On the National Mall early this morning
As we were waking up and packing up early this morning, our host Deb announced she was riding with us for a while — she’s definitely intrigued with bike touring and the East Coast Greenway.
So Deb led us up the rest of the Mount Vernon Trail — beautiful — along the Potomac, then we crossed over Memorial Bridge into D.C. It was a beautiful morning, clearing skies and soft air. We loved having the Mall and the monuments almost to ourselves early on a Saturday —just us and a scattering of runners.
We found our way past new construction to the Anacostia Trail, a complementary route of the East Coast Greenway on the east side of the city and the trail’s namesake river. Our first 25 miles were nearly all on greenways as the Anacostia merged with the main route and a few more trails. They were wonderful, making for carefree, feel-like-a-kid again biking right out of the city.
On the Mount Vernon Trail headed to Washington DC. Thanks for riding with us, Deb!
A painter capturing a bridge on the Anacostia Trail. “It looks like fun,” I told him. “This isn’t fun,” he told me. “Fun is sitting in a chair drinking a glass of wine. This is work.”
The rest of our miles, some 43 more, were a mix of trails (WB&A rail trail and some side paths), suburban streets, and country roads, with fairly gentle rolls.
We haven’t seen the harbor and historical downtown of Annapolis yet because our warmshowers host lives a few miles outside of town. Warmshowers is a nonprofit that matches bike tourists with people willing to put them up in their homes for the night. Cindy is our first warmshowers stay — we had a few nights booked in Florida and Virginia but the hosts have had cancel for various reasons.
Turns out we hit the jackpot: Cindy welcomed us and our bikes inside, showed us to our bedroom and bathroom for showers, then began feeding us — for hours! We moved from afternoon snacks and fun conversation to dinner on her deck and more conversation, then dessert and more laughs. She hosts cyclists partly in honor of her brother Glen, an avid bike tourist who lost his battle with cancer this past year. Once again, we are grateful to be showered with such kindnesses, including hugs and slobbery licks from Cindy’s two big sweethearts, Cooper and Charlie.
We ate for about four hours, but we did move from the kitchen to Cindy’s deck and back inside.