This past weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Virginia to attend some family matters. The long drive to Manassas on Friday was followed up by a day of recreation on Saturday. Our specific form of recreation was an early afternoon trip to the Manassas Battlefield National Park. After walking into the Henry Hill Visitor Center for a brief tour of the artifact rooms, I headed out to the battle fields while everyone else headed into the theatre for a historical film.
I walked out across the first field and got a close up of the Stonewall Jackson Monument. This thing was huge and my mind immediately trailed back to the 2009 Massanutten 100 where I ran in the Stonewall Jackson Division. I finally got the whole story about Ole’ Stonewall and got a good glimpse across the Battlefield, thinking of what he probably saw while steadfast atop this hill.
From there I headed out on a trail and barreled out into the woods. Everything is green down here. The grass is tall and has all ready been mowed. The flowers are in full bloom and the trees are spreading their green leaves. I’m in love as I bound through the lush forest. 75 degrees, humid and I’m sweating bullets all ready. Soaking wet from the heat and humidity, I’m smiling from here to ear as I crash through numerous mud puddles and the slick brown clay covers my legs. Enjoying myself so much I run through the Youngs Branch Creek for a quick rinse.
From here I head up to the old Van Pelt homesite. I plop my camera atop a fence post and snap a photo of me running through the green fields. I head around the Ford Farm Loop then up to the carter Cemetery where I am in awe of the 19th century Rock Wall that lines the boundary of the grave site. Super cool!
Back out onto the trail I emerge from the thick forest, full of ice storm destruction, and out upon Matthews Hill. Atop the hill side are Civil War cannons, arranged in much the same way as they may have been 150 years ago. I run across the vast expanse, stopping to admire the local fence-craft before descending to Sudley Road where I stop to admire the Stone House.
It was an amazing 6.5 mile run through this historical and humbling place. I finished my run by checking out the Henry House, snapping a few more photos and then washing my clay and mud covered legs off in a near-by puddle. The perfect day… especially after hearing it was snowing back in NH.. it was hard to return home.