While others were unwrapping presents or scarfing down turkey or perhaps banging forlornly on the doors of closed stores, 20 of us gathered for a Christmas Day hike.
A long one.
It was hosted by the Wanderbirds, a hiking club that more typically hires a bus to drive hikers from the Washington, D.C., area to the Shenandoah Mountains for day-long, scenic hikes.
The hike was one of at least three offered by area hiking clubs.
We started at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. Everything was closed but the gates to the parking lot.
After hiking out of the gardens, we ended up on trails in the Rachel Carson Conservation Park.
Just one pileated woodpecker made its presence known during the four hours we tromped through the woods. Often I hear lots of them on local hikes, "creating starter homes" as a fellow hiker joked.
The day was chilly. But you warm up nicely at a brisk pace and this pace was more than brisk. That leader had some long legs!