Wet. The weather report was "20% chance of scattered showers." That translated into "100% chance of about 20% worth of solid rain."
The sixteenth Eagle Run continued the tradition of touring Mason Neck in search of eagles, beer, and Knob Creek. Oh, and pizza.
A large group formed at Gunston Elementary School under threatening skies. The regulars knew what was in store. The first Gary briefing, the second Gary briefing, the run, and most importantly, the party.
This was a strange year for the eagles. The old reliable bird on the other side of Pohick Bay was AWOL. On the other hand, we saw two eagles in Belmont Bay and another later in the Eagle Run's "Do Loop" where we don't usually see them. We also saw one on the Barn Wharf trail. But the biggest surprise was the eagle that decided to pose across the road from Gary's house. Had he been there at the start, we could have gone straight to the party.
The strategy of keeping the rain away by putting up canopies, didn't work this time. We put up not one, but three canopies. But it rained anyway. And no one used them. The rain was not hard, and the heat from the fire was much more desired.
You know the sign in the super market? "In answer to your many requests, there is no candy in this check out line." Well, in answer to the many requests, we had wine at the party. Pam pronounced the wine as good. Most didn't know as they had injured their taste buds on beer, but there was some uncharacteristic class at the VHTRC event.
Yet again, we tragically bought too much beer. We have formed a committee to investigate the situation.
Many years ago, Gary invited some friends to see eagles on Mason Neck. That generosity has become a great tradition. This is all Gary's show. He had help this year with trail marking and aid stations. So thank you to Gary and all the folks who helped him, and especially to Gary's wife, Charlotte for putting up with us each year.
With George Mason. Photo: Charlotte Knipling