The mandatory first leaf peeping stop around my house is Fort Hunt Park. Fort Hunt was once one of the perimeter defenses for our capital city but those days are long gone. Only a few ruins remain of the nineteenth century fort. During the Second World War, German prisoners from U-boats were secretly held here and interrogated.
Now, Fort Hunt Park is a place for high school cross country meets and group picnics. It's empty parking lots and 1 1/4 circular drive are an ideal place to learn how to drive. The maples lining the entrance to the park are old and majestic. At this time of year they explode in color. As I took these pix, a cyclist stopped and pulled out his camera. He said, "It looks like Vermont!" Indeed. Check it out:
|Fort Hunt Park circuit road|
|They call me "Big Red"|
|It just doesn't get any better than this|
|Oh, yes it does!|
|"It looks like Vermont."|
Fort Hunt Park is located just off the Mount Vernon Trail about 4 1/2 miles south of Old Town
Drunk on foliage, I rode the Mount Vernon Trail to Old Town. I had tweeted that I was out and about doing my coffeeneuring run for the weekend. The response would have been underwhelming but there wasn't any. I stopped at Grape and Bean for a cuppa French Roast. The place had a vibe that didn't appeal to me. Very laid back but stodgy at the same time. They didn't have any quick eats like muffins or cookies to go with my coffee. And I didn't much go for the coffee either. Way too strong for my taste. I drank it none the less and got a pretty good buzz.
|Big Nellie tied to a hitchin' post|
|Transpotomac Canal Park on the Mount Vernon Trail|
|Ramp to the 14th Street Bridge|
|14th Street Bridge Side Path|
|Trees and Beach Volleyball near Lincoln Memorial|
|I do believe the good doctor was right|
|Georgetown Branch Trail|
|Trestle and Trees|
|Rock Creek and Trail Way Down There|
Clearly, I was needing calories. And my everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and massive chocolate chip cookie had them in abundance. Sadly, my feed bag had taken a couple of falls on the bumpy ride north and the cookie was more like cookie bits. The bagel had opened and smeared its contents all over. It wasn't pretty but it sure was tasty. I washed it down with an iced tea.
|Lunch before it was smashed up|
Replenishment complete, I back tracked to Beach Drive and took a left down into the park, breaking the speed limit on the downhill. (I have never failed a drug test, I'll have you know.) Sections of Beach Drive are closed to cars on the weekends. Although some car traffic is allowed to drive across the park, none can drive the length of the park to downtown DC. In essence most of Beach Drive is a paradise for cyclists, runners, walkers and roller bladers. And it's mostly downhill all the way to the Potomac.
If you give a bent a cookie, it will go very fast. And so Big Nellie did. Down we went curving left and right. Rock Creek bubbled along the canyon floor and the trees put on a show on all sides. Riding a recumbent on a long downhill is more like street luge or tobogganing than cycling.
|Recumbent panda - note soft sided helmet|
|Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park|
|Kate with her Mom and Dad|
|Trail in Rock Creek Park|
|Beach Volleyball and Trees, Again|
We retraced our route to the 14th Street Bridge and the Mount Vernon Trail. Just south of the airport as I slowed for a street crossing I saw a young woman mounting her bike. As I passed she looked up. She looked like Kate's twin. Maybe my Earth Day pitch worked after all, on her long lost identical twin sister. Or maybe, there's some secret cloning experiments going on at my old office. Hmmmm.....
I was riding along on this bumpy, narrow stretch and a line of cars started to pass me. I was going 20 miles per hour and I could see the cars in my side view mirror. No problem. One car goes by. Another. Another. Then, a white Mercedes came up nearly even with my rear wheel. The driver honks his horn at me. It wasn't an "I'm passing" honk; it was a "Get our of my way" honk. I guess he was trying to teach me a lesson or something. As he pulled along side me, I gave him the finger. I know I should kept my cool, but what he had just done was extremely dangerous. I wanted him to know that despite our philosophical differences, he was my number one douche bag of the day.
His response to my gesture was to swerve at me as he passed. Brilliant dude. I delay you for two seconds and your respond with attempted vehicular homicide. He ended up at a traffic light. I thought about stopping and knocking on his window, but that would have been pointless. As he passed me again (without trying to kill me), I turned to him and made a "I took your picture" gesture with my hand. He sped off.
About a quarter mile later I spotted his car in a parking lot. I took its picture. Check out the license plate. Don't you just love religious people. So giving. So tolerant. So peaceful. God is amazing; he loves you even if you are a douche bag.
|Car owned by Jesus of Benz|
Now for another go at that crossword puzzle.