June 23, 2011

Please Join Me on My Morning Walk!

I'm supposed to take the first dose of my Parkinson's meds when I wake up; then I should wait about an hour before eating. I recently decided I'd use that hour for a walk. Since this is Washington, DC, where the temperature rises quickly into the 80's and 90's -- and the humidity turns the world into a steamroom -- early mornings are often the only time for a walk outside.

I've lived in my house almost 50 years now. But on my new walks around the neighborhood, I'm discovering things that I've never noticed before.

This week, I've been taking a Grand Circuit tour that reminds me of how lucky I was to have found this neighborhood AND to have received the Parkinson's diagnosis and treatments before I carried out my plans to sell the house and move into a retirement residence.

Come along on this walk and you'll see why I refer to this terrific neighborhood as "country living in the city."

Here's where we start, looking back at the house:

Standing in the same spot, we turn around and look down the street toward the elementary school my kids attended:

Then, we head up the hill, which gets steeper with each passing year:

First we see some lovely, more modest houses:

But as we go up the hill, the houses get bigger and pricier:

Then we come to one of my favorites, a home that looks like a Japanese tea house. It was once the residence of Chief Judge Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC. Later, Senator George McGovern lived here:

I like taking pictures of neighborhood gardens. They give me ideas!

Believe it or not, I'm standing in exactly the same spot when taking both pictures below. The first shows the major intersection of Loughboro and Foxhall Roads, just beyond the grass. The second shot shows the entrance to the woods at Battery Kemble Park.

The sign says it's 1.3 miles to the end of the trail through the woods. So I figure my entire roundtrip walk must be close to three miles. It's not like trekking the Annapurna Circuit, but it'll do just fine for this 82-year-old!

We head downhill through the woods (walking more slowly and carefully than I used to)

Halfway down, there's a hill where people come to let their dogs run free (until the Park Police make one of their raids to enforce DC's leash law) After a snow storm, the hillside is filled with people on sleds and skis (It's also the hillside where my son broke his collarbone after riding down it on his bike):

We re-enter the park and enjoy the woods and the small stream running through it:

We exit the park and see the busy street that will lead us home in about ten minutes. But first, we turn around and bid farewell for now to this urban forest.

Now, home for breakfast and coffee. Perhaps later I'll show you my No. 2 favorite walk.


St. James Plantation said...

Thoroughly enjoyed sharing your walk this morning. Thanks for inviting us!

Belsas1 said...

How Lovely!!  What a special neighborhood we live in!!

Randy said...

Looks terrific.  Back to nature.  And from the photos, no sign of other people.  I'd think a  trail like this in the middle of the city would have joggers, dog-walkers, etc.

John said...

I shared the park with one woman jogging with her dog and another walking with her unleashed dog (I'm not being critical.  I used to do the same with my beloved golden retriever.)  The unleashed dog, a lovely poodle, started barking furiously at me. Her owner was upset and embarrassed because the dog didn't usually act up like that.  I reassured her that I've had the same experience before in the park. Dogs get upset when they see me walking alone. They think only people accompanied by dogs and/or children are permitted on the trails!

Pat said...

Thanks for the nice morning walk, John!  Looks like a splendid way to start the day!

Tndowner said...

Finding you and your view is a gift.  I'm so moved and grateful.  Tom and I read the morning walk today and will look everyday for more of you.  with love Nancy and Tom Downer

Tom's Parkinson's diagnosis came in 2002.

Madhav said...

A place to live and work. Would love to see deer and other neighbors too!

Jimpat said...

John,  Thanks for the walk.  Wish we had taken it when you hosted us years ago. Pat&Jim 

John Schappi said...

You'll just have to come back for another visit

John Schappi said...

So it's summer break and Penn State isn't that far from DC and I haven't met your bride.

John Schappi said...

Renewing contacts with old (in more ways than one, I fear) friends like the two the two of you is one of the real pluses of blogging. I'm still in touch with Beverly and she must have told me about Tom's PD and I forgot.  Nothing unusual there.  Let's keep in touch,

Terry Munyard said...

As I get older now I enjoy the early morning much more as the best time of the day, so when I'm next staying with you in Eskridge Terrace, John, I will accompany you if I may on the whole circuit - ending up in your beautiful back garden (or yard, as you would call it!). what a lovely journey - like so many we have taken over the past 35 years since June 1976 when we met by such a happy chance. Terry x

Tricia said...

Thank you for sharing!  We are preparing to move to Palisades with our three young children this summer.  These pictures are so inspiring.  I look forward to sharing them with them.

Sghimire25 said...

Nice to see ur walking place n using one hour to have walk which is really good for ur health. I am also doing same here n some of the place is really similar then here, especially the forest area..... Thanks to share the nice pic of the garden ... Always takecare