I'm now working my way up hill. (Which means the end of the walk when I'm tired is downhill, yeah.) I'm working my way up the western side of Clark's Gap. I intend to walk to Leesburg in the end. I didn't technically start at the very beginning of the trail, but that's because it crosses too many stupid busy roads in Purcellville. So I started at Rt 287 and have been working my way east next to Rt 7. The trail is the Washington and Old Dominion railroad bed (the W&OD). It's 50 miles of bike trail from just outside of DC all the way west to Purcellville. We used to live near it 30 miles further east, but I've never walked or biked this section in the four years we've lived here.
But it's beautiful, especially at this time of year when very few people are using it. Mostly I'm by myself, with my own thoughts. I love that. And after a four mile trek, I feel really good. Which can't be said most of the time when I exercise. It does have something to do with being out in the fresh air and moving at a moderate pace. I'm not fast, I'm not slow. I move along and have plenty of time to think, to let my thoughts wander, to question and observe man's marks and nature's around me. It can be creepy when I wonder if anyone is following me, it can be beautiful when the light changes or it's foggy or I see a blue heron. It doesn't matter. I just let all these sensations flow through me. It makes me feel alive.
And it makes my feet hurt. Oh well. That's part of feeling alive, too.