Day 23 Timonium, MD to Annapolis 65 miles 2,687 feet
When I ventured downstairs to drop off my luggage this morning, the temps were still in the 40’s, way too cold for a Southern California boy to ride, unless I’m racing. I went back inside to “enjoy” my box breakfast and read e-mails for a couple of hours till the mercury was almost at 60. I tried to pull up the weather station on the TV in my room, alas only the sound came on with no picture. To make matters worse, the channel was stuck on some soap opera and I could not change it, oh the joys of hotel living. 2 nights, and 2 hotels ago, I headed up to my room after dinner but couldn’t remember my room number. I tried my key card on several doors on two different floors with nothing but red lights flashing at me. Somewhat embarrassed, I went down the front desk to find out which room I was registered in, it turns out that I was not on either of the 2 floors I had tried.
I rolled out of the hotel and through some commercial shopping malls that led into Lutherville, a suburban residential community with homes mostly from the 1950’s with a few fine period homes mixed in.
About 7 miles, and many suburban homes later, I was in The Orchards, home to the Bryn Mawr School, a very prestigious all girls school, surrounded by beautiful homes.
I quick jog over a very rickety wooden bridge led me to Roland Park with even more majestic homes and the Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, an all boys college preparatory school. It is the oldest independent, nonsectarian secondary school in Maryland and was founded in 1844. I entered Roland Park just below the dam which created Lake Roland, and rode the Lake Rolland Park boardwalk, one of two green belt boardwalks I would ride during the day.
At about mile 13, I noticed a sign for the Clyburn Arboretum and decided to take a detour and investigate. Originally built in 1863 as a private estate for Jesse Tyson, a wealthy businessman, who used gneiss stone from his own quarries to fashion the stone mansion which remains intact today. The arboretum contains a large collection of trees, woody shrubs, and a small formal garden. The highlight for me was the display of it’s prize winning dahlias, which were in full bloom.
Just before entering the Maryland Zoo, I rode through and old industrial area that had been converted to live/work loft spaces. I rode through the tree canopy on the periphery of the zoo and was serenaded by song birds of some sort. As I exited the zoo I rode past the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, if I had more time, I would have stopped in.
The ECG runs within 1 mile of Johns Hopkins University so I took the opportunity to stray of course once more. The campus is much more modern than Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania, but is nicely maintained and landscaped. John Hopkins’ clean brick buildings just don’t have the age old patina of the aforementioned colleges. It was getting on about lunchtime and I decided to see how the college kids ate, so I ordered lunch in Levering Hall at the student cafeteria. It was nothing like my college lunches of bug juice and mystery meat. They had a grill as well as a wok station but I opted for the grab and go station and availed myself of nice sandwich on artisanal bread, a Thai noodle salad, and cheesecake with a real graham cracker crust.
Once back on the ECG, about 3 miles later along the Inner Harbor where a large Coast Guard Cutter and the USS Constellation were berthed. After a quick jog through Otterbein with its fine brick row houses, I rode south through Baltimore for about 20 miles with nothing of interest except a few fishermen casting into waters that seemed quite polluted to me.
Just past BWI Airport I entered the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail, a pleasant 10 mile greenway trail through suburban Baltimore. I crossed the Severn River on the Naval Academy Bridge where I witnessed sloops heading out to the bay and Naval Academy Midshipmen’s out for their afternoon run.
I decided to take a circuitous route to my hotel via the cobblestone streets of Annapolis where fine brick homes sat right alongside clapboard wooden homes.
I had a fine dinner at Metropolitan, 175 West Street, including a radicchio salad with peaches, walnuts, goat cheese, followed by gnocchi in a local mushroom blend with sautéed spinach, truffle oil, micro greens. For my main course I went with the Brick Pressed Chicken, encrusted, pan seared, Spanish smashed potatoes, broccolini, bourbon pan sauce.
Nine states down, 6 more to go.
Miles 1,250 Feet Climbed 49,853
States Visited Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland
For more details on my route, see my Strava link