Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mt. Vernon Trail

After walking H**** to her meeting a couple of blocks from the hotel, I set off down M Street, through Georgetown, across the Key Bridge and to the Mount Vernon Trail. Starting from Roosevelt Island and running mostly between the Potomac River and the Mount Vernon Parkway it's about 18 miles of narrow pavement to Washington's mansion. There are plenty of twists and turns and because it's by the river there are a large number of boardwalks to keep the trail up out of the marshes.

Gravelly Point is right off the end of runway 19 of the Reagan National Airport and everyone stops here to watch that planes. When I was there, they were coming in to land. As soon as one touched down, another pulled in right behind if on the taxiway to take off. As that was happening, you could see the next one lining up to land as soon as the runway was cleared.

Every few minutes, there was a "boom" that came from the aircraft. Sort of like a backfire I'm guessing that it was the engines revving up and the exhaust going hypersonic. A true airplane geek would be able to tell me if my guess is right.

On the way back, I saw one who would probably qualify as a geek. He had his lawn chair. A pair of binoculars and at least two radios beside him. I assume they were tuned to air traffic or ground frequencies. I suppose there are different types of plane watchers just as there are different types of bird watchers.

I had lunch in the food court and browsed the gift shop at Mt. Vernon. I had read that the whole package of touring the mansion, grounds and museum can take up an entire day and plan to come back on Saturday for that.

The weather was terrific. 75 degrees and sunny. I even got sunburned on this the second full day of Spring. What I don't fully understand is how I could have a headwind both down and back.

When I got back into town, there was still some time before H**** was done so I rode around some to log a few geocaches. When H**** called on the cell to see she was done and was going to head back to the hotel I was just across the street and we walked back together.

We were met later by FuzzFace, whom H**** knows through mutual friends and his Bomb Shelter Radio webcast. So, after my riding 50 miles, we walked all over DC with his running commentary on local politics. Eventually H**** and I were very hungry and ended up at the Capitol City Brewery. I cannot wait for Pittsburgh to finally start enforcing their smoking ban. I'll be going to places like this more often once I know I'll have clean air.

Walking back there was more wandering about before we finally got back to the hotel. What is this, the Mythbuster's Channel?

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