We were so happy to see that the National Park Service had predicted peak cherry blossom bloom in Washington, DC for sometime between March 20-27. Our plans were to arrive on 3/21 at Bull Run Regional Park about 30 miles south of our capitol near Manassas, Virginia. We arrived. Spring didn’t. About five days before we came the temperatures turned unseasonably cold and the cherry blossom prediction was changed to 4/8-15! So far we’d escaped winter. With our first two nights dipping to twenty degrees we stayed warm using both the electric fireplace and the propane heater. As you can see in the above picture we even had a late, wet snow.
I thought it was great but my paws did get cold. By noon all the snow melted and I got really muddy.
We’d found our campground using the app CampWhere. We set our GPS by the coordinates on that entry. We noticed a discrepancy between the GPS and the directions on the park website. “Maybe the GPS is putting us on a truck route. I guess we should follow it.” Bad decision. We realized it as the GPS led us through a residential community but we had no place to turn around so we plunged ahead praying it didn’t put us on a dead end. You don’t realize how big this trailer is until you pass a group of kids gawking at this thing coming down their road saying “WOW!”. It led us to Spashdown Park. Our campground does have a watermark, just not THAT park. I called Bull Run and got the address. We plugged it into the GPS. You guessed it. The directions were what was on the website! So back through the neighborhood and finally we arrived at Bull Run Regional Park. This park is wonderful. A perfect mix of private campground amenities and state park privacy. We had reserved a full hook-up site. We’d rate this park a 5 star except for price ($45/night) but then nothing in the DC area is inexpensive. We know we’ll be coming through the DC area often as there is so much to see and do. We’ll definitely stay here again. For sure we’ll follow the park directions. No more just trusting CampWhere coordinates! The app has a place to click and send in corrections and suggestions. I alerted them to the error. So far, I’ve not heard anything back from them. The learning curve isn’t as steep as it used to be but we are still “learning to fly”.
With day temperatures in the high 30s and wind gusts of 20mph making it seem colder, we headed to the nearby NPS Manassas National Battlefield better known as the site of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run. Steve might get around to researching this later. For now I’ll just give a brief overview of our visit. The countryside is rolling hills punctuated by thick forest. We took two guided tours, one for each battle. The Union thought there would be just one battle and the war would be over. People from Washington even came out with picnics to watch the battle also thinking it would be a Union victory. McClellan was over confident. There were numerous tactical and comunicaion errors. With the Confederate win at First Manassas it became apparent that a brief conflict would not be so. It was here that Stonewall Jackson earned his famous nickname. It was also here that Lee gained prominence. During the thirteen months between the First and Second Manassas the Confederate troops turned from an unorganized and untrained group into an army. The Confederate win at Second Manassas set the stage for them crossing into northern territory and the battles at Antietam (Sharpsburg) and Gettysburg.
The following two days were snowy then cold. We chose to stay in and rest. This gave us time to catch up on blog entries. I’m pleased to say that we’ve now reached the 3,000 mark for views to our blog. Again we thank all of you who are interested enough to follow along with us.