Author Topic: REI  (Read 1513 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 31457
  • Hell yes!
Re: REI
« Reply #50: March 29, 2012, 09:35:24 AM »
I was going to go to the REI in Fairfax last night before we went to the movies but HOLY GOD does that "town center" make me want to go on a mass shooting spree.  What Mensa Select member decided not to install parking garages in place so far removed from civilization?

There's plenty of parking out on the REI end of the center.  If walking so far makes you hungry, you can always stop in Ruth's Chris for a few tenderloins before moving on.

Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 31457
  • Hell yes!
Re: REI
« Reply #51: March 29, 2012, 09:36:45 AM »
Anyone done Old Rag recently?  I hear it is a zoo on weekends nowadays.

It's pretty bad.  They do limit parking somewhat which holds down the numbers but I'd generally advise doing another hike instead if it's a nice day or a weekend.

Shame because Old Rag should be what hiking's all about.

Online Slateman

  • Posts: 40269
Re: REI
« Reply #52: March 29, 2012, 09:38:10 AM »
There's plenty of parking out on the REI end of the center.  If walking so far makes you hungry, you can always stop in Ruth's Chris for a few tenderloins before moving on.

Exactly. It's only an issue for people who insist on circling the parking lot, trying to find a close space or who end up stalking you as you walk back to your car. In the time it takes them to actually get to a parking spot, you could have just parked further away and walked to where you're going.

Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 31457
  • Hell yes!
Re: REI
« Reply #53: March 29, 2012, 09:47:44 AM »
I did Signal Knob last weekend as a day hike.  Have fun!

As far as outdoor stores, I really like the REI in Fairfax, though as others have noted, it is on the small side compared to some of their other locations.  I visited one in Denver earlier this year that was huge.  I also like Eastern Mountain Sports - I do a lot of backpacking and I talked with the folks in their Sterling store who were very helpful.  I ended up getting a new Gregory backpack as a Christmas gift that was purchased at that store.  For all you Scout folks on here, they're planning on doing a Philmont presentation sometime in April and I think I'm going to be helping with it (I've been several times, including four summers on staff).  I'll keep you all posted.

Anyone remember Appalachian Outfitters in Oakton?  A great local gear store, but they went out of business several years ago and they tore down the building (actually, the old schoolhouse part of it was moved down Hunter Mill Road) and put up a Chevy Chase Bank.  Boo...

Had a really nice 14 mile trek last weekend.  It rained most of the time except during meals, lucked out there.  Unfortunately no views from Signal Knob except nearly straight down to the town of Strasburg.   :thumbs:     Made camp overnight along Little Passage Creek and finished Sunday with a Cavern Burger at Spelunkers in Front Royal.   :woop:

Four summers working Philmont eh?  Bet you have some stories.  I'm still milking my 10 days doing trek 30 last summer.  Staff there generally do a great job.

Always miss Appalachian Outfitters.  Still have and using my Mohawk Solo 13 canoe, cross country skis and sleeping back with doubling cloth  ;) that I bought there.  We really needed a 4th bank on that corner.    :?

Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 31457
  • Hell yes!
Re: REI
« Reply #54: March 29, 2012, 09:49:12 AM »
Exactly. It's only an issue for people who insist on circling the parking lot, trying to find a close space or who end up stalking you as you walk back to your car. In the time it takes them to actually get to a parking spot, you could have just parked further away and walked to where you're going.

Amen.

Just park, and walk.  I need the exercise anyway.

Offline HalfSmokes

  • Posts: 18448
Re: REI
« Reply #55: March 29, 2012, 10:02:20 AM »
Can anyone recommend a really easy hike (I have a 15 month old who insists on walking, but I'll be taking a stroller too. There will also be a pregnant wife in tow), that makes you feel like you're out of the city/surburbia, i.e. not the mount vernon trail beside a parkway?

Offline PebbleBall

  • Posts: 3443
  • Now that right there is baseball.
Re: REI
« Reply #56: March 29, 2012, 10:12:12 AM »
Amen.

Just park, and walk.  I need the exercise anyway.

You can even park in a garage across the street and walk, if so desired.  I had to do that when I saw the Dark Knight opening weekend. 

Offline MarquisDeSade

  • Posts: 14762
  • I am Djour Djilios.
Re: REI
« Reply #57: March 29, 2012, 10:23:32 AM »
You can even park in a garage across the street and walk, if so desired.  I had to do that when I saw the Dark Knight opening weekend. 

I think people aren't following that there was NO parking, not that there wasn't close parking, NO parking.  Where's this garage at?  The only one we saw was a residential one.

Offline PebbleBall

  • Posts: 3443
  • Now that right there is baseball.
Re: REI
« Reply #58: March 29, 2012, 10:41:58 AM »
I think people aren't following that there was NO parking, not that there wasn't close parking, NO parking.  Where's this garage at?  The only one we saw was a residential one.

It's not close, about a 5-10 minute walk probably.  It's across monument over towards the Gov't center.

As a matter of fact, forget I said anything.  The lot out past Ruth's Chris almost always has space and is less of a hike.

Offline Kevrock

  • Posts: 12455
  • Troll So Hard University
Re: REI
« Reply #59: March 29, 2012, 10:57:54 AM »
Anyone remember Appalachian Outfitters in Oakton?  A great local gear store, but they went out of business several years ago and they tore down the building (actually, the old schoolhouse part of it was moved down Hunter Mill Road) and put up a Chevy Chase Bank.  Boo...

This was the spot with the canoe on the sides of the building, right?

Offline Kevrock

  • Posts: 12455
  • Troll So Hard University
Re: REI
« Reply #60: March 29, 2012, 10:58:54 AM »
I think people aren't following that there was NO parking, not that there wasn't close parking, NO parking.  Where's this garage at?  The only one we saw was a residential one.

The parking there sucks in the evenings. I usually park by Ruth's Chris. I don't know where this garage is either.

Offline 1995hoo

  • Posts: 895
Re: REI
« Reply #61: March 29, 2012, 11:00:40 AM »
....

Anyone remember Appalachian Outfitters in Oakton?  A great local gear store, but they went out of business several years ago and they tore down the building (actually, the old schoolhouse part of it was moved down Hunter Mill Road) and put up a Chevy Chase Bank.  Boo...

We spent a lot of money at Appalachian Outfitters in the 1980s when my brother and I were Boy Scouts and our father was the Scoutmaster. We also camped on family vacations (example, in 1986 we drove to Ottawa, spent three days or so camping at Gatineau Park nearby in Quebec, then after the time there we drove to Cochrane, Ontario, and spend three days camping in a provincial park nearby and took the train up to Moosonee, etc.), so we had quite a bit of camping equipment. Hudson Bay/Hudson Trail were decent as well, but after a couple of times when the service at the Fairfax Circle location was lacking we started going to Appalachian Outfitters and we found them more helpful. I think their selection tended to include an interesting variety of stuff, too. My old INTERNAL-frame backpack was purchased there and is probably still in my parents' basement or garage somewhere. As an independent store their merchandise often cost a bit more, but it was quality stuff that lasted forever.

Back then the only REI in the DC area was the one near College Park and so there had to be a compelling reason to go over there. Of course, the time my father went hog-wild buying stuff was on a Boy Scout trip to the 1989 Canadian Jamboree on PEI. We drove and obviously that route takes you past Freeport, Maine. Way too much time and money were spent at LL Bean that day when we needed to get moving to reach Moncton that night!


Can anyone recommend a really easy hike (I have a 15 month old who insists on walking, but I'll be taking a stroller too. There will also be a pregnant wife in tow), that makes you feel like you're out of the city/surburbia, i.e. not the mount vernon trail beside a parkway?

When it came time to do the 20-mile hike for the hiking merit badge we did 25 miles on the C&O Canal towpath. Might be a nice option for you because the path is isolated, yet it's also easy to reach. My suggestion is that if you want to do more than a very minimal distance you consider having your wife drive one car and you drive another (if you have that option). Park one car at one end, then everyone rides in one car to the other end. Afterwards you drive back and retrieve the first car. This may be overkill with a 15-month-old and a pregnant wife, though, because my gut tells me you might not go far enough to make it worthwhile.

Another possibility might be to go to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax County and walk around the lake. The north/east side seems isolated, though the south/west side is busier and is near the mini-train so you'll hear its whistle periodically.

Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 31457
  • Hell yes!
Re: REI
« Reply #62: March 29, 2012, 11:03:22 AM »
As a matter of fact, forget I said anything.  The lot out past Ruth's Chris almost always has space and is less of a hike.

Right.  There's an overflow lot across the street that cuts through.

Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 31457
  • Hell yes!
Re: REI
« Reply #63: March 29, 2012, 11:05:25 AM »
This was the spot with the canoe on the sides of the building, right?

Yep.  Funky, eclectic, odd.  Oakton lost a bit of its soul with the demise of ATO.

Offline Kevrock

  • Posts: 12455
  • Troll So Hard University
Re: REI
« Reply #64: March 29, 2012, 11:09:57 AM »
Yep.  Funky, eclectic, odd.  Oakton lost a bit of its soul with the demise of ATO.

What, you don't like the Capital One palace that took its place?  :roll:  :lol:

Offline MarquisDeSade

  • Posts: 14762
  • I am Djour Djilios.
Re: REI
« Reply #65: March 29, 2012, 11:15:18 AM »
The lot out past Ruth's Chris almost always has space and is less of a hike.

It'd been so long since I'd been out there I didn't realize there was another place with parking outside of the "towncenter".

Online Slateman

  • Posts: 40269
Re: REI
« Reply #66: March 29, 2012, 11:23:02 AM »
I think people aren't following that there was NO parking, not that there wasn't close parking, NO parking.  Where's this garage at?  The only one we saw was a residential one.

I've been going to that center since it was built. There's always parking. It's just out past Ruth Chris' steakhouse. Which means a five to fifteen minute walk. So people spend twenty minutes looking for a closer spot ...

Offline HalfSmokes

  • Posts: 18448
Re: REI
« Reply #67: March 29, 2012, 11:25:29 AM »


When it came time to do the 20-mile hike for the hiking merit badge we did 25 miles on the C&O Canal towpath. Might be a nice option for you because the path is isolated, yet it's also easy to reach. My suggestion is that if you want to do more than a very minimal distance you consider having your wife drive one car and you drive another (if you have that option). Park one car at one end, then everyone rides in one car to the other end. Afterwards you drive back and retrieve the first car. This may be overkill with a 15-month-old and a pregnant wife, though, because my gut tells me you might not go far enough to make it worthwhile.


That sounds like a great idea, if the weather is nice enough, maybe I can get the wife to agree to drive up to cumberland and make a day of it


Offline MarquisDeSade

  • Posts: 14762
  • I am Djour Djilios.
Re: REI
« Reply #68: March 29, 2012, 11:29:08 AM »
I've been going to that center since it was built. There's always parking. It's just out past Ruth Chris' steakhouse. Which means a five to fifteen minute walk. So people spend twenty minutes looking for a closer spot ...

Where's the Ruth's Chris at?  I drove around for 5 minutes before finding a spot but this would be good information to know if we end up going back out to that hellhole.

Online Slateman

  • Posts: 40269
Re: REI
« Reply #69: March 29, 2012, 12:35:09 PM »
Where's the Ruth's Chris at?  I drove around for 5 minutes before finding a spot but this would be good information to know if we end up going back out to that hellhole.

Okay, if you're facing the theater, turn 90 degrees left. You will have more shops and then a rather large parking lot. As you walk in to the parking lot, on your left will be a separate tower. It has a bank in it, IIRC. On the other side of that building (facing the intersection of Monument and Government Center Parkway) is Ruth Chris. If you were driving down Monument from West Ox, you would see it as you came in.

The parking lot goes all the way to Government Center Parkway. Across that there is an additional parking lot. It's about a ten minute walk to the theater. Unless of course, your wife is cold or it's raining. Then it becomes a two minute sprint ....

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=+&q=Ruth+Chris+Steakhouse+fairfax&ie=UTF8&hq=Ruth+Chris+Steakhouse&hnear=Fairfax,+Virginia&ll=38.864974,-77.358856&spn=0.095968,0.222301&t=m&z=13&vpsrc=0&iwloc=A&cid=9021879698052545096

Online RobDibblesGhost

  • Posts: 26731
Re: REI
« Reply #70: March 29, 2012, 12:59:23 PM »
What, you don't like the Capital One palace that took its place?  :roll:  :lol:
  It seems like banks and drug stores are the big thing nowadays.  The Fuddruckers in Annandale is closing next month, and what's going in it's spot?  A frickin' Walgreens...


Offline PebbleBall

  • Posts: 3443
  • Now that right there is baseball.
Re: REI
« Reply #71: March 29, 2012, 01:08:33 PM »
It'd been so long since I'd been out there I didn't realize there was another place with parking outside of the "towncentercorner".

GET IT RIGHT

Offline PebbleBall

  • Posts: 3443
  • Now that right there is baseball.
Re: REI
« Reply #72: March 29, 2012, 01:11:20 PM »
  The Fuddruckers in Annandale is closing next month, and what's going in it's spot?  A frickin' Walgreens...

That sucks, I thought that one did pretty well.  The Fuddruckers in Herndon closed five years ago, and what's in its spot? An abandoned Fuddruckers.


Offline HalfSmokes

  • Posts: 18448
Re: REI
« Reply #73: March 29, 2012, 01:16:53 PM »
That sucks, I thought that one did pretty well.  The Fuddruckers in Herndon closed five years ago, and what's in its spot? An abandoned Fuddruckers.



fuddruckers is one of those things that always sounds better until you actually start eating, of all the fun restaurants that I mourn, generous george's on duke street is at the top of the list 

Offline 1995hoo

  • Posts: 895
Re: REI
« Reply #74: March 29, 2012, 03:30:44 PM »
That sounds like a great idea, if the weather is nice enough, maybe I can get the wife to agree to drive up to cumberland and make a day of it



Another possibility I didn't think of earlier: Fairfax's Cross County Trail. I'd been on parts of it in the past (Lake Accotink loop; Eakin Park between Tobin Road and Barkley Drive) and I keep meaning to go explore the whole thing over a period of time. I'm having a slow day today, got all my work done, so I decided to go out for a walk on the southern end of the trail earlier this afternoon. Downloaded a pedometer app to my iPhone first and it says I did 4.711 miles roundtrip. Pretty good walk and a good trail, a few spots where the hills would be not so good for little kids and there were some stream crossings using concrete stepping-stones that could cause a problem for the stroller you mentioned, but it was nice to be so isolated while still in Fairfax County. I took some pictures and I can upload one or two if you're interested and if any of them came out well. This was another trail that I think would really lend itself to the "two cars" system if my wife and I went out to walk it because it would allow us to cover more ground.

Only downside for me right now is a slight blister on my right heel....guess the socks I was wearing were a poor choice. Oh well, it'll go away quickly enough.

Here is a link to Fairfax County's website about the trail.