Trip days: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8-9 | 10-12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
On the road again I went up north into Maryland on highway 13 and eventually, after futzing around in Salisbury for a bit trying to find an escape route, I got onto highway 50 to Cambridge, Easton, and then across Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis and finally into Washington D.C. proper. Most of the morning was pretty foggy, but it cleared up when I got into the Annapolis area.
Eastern Virginia and Maryland were nice but didn't really have any features that really appealed to me. It was very much like riding around the flat areas of farmland in Oregon around the Eugene area. Kind of non-descript yet nice at the same time. A note for future Maryland travellers: Cops, the fuzz, rollers, the man, papa bear, or however you like to describe your local Polizei are especially abundant in eastern Maryland. Often times they could be found, two cars parked nose to nose hidden in duck blinds or jungle camo netting with 3 or 4 cars pulled over awaiting their imminent doom. The chase doesn't seem to be in the Maryland State Police vocabulary of tricks and they seem to appreciate the Italian wave of the hand stratagem to express their disapproval of your comfortable 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. And... to top it all off they don't run their lights either so you come flying around a blind corner and there's a veritable traffic jam on the shoulder, of people waiting to get their speeding tickets. No emergency lights, no flashing lights, no nothing. Ahh yes, at this time please recognize my disdain of law enforcement in the states. Maybe they should do something useful like capture criminals and solve crimes...
I had contacted the Donnegan's, Brian and Martha, a few days before and was planning on staying with them for a couple of days. My dad grew up next door to Martha's family, the Scotts, in Willmette, IL and the two families used to vacation together. Hence, there is some sort of higher connection between the two families and hospitality between them abounds. I had met Brian and Martha briefly during a foray they made into the pacific northwest a few years back and my parents always talk about how great they were and how much fun they had when they flew out to D.C. for Dave Scott's (Martha's father) 90th birthday bash a year or two ago. So I was pretty excited to stay with such wonderful people and get a chance to check out D.C.
Instead of trudging along on the the beltway around Washington D.C. I decided to be adventurous and ride into D.C. on highway 50 from the east and then try and find my way to Brian and Martha's from the east instead of the south as their directions had detailed... It wasn't exactly a mistake, but it definitely was not the most direct route to there place as I soon found out. Washington D.C. has one of the most screwed up street layouts of any city I've ever been to. It looks fairly straight forward on a map, but in real life it's a completely different story.
I zigged and zagged through D.C. and somehow ended up at the Mall, the area stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building, and up to the White House. I knew I was close to where I was going but yet I was so far. After somehow getting on highway 66 going east, then curving around down to Alexandria, and then north past the airport, I finally found the Rock Creek pkwy (not clearly marked by a little brown sign in the shade of a bunch of trees) and wound my way along the Potomac, then up past the Woodley Park Zoo, and finally found Adams-Morgan, the area of D.C. where the Donnegan's live, nary an hour and a half after I had entered Washington.
I didn't realize it, but I had arrived at Brian and Martha's on mother's day. Three of Martha's four daughters, myself, Brian, Martha, and Martha's father Dave, sat down to a feast cooked up by Martha's Daughters Rachel and Molly and had a leisurely mother's day dinner.
The Donnegan's have a wonderful 5 story town house in Adams-Morgan, right around the corner from the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge. After dinner Brian, Martha and I kicked back drinking beer and relaxing in the balmy breeze on their rooftop patio into the wee hours of the night.
Total Mileage for Day: 176
©2003 John Meloy <firstname.lastname@example.org>