpack in my future… 🙂

    Like

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