Days 5-6: Prince William Forest, VIrginia, 824 miles, 8 states
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
We stayed last night in Prince William Forest Park, Virginia. There had been a continuous rain for several hours leading up to our arrival in the area, so the grounds were soggy, the air was misty, and the trees were dripping.
Our stay almost didn’t happen, because we’d made a mistake on our reservation. A ranger happened to pass by as we were considering speaking to the usurpers of our campsite. We learned that they were totally in the right and that our reservation was for a previous day. Fortunately, there was an unoccupied site we were able to use.
The Park sits next to the Quantico Marine Base, and as a reminder of the toll of war, the Quantico National Cemetery. The area of the Forest was once home to several villages, including one for former slaves.
It’s now a lush green landscape, much further along than our cape Cod vegetation and denser in any case. There’s a beautiful Scenic Drive, trails, well-spaced campsites, and limited, but well-functioning facilities.
We visited nephew Mark, his wife Laura, and their two boys in Springfield. It’s a sign of the enforced isolation of covid on top of our laziness that they’ve been in a new home for five years and we hadn’t seen it before.
Mark and Laura may have started a trend. We’ll be seeing at least seven family individuals or groups in domiciles new to us on this trip, and as a bonus, one family in Texas and another in California who’ve sold their homes and moved out, but don’t have a new one yet. In addition to covid, there are growing families and new jobs, maybe a little restlessness appropriate to our times.