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Greetings from the USA! I'm reminded that today is the four year anniversary of my blog. On 27 August 2012, I published my very first story about my love for flight. There are a lot of words, emotions and thoughts. This is the only way I know how to write - in an expressive sense. I understand it's annoying to some, but I'm not the type of person who can ever accept the answer "just because" to any question posed, and I don't like people who can't articulate why they feel or believe a certain way. "Just because" - it's never an acceptable response in any situation, not even love in my view.

We must think about our choices in life, and understand why we are taking certain actions. This is not always easy or comfortable. It takes effort, self-reflection, and other scary sensations that most people fear, or are too lazy to battle. It's always simpler, after all, to just go with the flow. We are all a work in progress, constantly evolving, at least I believe this to be the case if you are truly living, and not merely existing.

I wish to thank all the readers who have stuck by me for four years. Many have come and gone, some of you I have had the pleasure of meeting in person, however most I know only virtually. Yet there is some sense of connection and recognition after sharing thoughts, views and opinions with you all these years.

I'm sorry I haven't written recently, there has been no motivation. I just returned from a wonderful adventure in Alberta, Canada and Montana, and in about a month will finally embark on my big expedition to the country of Georgia.

I wish you all a pleasant weekend! And thanks again for your support, loyalty, humor and always challenging me - on multiple levels! :)

Originally posted by [ profile] peacetraveler22 at Gravelly Point Park Arlington, Virginia
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Since childhood I've been fascinated by airplanes. Not in a mechanical or engineering sense, but for the possibility of exploration and human observation. To me airplanes represent freedom, innovation and emotion. On any given flight every human emotion is present. People anxious and excited to see loved ones, meet an important client, close a business deal or arrive at some exotic locale. Conversely, there are sad people leaving family or loved ones, tired business travelers and rude, grouchy people. If you look closely it is sometimes easy to see into which category a particular passenger falls.

There is an interesting and unique park called "Gravelly Point," which is located off the George Washington Parkway in Arlington, Virginia. The park is not accessible by metro and I doubt many foreign visitors even know of its existence. However, it is worth a visit because there is probably nowhere else in the United States where you can be so close to an airplane in flight. The park sits only a few hundred feet away from a runway at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, and even in the post-September 11 world it is completely accessible to the public.

I frequently visit the park and at all times there are people waiting to view the planes.

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Now on to the main attraction. The runway in front of the park is both for landing and taking off, depending on the direction of the winds. Of all the times I've been here I've only seen planes land. As you can see, standing on the ground the belly of the plane is about one hundred feet above you. You feel the roar and power of the engines and the ground vibrates as the plane flies directly overhead.


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Here you can see how close park visitors get to the runway at Reagan National.

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The main draw of the park is planespotting. However, on weekends people play sports such as soccer, softball and lacrosse. Very nice scenery with the Washington Monument and other DC landmarks in the background.

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The Mount Vernon Trail, a very popular cycling, running and walking trail, also runs directly through the park. Always there will be people riding bikes and families walking or having picnics, etc.

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When I'm anxious or stressed I bring a blanket to the park, sit on a bank or rock ledge and admire the beautiful scenery. On this particular day the sky was fantastic with a mix of both white, fluffy clouds and gray, ominous ones. A very dramatic and peaceful landscape. Of course I got caught in a torrential rain running back to my car but it was worth it!!

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If you are ever in the DC area please take time to visit this park. You can Google it by name and find images much more stunning than my photographs. The park is open at night and a very romantic date spot in my opinion. Bring a blanket, some wine or other beverage, and simply marvel as the lights of the planes approach and fly directly over you in the night sky.

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Safe journeys forward!
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