Long Bridge Walking Path, Arlington

I left work around 6:30 tonight with no plans and no energy and no real desire to do anything.  I ended up getting a burger from Good Stuff and going for a walk.

The calorie math on this arrangement looks something like this:

Good Stuff Eatery Calories:  +5,000,000

Walking 2 Miles Calories:                     -167

Total Calories :                             4,999,833

I wanted to eat on a park bench overlooking the water.  I thought I could walk to the water.  I didn’t want my fries to get too cold but I wanted a good view, so I walked over to the Long Bridge Esplanade Park to grab a bench and eat my dinner overlooking the Potomac.

I’ve actually been wanting to walk until I found the waterfront near my hotel for a while now, but never made it home from work early enough so I could explore in the last few bits of daylight.  I’m much too nervous and responsible to wander around at night in the dark.  I know that so many of you are strong independent women and I am one of those too about most things, but walking too alone at night still gives me the heeby-geebies.  (How do you spell heeby geebies?)

Only two problems with this picnic plan:  First, Long Bridge Park doesn’t overlook the water so much as it overlooks the rail road tracks by the water.  And second, there aren’t any  benches, exactly.  So, I sat on a concrete stub and ate my cheeseburger and a few luke-warm fries while runners jogged past staring hate bullets in my direction.  [Yes I can eat a cheeseburger and still look this good.  No I don’t know why you are laughing . . .]  Unbeknownst to me I was chowing down in the middle of a popular Arlington running trail.  Nothing makes a cheeseburger taste flat like the mournful, jealous, slightly-judgy stares of dozens of runners, while running.

But even though I didn’t work out great for the eating part, Long Bridge Park is weirdly beautiful.  As you walk out on the path you think you are walking immediately toward the Washington Monument.  Reagan National Airport is right across the water from the path, so you can sit on the concrete stubs and watch the airplanes take off and land at the airport.  Soccer fields line the grassy areas between Crystal City and the edge of Virginia, and young-ish people were playing ultimate frisbee and running soccer drills and generally having a great time.  You don’t see crystal-clear water and shiny monuments on this side of the Potomac — you see lily pads and marshes and railroad tracks.  I kind of loved it.

long bridge walking path

When I’ve been in the City too long, I crave the wilderness.  Tonight I found a tiny piece right in my [hotel’s] back yard.


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