Down By The Riverside


I’ve long been a fan of climbing into my car, cranking up the speakers, and engaging in a timeless activity that back in the day, my boys and I dubbed – “Turning Corners.” This is when you get in your car, pop in your favorite CD, and motor around the metro with no actual destination in mind. Just turning up one street and down the next, chillin’, with no mission other than to take in and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Understand that you’re never too old to appreciate this pastime! So recently while on one of these driving expeditions, casually making our way through a residential area near downtown, Rach, the girls, and I stumbled for the first time upon a cozy little park tucked away in what seemed to be a rather obscure spot.  As we were rounding a slight curve, I happened to glance back over my left shoulder, and caught a glimpse of what looked like a small service road leading to nowhere.  Since this road was slightly camouflaged by trees, I certainly would have missed it had we not been on this sight seeing excursion looking for strange and uncharted roads to meander down.  With the girls jamming to their new favorite tune, “Everything Is Awesome,” by Tegan and Sara; the motion of them chair dancing in unison causing the van to sway from side to side, “we” decided to venture down this route to see where it would lead.  Sure enough we located this charmingly diminutive reserve.

It may have been new to us, but judging from all the hustle and bustle, this park certainly was no secret to others. The place was humming with activity! Parents pushing children on swings, folks playing fetch with dogs, bikers, and joggers maneuvering down the many trails that zigzagged the landscape of this urban green space.

Eventually the girls had their fill of climbing, swinging, flipping, and dipping, so set out to venture down one of these trails ourselves to see what wonders we might behold. Our jaunt began with cement under foot, but the walkway abruptly transitioned to rocks, and then all of a sudden changed to a dirt path.  After a few more feet we came upon a set of wooden stairs that gradually led down a hill. Mind you, had I not been wearing a pair of shoes that I wasn’t worried about getting a bit dusty; we would not have traveled this far. We began to trek down these stairs, and once we made it to the bottom, we were surprised to find ourselves standing on the banks of the Rivanna River.

Of course upon seeing the rushing water, Delaney and Journey began disrobing as if it was time to take dip. That action got cancelled quickly, as we had to firmly explained to them that we were only here to marvel at the gushing current.

Delaney was not pleased that her freedom to wade into the stream had been seized, so she protested by getting her pout on! (see above photos)

As the sun began to disappear below the trees, we hiked back the way we came, loaded up into the van, and turned the corner that pointed us toward home. I settled contently into my seat, pleased that we had endeavored to discover pristine paths and winding waterways.


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