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2011-09-25 - Western Ridge Trail and Beach Drive

~10.8 miles @ ~14.4 min/mi

"I'm never coming here again!" Caren Jew swears as she descends a staircase of super-steep slippery rocks. I apologize for luring her into this adventure; memory had faded from the scary experience I had here in 2004 on a solo trek, and I didn't realize how dangerous this segment still is. Important safety tip: next time when trail signage offers the choice between "Strenuous" and "Moderate", take "Moderate".

Earlier today I get the classic migraine aura — slowly growing asymmetric blind spot, surrounded by glittering zig-zag crenalations — but thankfully no headache follows. Perhaps the can of "classic" Pepsi that I chug, when symptoms appear, heads it off? Caren's training schedule demands a few hours of hoof time this Sunday afternoon, so I nominate Rock Creek Park. We park at Boundary Bridge and proceed down the Western Ridge Trail, speculating as to where Chandra Levy was murdered years ago. (Caren's guess turns out to be right, according to subsequent research.) At the horse stable area near Oregon Av a small deer feasts on succulent turf inside the equitation ring.

After we descend from the ridge to Beach Dr it's my turn to apologize again: I lead Caren along Piney Branch Parkway half a mile out and back in search of the Valley Trail. Memory fails me again: the Valley Trail doesn't start until a mile upstream. We decide to stick to Beach Dr and return to Caren's car that way, rather than gamble on another off-road adventure and possible delays.

(cf. GPS trackfile, ...) - ^z - 2011-10-12