An exceptional outing into the rolling hills of the Old Dominion.

My three boys and I pointed the wagon westerly one hot and sunny weekend day (Anna Grace was still in Europe…) with three goals: the first, to escape the heat; the second, to hopefully offer CTF a sense of routine; and the third, to enjoy a wine tasting at a winery conveniently located adjacent to the trail head.

On the first goal, success. The trail was entirely shaded by Hemlock trees and dare I write, almost chilly? CTF immediately took the lead.

And almost immediately thereafter had his first water entrance.

“Gorge”ous, is it not?

At around the half-way point of this loop, the cooling waters of Bull Run. Look at that happy Foxhound! Goal Number Two? Check.

All along the return loop, Tiger Swallowtail butterflies!

Reverse culture shock at the winery, though. No “House Wine,” and tastings were $15?! They claimed to be dog friendly, yet CTF was only permitted in the picnic area and not on the shaded patio. And certainly he was not allowed in the chicy-mhicy tasting room. Plus, the wine was shockingly expensive. I hadn’t done my homework, alas; my brain is still wired to dog-friendly Austria where dogs are loved, loved, loved; a glass of house wine costs €1,80; and a bottle rarely runs more than €25.

So, we piled into the wagon and went back over the rolling hills into the historic town of Clifton. Its history dates to colonial times and the area was once the hunting ground of the Dogue Tribe. The town also has a small Civil War history, but is mostly now a highly genteel horse country place with charming houses in the downtown and an old General Store and Pub, where we enjoyed lunch on their truly dog-friendly front porch.

All is well that ends well.