Hiking the neighborhood


Mile 3 of 30 on the Rock Creek Trail

Kensington, MD, April 4, 2020 —  Some people in the burbs never thought they’d actually live there.  For them, home is a place where you sleep and store your stuff.  You work, play, socialize, and vacation elsewhere – at a resort, their beach house or a “camp” in Maine.

Now that the entire country is on an extended stay-cation, folks are finding out if their ‘hood is good.

Until recently, we have had a few neighbors we’ve never seen.  They’ve avoided the mundane stuff of suburban life. Other people cut their grass, plant their flowers and clean their houses.  Maids even put out their trash and exercise their yellow labs.

Since the advent of COVID neighborhood arrest, they’ve been out sniffing flowers and wearing out their tenderfooted dogs. In some ways it’s fun to watch.  We even made a rare sighting of our U.S. senator who lives on the next block.

We first moved into this neighborhood in 1985.  At that time I was a competitive distance runner and needed routes to run that were long and safe from traffic.  This was/is best place to run and walk in all of Washington IMHO.

These days this hike-a-holic is on the neighborhood wagon. It’s a good ride with plenty variety and room to roam.  Here’s a five-mile sample.


The hood is full of small libraries.  The first was designed a built by a 10-year-old girl with very little help from her dad.  It’s not this one.


Folks decorate their trees.


One of more than 70 LDS temples in the U.S.  Can’t tell you how dramatic it is at night.  Nearby graffiti used to say, “Free Dorothy!”


Vernal pool.


Cat tails ready to regenerate.


Turn toward the temple.  Right at the For Sale sign.


Lots of kids.


American cherry trees are blooming everywhere.


Woah!  A bear!  Note that it’s on a leash.


Kensington, like its English namesake, is noted for its gardens and playgrounds.  Unfortunately the equipment is a COVID vector and accordingly is off limits.


The parks are named for the people who cared for them, most for decades.


The farmer’s market was open, but sparsely attended compared to normal.  That is the original 1894 railroad station where the train still stops.


This is a cosmopolitan international area.  Earlier I passed the Hungarian ambassador’s house.


This has been a children’s library for more than 125 years.


No.  The rabbi isn’t buried there.  The town is full of tributes to its prominent citizens.


Silver Creek.  Earth Day was conceived a couple of blocks from this site.  Sen. Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day.  His wife still lives in their house.


We tried to name this new middle school after Sen. Nelson. Silver Creek won out.


What’s a hike without a fire?  The ash tree that used to live here was murdered by emerald ash borers.  Left with a giant hole in the ground, a stay-cation-ready replacement was in order.

I usually walk early to avoid the herds that self-generate as the day matures.

Wanna buy a house?





2 thoughts on “Hiking the neighborhood

  1. Thanks for the photo tour. Barely a soul visible. Maybe you were out very early. We are fortunate to have a good network of trails around our neighborhoods. People are out using them a lot especially when the sun shines. Yesterday was a good one. I cleaned up some yard things, chatted with my neighbors on both sides of the house, and watched a lot of dogs walking their owners. The dogs looked happy.

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