Blazing trails in Prince William Forest Park

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I'm lucky that I sometimes get to spend time outside as part of my job. I didn't really grow up outdoorsy, and many of my other favorite activities are indoor affairs. Let's not discuss how I feel about bugs. So, you can imagine how long it took me to make the connection between the exhilarating high of fresh air and exertion with my treks to rivers all across the country.

I've finally managed to put two and two together and decided to try to incorporate a bit of hiking into my weekend. This Saturday I convinced Ravena to come with me to Prince William Forest Park to hike down to a waterfall on Quantico Creek. I needed to evaluate its ability to pass fish for a future potential project and figured I could kill two birds with one stone. Also, I'm secretly trying to convince Ravena (also my gym buddy) that we should replace a day in the gym with outdoor hikes.

The parking lot for the trail in question was full, and the next lot was about 2 miles away. We ended up at the further lot, but my rogue nature kicked in. I was not interested in walking back along the road to the official trail and was more into blazing our own path. We took off into the woods with me trying to navigate with Google maps (hello, urban park) and the compass on my iphone. I was like a modern Meriweather Lewis.

Can I admit to being a little scared? I was a little scared. The park is pretty big, and once you're a ways into the woods, it all really does start to look the same. I knew that by continuing to move downhill we would run into the river, but what about when we turned to head back? I may have freaked out (internally) when Google maps suddenly put me in a completely different location.

P.S. If you can't handle conversations that begin with "what would you do for water if we got lost and were trapped out here for days", you probably don't want to go on an adventure with me :-)