All this rain today should to result in a sunny weekend. And for that sunny fall weekend, we’ve got lots of activities planned and suggested including hikes, pumpkin pickings, hay rides, corn mazes, soccer and more! Also, Stephen Colbert, fake conservative extraordinaire, puts either his fake or real force of personality and popularity behind conserving our parks, as long as you watch his show, that is.
1. Probably No Jam Bands at Potomac River Jam: From the Chesapeake Conservancy–Celebrate the natural beauty, culture, and history of the Potomac River and C&O Canal with music, paddles, nature walks and more! This free all-day event is also a great opportunity to take in fall foliage along the river’s edge. October 17, 8am – 3:30pm. Free. River Center at Lockhouse 8, C&O Canal National Historical Park, Cabin John, Maryland. Call 301-608-1188 for more information.
2. Pumpkin Picking, Hay Rides and Corn Mazes: Last week we showed you where to find apple orchards around DC and elsewhere on a site called Pickyourown.org. This week we show you where to go get your pumpkins, hay rides and corn mazes to round out your autumnal needs. There are still no pumpkin patches in the district for all you public transit riding locavores. Go get some in Maryland or Virginia to make a sweet jackolantern, a pie, or watch for the local neighborhood kids to do some smashing in fits of hormones on or around Halloween.
3. More AT: For our third Maryland Appalachian Trail Hike we headed from Washington Monument State Park in Maryland to Annapolis Rocks, a popular spot with a large group of people camping there, hanging out and including a woman who lived there in a tent as its caretaker. This hike was the most populated of all of our Maryland AT hikes so far as we encountered all sorts of folks from boy scouts, climbing groups to elderly folks in sandals, someone walking a dog with a saddle bag and about a dozen others. It was also the noisiest, but only for about a quarter of a mile. We crossed about three roads, and one was major highway I-70, which the AT has a pedestrian bridge over. It was in stark contrast to the quiet woods we had experienced on other parts of Maryland’s AT section, but the climb, walk and view from Annapolis Rocks was still great. We also watched the sun set from the first Washington monument, a small stone tower that had accumulated a plethora of bird watchers on our first visit. We headed the other way for a more serene hike on our next trip which we’ll detail in the next picks. In the mean time, here’s a gmap of the Washington Monument to Annapolis Rocks hike with passage through Greenbrier State Park, which a friendly couple told us had great camping facilities.
4. I challenge you to a duel upon your two-wheeled machine: Something we here at Capital Trail Mix haven’t yet done but would love to do is go to one of the many National Park Service Ranger talks offered almost daily for free on the National Mall. There’s one this Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm from the Jefferson Memorial, by bicycle, to discuss duels. From Cultural Tourism DC, a great place to find this and other ranger talks: In the 18th century, gentlemen of power and politics would duel to defend their honor and their good names. President Andrew Jackson found “justice” and “satisfaction” on the dueling grounds. Stephen Decatur, a naval hero, was mortally wounded in a duel. The Burr and Hamilton duel, perhaps history’s most famous, is itself an incredible and tragic story. Join this tour focusing on the violent lives and deaths of famous men and their duels. Contact Brad Berger at 202-438-4173. See the map at Google Maps and find out more here.
5. DC United: Though DC is more divided than united on many things, our soccer team’s games are pretty fun. There are only two games left of DC United fun in 2010. Get your tickets, do some tailgating if you must, and go get your kicks.
6. Colbert Supports the Parks: Comedian / fake conservative Stephen Colbert has teamed up with Great Outdoors America to ask Americans to support our parks! Stop playing your video games and watching the tube for a second to take this small step to help keep our many amazing public lands in great shape and available to the public. Colbert writes “I am something of an outdoorsman in that I occasionally go out of doors–to hail a cab let’s say. But there are parts of this great nation that don’t have asphalt. I encourage you to go explore them. [But watch out for bears]! Stay strong.”