If you’ve watched the news lately, the big weather story last week was a set of snowstorms which hit the Central Atlantic states. Schools closed. Government offices closed. And most of us just huddled inside, shoveled snow between storms, and stoked the fireplace. The staff and I have been cooped up for near on a week. So with clear skies on Sunday, we headed out on a trip. I figured that Manassas was close to home and the staff likes the trails there. Plus, we don’t often see photos of Bull Run in the snow.
Even three days after the last big snowstorm, the snow was deep. I praise the park maintenance team for clearing the parking area. There are businesses (and government) parking lots downtown still under snow. But, praise be! At least we can visit the battlefield!
No, not a Yeti track. We were not the first visitors, of course. Several hardy souls had traversed Matthews hill and left tracks for us to follow. These appeared to be from a visitor with snowshoes. The snow up the hill was about two foot deep in some parts.
But the work uphill in the snow was worth it for the view. I’ve captured this angle in several seasons, but never under snow.
From Matthews Hill, we drove to the Visitor Center to warm up a bit. Along the way we passed Buck Hill to find….
The ground behind the Stone House was the prime attraction at Manassas! Looked like at least fifty kids were taking advantage of slope.
Folks who tour the battlefields with me know I’m rather touchy about being respectful of the sites. So I spent a good five minutes convincing the staff that we could not simply join in with the other kids. Especially with me wearing a Civil War Preservation Trust ball cap!
Onward to Henry House Hill where Thomas Jackson looked cold.
As shown from the tracks, the Henry House was not a popular stop in the snow.
In the Visitor Center the park staff assured us that sledding was permitted, and even pointed out a few locations they recommended. That said, MY staff began asking to hit the slopes. We drove to the less heavily visited “New York” Hill. There we spent a good forty-five minutes as the staff enjoyed the winter sports. And I stood there at the top with my CWPT hat on! Sort of hard to say no when the park staff has given a four-year old the green light.
Now, where I grew up, we had neither hills or snow, save for a few 1-2 day storms. I have no experience snow sledding. But apparently it is some natural act, as my staff quickly mastered this course. No medals were given, but I did have the opportunity to explain the Brooklyn Fourteenth Monument.
When my staff reported “I’m cold” then we drove around to check out some more sites.
We visited the Railroad Cut area.
And made our way around to Chin Ridge.
Again let me point out that the park staff had cleared this and other areas to aid visitors. Those are bobcat tracks to the left of the trail path.
The Stone Bridge wore its snow blanket well.
But with Bull Run well frozen so thick, I wondered silently if one could bypass the bridge entirely without taking a dip.
That was our tour of a snow-coated Manassas. A bit of history mixed with a bit of recreation. And the staff now has another battlefield memory to lean on in future years.