01 July, 2010

C & O Canal + Mt Vernon Day 5

Day 5: DC, Alexandria, Mount Vernon

Thursday July 1, 2010, 31 miles (50 km) - Total so far: 210 miles (338 km)

We woke up from a perfect sleep. The weather is actually cool and there are no mosquitoes at the Marsden Tract Group Campground.As soon as we got back onto the canal I noticed splashing about 100 yards away. We quickly rode down to witness an epic turtle fight! A mean snapping turtle was harassing a smaller turtle. After a few minutes the smaller escaped in a cloud of dirt into the algae.

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Click here for a larger version of the pictureturtle fight

A paved path started up as we approached the city. I was impressed by the number and diversity of cyclists in DC. We stayed on the dirt to avoid the traffic.

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Click here for a larger version of the pictureapproaching Georgetown

Maryland has lots of bugs. We saw daddy-long-legs everywhere we looked and many large wasp looking insects.

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Click here for a larger version of the picturebugs bugs bugs

After asking directions we took the Key Bridge over the Potomac and into Arlington, Virginia. I love having separated bike/ped infrastructure!

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Click here for a larger version of the pictureKey Bridge

The Mount Vernon Trail was equally safe and scenic. I imagine it gets crowded on a nice weekend.

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Click here for a larger version of the pictureend C & O, start Mt Vernon Trail

We stopped to enjoy historic Alexandria. Thanks to a local we found the Old Town Deli on Washington St. It had great food and the owner even walked out to recommend choices for vegetarians.
At another location we got amazing homemade ice cream before returning to the Mount Vernon Trail. It's really a PATH and not a trail since it is paved.
The difference between a bike PATH and a bike LANE is that a path is separated from traffic. I love bike paths!

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Click here for a larger version of the pictureMt Vernon Trail

We were both reluctant to reach our destination. Nothing is more fun than exploring our planet safely from the seat of a bicycle.

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Click here for a larger version of the pictureFinish

My parents drove up and we got a change of clothes before entering George Washington's estate. The house and grounds were comparable to other colonial visits such as Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.

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Click here for a larger version of the pictureWashington's house, Mt Vernon

The new museum may change people's preconceptions about museums. The first few rooms are boring and traditional but the rest is a maze of fun for all ages. Interactive displays, movies, cartoons, comics, life size models, and even a state-of-the-art theater takes it over the top.
http://www.mountvernon.org/
My blog @: http://jamesbikesgreen.blogspot.com/