Day 25 Annapolis, MD to Washington, DC 67 miles 3,927 feet
Annapolis was mostly still asleep when I rolled out this morning, save for the occasional dog walker or parents setting up a Saturday morning football game. After a few miles of suburbs the ECG put us out on many nice rural roads though farms and horse country. I especially enjoyed the long stretch on Patuxent River Road. The van was parked in Bowie at about the 20 mile mark. When I pulled into grab some water I noticed a large group of cyclists, many decked out in pink, on the other side of the parking lot. I walked over to investigate and learned that their group, the Push’n Pedal Cycling Club, does monthly charity rides during the warmer months. Today they were riding in support of breast cancer. They were amazed to hear that we were riding all the way from Maine to Florida. When they rolled out of the parking lot, with a full police escort, I rode ride alongside them for a couple of miles. Afterwards I contacted them online to find out how I could make a donation to their charity and hopefully I will be able to provide a link to that information when available.
Shortly after splitting from the group I was on the Washington, Baltimore, & Annapolis (WB&A) Trail through a combination of wooded and rural residential areas. A few more miles of surface streets led me to Lake Artemesia and about 10 more miles of trails. A bit after the lake I rode past the College Park Airport, which was built in 1909 by the US Army Signal Corps to serve as a training location for Wilbur Wright to teach military officers to fly airplanes. It is the world’s oldest continuously operated airport. It has a single runway, the trail runs down one side of the runway, then back up the other side, separated only by a chain link fence. This reminded me of the runway in Placnecia, Belize. When I first started traveling to Placencia, there was no fence around the runway and most locals would walk, even with flocks of sheep, right across the runway, rather than add and extra mile to go around the runway. The pilots got tired of buzzing the runway before landing and a few years ago the authorities placed a fence around the airport.
The trail ended just shy of the District of Columbia, which was marked with both a welcome sign and this ECG Sign, showing 1,509 miles to Key West, not counting detours, intended or otherwise.
Once in downtown DC I ran into active street life and folks just out having a pleasant Saturday afternoon. I passed right by Union Station before reaching my hotel. I have not been to DC for nearly 30 years and I was amazed at how clean it looks now, compared to the way I remember it.
I arrived early so I decided to take a random tour of the city with a rough ultimate destination of Georgetown. I had no set agenda, and got lost several times, but ultimately managed to see most of what I wanted to, even if I have no idea how I got their. Along the way I saw:
National Museum of the American Indian
Folks from all walks of life demonstrating their American right to peacefully protest.
National Art Gallery
A memorial spread out on the lawn in front of the Washington Monument, commemorating the 700,000+ American lives lost to Covid
Kennedy Center and a South African Band that sounded very much like Lady Smith Black Mambazo, who played with Paul Simon during his Graceland Tour in 1986
Georgetown, I found the commercial section busy and glitzy, it reminded me of Beverly Hills or the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The unpaved path on the old towpath along the C&O canal was very interesting, especially the lock system which is still active.
George Washington University, which graduated students from both the Classes of 2020 and 2021 this afternoon.
US Patent Office
Library of Congress
We had dinner at Ambar, 523 Eighth St SE, a Balkan restaurant. The presentation was nice and the vegetarian and fish dishes were great, the meat dishes tended to be too fatty for my tastebuds and stomach.
Ten states down, 5 more to go.
Miles 1,317 Feet Climbed 52,783
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