Let me set the scene for you so that you have a full picture of why a group of six young women ventured out for a morning to a National Park in search of a cow. It was a beautiful summer Sunday at a group brunch. New friends, old friends, good food, a lot of laughter and plenty of bloody mary’s! A new friend, quickly to be come a good friend, Regina, pulls out this 4 1/2 page, typed, single space bucket list. Originally created before she was even in high school as a to do before she turned 30 list and updated in her college years. This list had sat dormant for a long time., eventually to resurface a few months before her 30th birthday.
Up to that point Regina had accomplished about a page worth of her items. So I started reading through it, as one does, and I get to the item “Milk a cow”. I chuckled as I read it out loud to the group and offered the opinion that this could be done at anytime she wanted. At this point the whole table turned with a surprised reaction of “we can?” Evidently Regina was not the only one with this item on her bucket list. Even though I had grown up in a metropolitan area, this was something I had done several times, along with visiting dairy farms, I even have an Aunt (and late Uncle) who own a milk delivery service… in Long Island NY of all places! Regina on the other hand, grew up near farms… with lots of cows, as her grandmother told her, you didn’t need to move to DC to milk a cow!
I live in the DC metropolitan area, and it would only be appropriate to wonder how far do I need to drive to find a cow to milk. Well the answer, from where we were sitting at brunch was “just on the other side of the bridge” that the restaurant is near (literally about 2 blocks from the bridge). Still to quizzical looks I explained that there is a National Park with a living farm in stones throw distance of our bloody mary’s; all we needed to do was show up.
It took a few weeks to arrange a date, but one beautiful fall morning we headed to the farm. The Park Ranger was slightly surprised to find a group of adults with no children all lined up. But she was very kind and treated us just like the others interested in the same experience. We were just less scared. Our cow’s name was Minnie. She seemed very friendly and at one point when I was a bit close to her head reading a sign, she attempted to eat my long hair!
Although we came only with the intention of milking Minnie, to our enjoyment the farm experience continued. We headed to the chicken coup! Evidently the chickens fight a lot, so they tend not to look healthy, but the rooster seemed happy to be surrounded by so many hens. We feed them and collected their eggs.
At this farm, they don’t let anything go to waste. We took the eggs from the hen’s and feed them eggs to the pigs. The park ranger was aware enough to make sure everyone either got a turn to collect the egg, or feed a pigs. Along our route we were honked at by a huge white goose; then we stopped by to oooh and ahh over the horses. Followed by an awesome picnic lunch. And all this before noon! It was a great day out and a really fun experience to do with friends.
All of the thoughts, opinions, and bad jokes are my own.
Oxon Hill National Park
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