Home Sweet Home

IMG_1470While I loved Italy and Sicily, I did long to return to my hikes on my favorite trails in Maryland and Virginia. I did my usual dawn hike this morning on Billy Goat trail and it was glorious with the leaves changing and the crisp autumn wind.

The only downside was that there is a group of hikers who also do the early Sunday hike and speak Chinese on Billy Goat. It is a common problem on trails for regular hikers with noisy people but this group is particularly vocal. I do not know if they are a club but they are exceptionally loud. The result is that you have to chose between rushing ahead (and not enjoying the trail) or waiting to let them pass and never see another animal in their wake. Some folks view the 4-5 mile circle as just another workout course as they speed through the trail while talking loudly. Others, like myself, value the trail as a way to enjoying the sounds and smells of a natural place — running along the Potomac river.

It is a classic conflict on trails of course. Today was particularly frustrating because I had come up a rare sight on this trail of two bucks locking horns in a playful challenge. While I pointed to the deer to try to get them to just stop chattering but they just continued and never even slowed to see the extraordinary animals on the side of the trail. Instead, they scared off the two bucks. It is a shame because they could have seen a truly incredible moment. Honestly, if you just slow down and listen to these trails, you will get both a satisfying workout and a unique experience.


Once the group had passed ahead, the forest returned to relative quiet and it was a wonderful welcome home. Here are a few pictures from Billy Goat trail at dawn:






Path to Billy Goat trail head
Path to Billy Goat trail head

13 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home”

  1. Thank you Prof. Turley for sharing your photos. What a splendid delight.
    Additionally, thank you for your insight into constitutional law.
    I hope you are well rested for this sessions demands upon you and your affectionate students. God bless the laws of the US Constitution.
    Lonnie CUrtis

  2. People are afraid of silence. I did a Trailrun last winter after particularly beautiful snowfall with a group of runners. The forest was in all it’s winter glory yet the people in the group were obsessed with their own chatter. On a particularly steep climb I saw my moment and I abandoned the group as fast as I could. I spent the rest of the run in an absolute Nirvana of beauty and quiet.

  3. Welcome back to the States, Mr. Turley. I enjoyed the photo tour of your trip (the traffic jam was especially amusing). Thank you for sharing with us!

  4. Welcome home. No matter where we travel and how beautiful and wondrous the world is, it’s still truefor most of us. . .there’s no place like home. We live in the foothills in southern California and about two blocks from us is another world where we enjoy nature and quiet. Its perfect.

  5. DBQ, We have a beautiful trail that begins only a half mile from my house, It’s a go to spot for me. The route is mostly farmland and marshes. It’s primarily a bike trail. I’m a walker. For the most part bikers and walkers coexist well, the Chicago lakefront trail being a BIG exception. I think there should be clotheslines erected to flip the a-holes who think it’s the tour de France. But, here’s a pet peeve of many of us walkers. The bikers, and it’s usually the weekend warriors, who scream, “ON YOUR LEFT, ON YOUR LEFT,” until you acknowledge them. They are often in groups and speaking loudly, clearly audible for a half mile. We avid walkers are ALWAYS on the far right. There is AMPLE room for these ham n’ eggers. But, they are control freaks. I do sometimes acknowledge the particularly obnoxious one w/ the single digit salute. Not, in your face. The wave they so DESPERATELY demand, w/ that middle finger being more prominent than the other digits.

    Wi. has done a great job restoring the crane population. And there are many in the marshland along the trail. The problem w/ cranes is they are louder than those Chinese tourists, particularly during mating season. Come to think of it, maybe it’s Chinese mating season?

  6. Beautiful scenery!

    I concur about the noise that people make in the wilderness or on country walks. Why are you there if you can’t take a moment to be in silent wonderment at the beauty and marvel of nature? Trudging through with your head down like it is some sort of chore or punishment. Talking loudly and disturbing everything. Listening to music on your ear buds!!! When the birds are making the most beautiful music of all?

    We live in a very rural location and one of the highlights of our day is to sit on the deck with the morning coffee and listen to the multitudes of birds in the trees around us and watch the geese, herons egrets, and ducks on the flooded wild rice fields below us. Bald eagles and other raptors soaring in the skies. On warm summer evenings the sounds of the frogs below is sometimes overwhelming, but I don’t mind because as long as there are frogs in the world to sing and chirp and trill…..the world is still good.

  7. Love the photos and love even more the non PC rant. There is something that the hate America folks can never rebut. When you leave this country to visit other great countries the feeling is always the same, it’s GREAT to be back in the USA.

    We all need laughs. If you folks want some, but also want to see the viciousness of anonymity of the internet, go to YouTube and watch, Jimmy Kimmel Mean Tweets. Both instructive and hilarious. There’s a series of them along w/ a special NFL edition. I first saw Kimmel on the superb show, Win Ben Stein’s Money, years back. He had success written all over him.

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