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First Manassas Trail

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Hike Summary

I’ve been on a few hikes before this, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to test out my trusty new hand-held GPS unit, the Garmin eTrex 20. Truth be told, except in maybe one spot, I didn’t really need it all that much, but having the reassuring chime telling me I was on the right track was a nice touch. I also really like the information that the Garmin website has.
This is also the first time in a month that the weather hasn’t been oppressively hot. It was still hot, hot enough to make me feel as if I were melting at parts, but not hot enough that I thought I was going to die. It was a clear, sunny day.

Smell was one of the things that hit me as I hiked along. There was the smell of baking pine trees in the heat, a resiny, brown smell that reminded me of summers spent up in Calaveras County. There was that straw-like, yellow smell of the dry grass. There were also damp smells of water and decaying vegetation near Bull Run itself.

It wasn’t too challenging of a hike for me, it felt almost just the right length — about 5.5 miles, mostly level, with a couple of hills to climb up. The dog enjoyed the hike, too. I didn’t let him wander off too far on his leash, so this time he didn’t accumulate any ticks, which is nice, because one of my least favorite things is to pull them off of him.

One of the things I discovered on this particular hike is that I really need to get a shirt that is for hiking. These hot days turn me into a big, soggy mess, even after having lost 50lbs (so far.) The other thing is that carrying my GPS in my pocket caused it to wiggle the joystick around, and the unit would get confused. That’s a pretty simple fix, as I was already waiting for an accessory to come in the mail.

When I reached the crest of Matthew’s Hill, I thought about the soldiers that had fought the battle here, 151 years ago. My feet were sore, but compared to them I was in pretty good shape, as I wasn’t having any cannon or guns fired at me.

I’m going to re-visit the park this upcoming week (weather permitting) to walk the other loop trail, which is for the battle of Second Manassas.


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