Here in the DMV (the hip way of saying the DC, MD, VA area) June started out like August, but then quickly changed its mind and shifted to April, which had been more like July. In any event, a perfect weekend for outdoor activities.
I decided to start out with a bike ride in Anne Arundel county, doing the Galesville Gambol 37 mile route starting from Davidsonville. I had to fix a flat in my rear tire before I got going, so was a bit later than I had planned when I pulled into the Davidsonville Park and Ride lot. I usually recycle my coffee in the trees behind the Park'n'Ride but the lot was full of teenagers in beach regalia, apparently waiting for a church bus to take then on a group trip "Down the Ocean" as folks in the M part of the DMV say. I decided to hold it in, rather than risk hundreds of cellphone pictures of my manly parts showing up on Twitter.
Perhaps I was distracted by the coffee reminding me it really wanted out, or maybe I was busy puzzling over the relationship of Venus transiting the sun to Venus Williams' rapid exit from some tennis tournament, but in any event I actually looked up after riding for a while and thought "where the hell am I?" I've done this ride so often I don't even carry directions, but it turns out I had missed a turn and rather than heading south towards Galesville I was on Defense Highway heading east towards Annapolis.
Defense Highway quickly brings you to less-than scenic and very trafficky strip-mall land, so I stopped at a Wendy's, satisfied the coffee's increasingly urgent demand for freedom and decided to make lemonade out of this particular lemon. I turned around and headed north, following some of the routes I had done years ago as part of Annapolis Bicycling Clubrides. Not as scenic as Galesville, but some nice low traffic roads with short, steep ups and downs.
I ended up doing 30 miles, put the bike back on the Subaru and headed towards Mayo to gas the boat up (after the last slackerleft it near empty) and take a ride. A wind was kicking up from the west as I launched, making pulling into the gas dock a bit tricky. But double good news: (1) The cranky old guy who always criticizes my boat handling skills (unless the biker chix are on board and then he is all smiles) wasn't there; and (2) dock gas prices had dropped from $4.50 to $3.79/gallon - yee ha, a mere $80 to fill up.
I headed out on the Bay but the wind out of the west was really roaring and after the ritual circle around the lighthouse, I headed back up the South River and burned some of that expensive gas for a while before heading back in to the marina.
The next day Carl and i decided to hike the Appalachian Trail from Wolfsville Road to the I-70 trailhead, about an 8-9 mile stretch. The weather was gawgeous and after the initial 1 mile slog uphill to gain about 800 feet in elevation, the trail is largely flat as it traverses the ridge.
A lot of flora, not such fauna - it is a bit late for mountain laurel but we saw several in full bloom, along with some of the mysterious "cherry-like" trees Carl is trying to identify. About 5 miles in there is a downhill stretch to a water crossing in a valley, then an uphill stretch to climb up to Annapolis Rocks. We've been doing mostly 4-5 mile hikes recently, so the added miles were noticeable. After Annapolis Rocks there is a steep downhill section to get back off the ridge, and many people were on their way up, huffing and puffing and many kids whining. I lied to most of them telling them they were half-way there, but never defined there.
Carl has been spending too much time searching for strudel and putting up 6 meter antennas, so he was a bit behind but finally emerged from the trail.
During the 70 mile drive home, my legs were debating whether we should take a nap or play ham radio when we got back, to recuperate from the longest hike of the year, but I surprisedthem as Carole and I finished off the vegetable garden. To keep out the deer, rabbits, gila monsters, velociraptors and other creatures I have learned to put up several layers of ramparts, but have yet to have to resort to the red glare of rockets. Kinda late this year - if any thing actually survives the animal onslaught and does flower, we probably won't be eating home grown product until September. Oh well, at least we got Michelle Obama brownie points.