The roads are just a little wet from the storm the night before. We make our way mostly south, and within a couple of hours are in Gathland State Park where we spend some time brushing up on the American Civil War. It’s quiet. And green. We head south on Rt 17 over the Potomac into Virginia where the road turns into the Berlin Turnpike. We take a photo at the sign indicating we’ve arrived. First one we’ve encountered since …. the Mississippi.
We continue south and stop in a parking lot at a small mall in Purcellville, VA and get some lunch and supplies before getting on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a paved trail to Washington DC and Georgetown. Coming back from a Starbucks, a woman donated 3 dollars in cash and what she had left on her gift card.
We ended up staying on the rail a little too long, and missed a turn onto the Curtis Trail, but what’s an extra 20 miles? It actually was nice in a sense that we road on the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River. We don’t realize that just by staying on this trail, south and west of the river as it winds around, sometimes we’re in Virginia and sometimes in DC. After we pass the airport we can see our national monuments across the river. Very cool. What strikes me is that we’re passing by other bikers and pedestrians on the path, which they’ve probably been on hundreds of times, and WE just crossed the country. We then cross the Key Bridge and are officially in DC. We ride 8 blocks or so and arrive at Mercy Housing office. We rest and shower, then are treated to a great Italian dinner at “il Canale”, just a couple blocks from the office.
After dinner we go back to the office. We ‘camp’ on the floor of the office. Claire has friends relatively close and she stays with them.