Memorial Day is one of those three day weekends that seems to last about 3 seconds. Friday I managed to take the boat out onto the Bay and around the Thomas Point Light. I was kinda low on fuel, so I headed up the South River to the Bikini-girl gas pump dock, but before I got close enough to behold the bathing beauties, I realized I had forgotten to take my wallet on the boat. So, I turned around and sped back to the marina and will let the next sucker fill up the tank.
Saturday morning I did a 35 mile bike loop from the Earleigh Heights renovated rail station on the Baltimore Annapolis Rail Trail, out to Annapolis, then out to Sandy Point State Park on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. I thought I would be out early enough to beat the Memorial Day picnicking crowds, but the charcoal barbecue grills were already going full force - ah, there is nothing like the smell of napalm lighter fluid early in the morning. I don't have as many miles as usual in on the bike this year, so I only managed to average 16.7 mph in the increasing heat - but I did it non-stop, if you don't count a few red lights.
That night we met up with Jim and Jacqui for Indian food at Akbar in Columbia, followed by being first-nighters at Men in Black 3. I give the restaurant 4 stars, the movie 2 stars. Being dainty, girlie eaters, Carole and Jacqui didn't finish their food and the waiter offered "to go boxes" (no one seems to call them "doggy bags" anymore - maybe the dog lobby finally won, after years of pointing out no one actually gives restaurant left-overs to Fido) but it didn't seem like a great idea to leave food in a hot car while we watched the movie. The owner of the restaurant said "just come back after the movie and we'll give you your food." I've never run into that before and when we actually did come back they gave us two huge "to go" boxes of food that was a lot more than the original leftovers - Lauren had a feast when she raided the refrigerator that night.
The next day was a brief return to radio nerd-dom, as Jim, Carl and I hit the Maryland FM Association hamfest at the Howard County fairgrounds. Carl and I followed that up with a 4 mile hike in the Marriottsville branch of Patapsco State Park, shorter than usual but I was renting a roto-tiller at 1pm so had to cut it short. Of course, the tiller didn't become available until 4pm, so I spent the early afternoon playing round in the WPX CW radio contest and the late afternoon wrestling this monster tiller around the backyard as exercise, instead.
On the actual Memorial Day holiday, I decided to honor our military by shuttling 4 hot Biker Chix around on a kayaking expedition to the Jug Bay area of the Patuxent River. I put two kayaks on top of my Subaru and three more kayaks on the trailer I'd been using to haul the rental roto-tiller around. On the way down to the river I stopped twice just off the Washington Beltway to re-tie down the kayaks on the trailer - to paraphrase an old Yiddish saying: "Man ties kayaks down, God laughs."
But we managed to get down there with all 5 kayaks intact, hit the eco-friendly restroom and we were on the water by 10 am or so on a beautiful sunny morning. We headed up the Patuxent a bit, past the remains of the bridge abutments that once carried the North Beach Rail line across the river, and then turned onto the Western Branch.
There you have a great view of the 1800's Calvert House, where there will be lots of activity as Maryland celebrates the bicentennial of the War of 1812. We continued upstream, saw an otter swimming across the river, many turtles and a heron or two. The river continued to narrow as we paddled upstream, the water lightened in color and we began to smell that minty fresh aroma as we neared our turn-around point - the water treatment plant that filtered nasty stuff into crystal clear, hopefully much less nasty stuff.
We paddled back, seeing several more otters (or the same one several times - I know it is probably species-ist to say this, but all otters look alike to me.) Back at the start we all got to use the very cool kayak un-launch ramp to get our boats our of the water, and enjoyed a Biker Chix-provided picnic in the shade next to the visitor center. Andie ran into someone she knows, besting Carole and Sue in the "Mayor of..." contest.
Much sweating loading the kayaks up again (sweating by me anyway, the Biker Chix sat around and barely even glowed) in the 90 degree heat and we were on the road back home (only one stop to check the boats this time.) We closed out the day with a trip through the Burger King drive-in to get Memorial Day special $1 fruit smoothies (mango very good, strawberry banana eh) and another fun, mostly outdoor 3 day weekend was on the books.