"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Today's Run: Great Falls Trail (yes, with real waterfalls!)

This morning, Charles and I were just going to go for a run around the neighborhood. We've been planning on going to the Great Falls portion of the C&O Canal trail, and Charles brought it up as we were walking across the parking lot to hit the sidewalk. I told him the plan was to go Friday, as we are supposed to have some nasty storms tomorrow. Either that or today. 

Charles literally took off running back up the stairs to get the car keys.

We went today. We were pretty awed to discover this beauty so close to our home. This will most likely become our regular stomping ground-it's that close.

Today's Photos

Brand new Brooks Ghost 5s

First canal crossing at the park

One of our first views of an angry Potomac, shortly after hitting the trail.


The mules were used to pull this boat full of tourists along the canal, reenacting the way things were done a couple of centuries ago.

Mules waiting.

The boat.

The Potomac
We headed north on the trail first, against my own gut instinct.

The photo didn't do this sight justice. The water reminded me of a Monet painting.
We turned around when we realized the trail in this direction was taking us further away from the river. My gut instinct turned out to be correct. 
Guy leading mule, mule pulling boat.

Those were some damn bombproof mules, too! People whizzing by on bikes and running on foot (like me-I'm that neon green speck in the distance down the trail...) and they didn't even bat an eye.

The boat.

View of the Potomac from the C&O trail.

Trailhead to Great Falls.

That's the trail, leading to the boardwalk.

I ran through the boardwalk, until I got here. Oh man!

Hadn't seen a sight like this since I was 18, when we went to Yellowstone with my dad.

I was like, "OH MY GOD!"

View from the end of the boardwalk

Goofy grin

Running down one of the little side trails...

...that led to this. 

A little beach right by the Potomac.

I was struggling running up that super sandy bank...

We found this side trail leading from the beach.

That had a vertical ascent.

I think I need trail running shoes.
This trail connected back with the C&O trail.

Swallowtail butterfly. Almost let me touch it.

The Billy Goat Trail
Danger signs all over the place, too.
Gee, I wonder why it's called the Billy Goat Trail...

View from the one of the points along the trail.


View from the cliff that was right next to that tree I was touching.

Ok...so I thought these guys were hard core.
This guy was WAY more hard core. He was rowing against THAT current...this was downstream from Great Falls.

The blue marks on the trees indicated where the trail continued.

Charles was having a blast scrambling over all those rocks.

Do you see the lizard?


We did wonder how they'd gotten here. As far as we know, there are no Amish communities in our area; the closest one is about an hour away by car.


Today's Workout
Of the places closer to home that we've discovered, this is our fave so far! We were at the park for an hour and a half. I know I ran for at least 30 minutes, doing sets of 2-3 minutes running (running) with 1-2 minutes walking. Charles couldn't keep up, which is how we ended up with so many photos. He was fatigued after working an overnight and his shoes were making his old ankle injury flare up. (Hopefully the new sneakers will arrive tomorrow...and they will hopefully fit this time!!) The rest of the time, we were scrambling up and down rocks on the Billy Goat trail. I was going to run on the way back, but I was way too pooped by then. I have no idea how many miles we did. More than 3 for sure when taking into account the length of the C&O that we did and the Billy Goat trail; we did several of the nameless side trails as well. Have not invested in a pedometer because we are hoping to become owners of iPhones soon! 


  1. Such a kayaking shitshow. Whitewater maniacs. Climbing is good there though.

    1. Lmao @ "whitewater maniacs"! Have you climbed there? Those are some pretty impressive cliffs. Charles kept saying that it was amazing how close the other shore was (VA side) but if you wanted to get there by car, it's a 2 hour drive.