State hopping

I was in 5 different states this weekend. Impressive, eh?

On Friday I started out in my home state of Illinois, then flew east to visit a friend. I arrived at Reagan National Airport in Virginia, then hopped the Metro and ended up in Maryland. That’s 3 states visited in a matter of 3 hours, and I also traveled through the District of Columbia, too.

The next day, we drove up to the Philadelphia area. We started out in Maryland, spent about 10 minutes in Delaware, and then ended up in Pennsylvania, before reversing our route later that afternoon. Another 3 states traversed in one day. I’d never visited any of these states and got a thrill marveling at Baltimore’s skyline and harbor as we sped along the expressway. (We drove through a tunnel under the harbor! Cool!)

I find this amazing because I’m a Midwestern gal and the states are pretty large out here. Chicago is positioned fairly close to 3 other states (Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan can all be reached in one to two hours via car), but it’s still possible to drive for 5 or 6 hours and never leave Illinois. (Well, at the least scenery in Illinois varies; anyone who’s driven through Nebraska should get a medal.)

Most of our time was spent in Maryland, though, where we enjoyed a hike on Sunday morning along one of the creek ravines (was it Rock Creek? Sligo Creek? I’m not sure). It was too early for peak fall colors, but the weather was great and I enjoyed the views.

Creekside in Maryland

Creekside in Maryland

Bubbling creek

Bubbling creek

Mossy rock

Mossy rock

It was amazing to walk along this little pocket of peace inside the Beltway. I saw a small woodpecker (a downy woodpecker, perhaps?), heard a bird call I still haven’t placed, and marveled at the mosses and fungi along the path. I was also amazed at how clean it was near this creek. We were in a major metro area and I really expected there to be the usual trash: candy and chip wrappers, newspapers, soda cans, etc. But it was very clean, with only a few debris found around the Beltway overpass.

This was just a short trip, though, so in the late afternoon on Sunday I retraced my route. I boarded the Metro in Maryland, went through the District and into Virginia, where I caught a flight back to Illinois. It was a fun weekend, but short. A nice little getaway, and one that I’d love to repeat.

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