Lake Accotink – Morning of Geocaching

When I woke up this morning and turned on the news to see that it was 67 degrees outside I just knew I had to get outside and enjoy this weather.  After the last week of scorching temperatures, you could not have asked for a more perfect day than we are having today.  On Monday it was sauna outside….literally….when we had our afternoon OMGWTF Thunderstorm the steam was rising off the streets faster than the rain was coming down.  It was that nasty hot.  So today’s break in the weather was a welcome relief.

So I woke up and headed over to Lake Accotink.  I mapped out a route through the park that would have me hitting up 4 caches that should be right along the trails.  The first of these trails led me over the train tracks.

Bridge Crossing the Tracks

The bridge crossing over these tracks was definitely not my favorite type of bridge.  I hate looking down and seeing the ground about 50 feet below me.

hate. hate. hate.

Walking down the trail I decided to see if I could use the Panorama feature on my camera to take a picture of the trail as it wound down and around a little creek and it didn’t turn out half bad:

The trail winds around a creek

When the trail came around the little bend you could finally see the lake and the docks on the other side:

As I made my way around the lake I noticed that this didn’t seem to be the lake I remembered coming to as a teenager.  It really wasn’t much of a lake at all anymore.  We used to come out to this lake and rent a canoe or a paddleboat and spend hours out on water.  Now, there was hardly any water in the lake at all.

It was a pretty sad sight.  The water was mostly gone and nothing was left but a sea of mud and plastic bottles.  There were spots that were still nice around the lake though, like this:

and this:

or even the little wildflowers growing along the trail:

As long as you were on the trails that were away from “Lake” everything was nice though.  I found all 4 of the caches that I set out to find in the park and that was really nice.

Locke posing with a Letterbox Cache.

Every day that I have gone out Geocaching it has always been so freakin’ hot.  Today was the first day where the walk was actually enjoyable and I didn’t arrive back at my car drenched from head to toe in sweat.  It really made me wish that I had more time and that I had loaded up the GPS with a few more caches to seek out.

As I was walking back up the trail to the car I was already thinking about where I might go tomorrow since it is supposed to be even nicer.

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2 Comments

Filed under Geocaching, Just me

2 responses to “Lake Accotink – Morning of Geocaching

  1. Don’t fret! Lake Accotink will resemble the lake you remember from your childhood once the repairs to the dam have been completed.

    The Fairfax County Park Authority released the following information on July 2, 2010.

    Lake Accotink Emptied; Work on Dam Continues
    Repair work on the dam at Lake Accotink Park is moving forward. The repairs, mandated by the state and funded through park bonds, can proceed more quickly now that the lake has been completely drained. The project at the Fairfax County Park Authority site is being managed by the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES).

    The work was slowed by significant amounts of rainfall and snow that prevented full drainage of the lake, a necessary step in the repair process. Contractors are working to make structural repairs of the concrete dam and stilling basin, replacement of the wood flashboard system, installation of three seepage monitoring wells on the earthen embankment and to install a seepage control drain along the toe of the dam embankment.

    In order to draw down the lake water level and allow work to proceed, Environmental Quality Resources (EQR) was hired to remove silt and debris in and around the dam outlet structure. EQR has finished cleaning the outlet structures and has also installed a new trash rack. The primary contractor, Coastal Gunite has now resumed their work and completion is anticipated in mid-August. Occasional, intermittent closure of trails parallel to the dam may occur.

    For more information contact Branch Manager John Lehman at 703-324-8738 or Park Supervisor Julie Tahan at 703-569-0285.

  2. That is awesome news. It really was depressing when I was walking around the Lake a couple weeks ago. Glad to hear this is only temporary.

    Thanks for the information.

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