Sunday May 18th was a day for running to Washington DC to grab something in the neighborhood of 57 Stamps, at least that was the plan. The morning is sunny and the temperature is a bit on the cool side. First stop is Turkey Run Park. To get there you find yourself on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. We ended up at the GWMP headquarters in error. This was an error I made in estimating where certain places would be when entering the Waypoints. For the most part I am spot on, but I am human. We passed the CIA headquarter in Langley. The sign contains the words Intelligence and George Bush in the same phrase, which made Steve and I chuckle.
OK We are HERE...18 stamps...WooHoo..hmmm, the gates looks exactly like it did yesterday. LOCKED and CLOSED. Sigh it is Sunday and this is one of those sites that is administrative in nature. First FUCK UP of the trip. It started to sprinkle so Steve put his rainsuit on and I followed suit.
OK time to recover, pull out the Excel spreadsheet that lists out my locations and cross reference to the waypoints in the GPS. Hmmmm Clara Barton and Glen Echo parks are right around the corner. I be damned if I don’t salvage this trip. So it is off to these places
Glen Echo Park is a turn of the century amusement park. It appears this a popular spot for kids to have their birthday parties, since I saw a stream of people walking in with presents and the little girls were dressed up as princesses (hmmmm maybe they were princesses with diplomatic immunity). DC is a pretty well off town, all the cars in the parking lot seem to on upper end of the car market.
This is the major attraction to GE Park today and probably yesterday. All parents stick their kids on this thing. Personally, I remember GET ME OFF, give me the boats, or the cars or even better yet GIVE ME THE BUMPER CARS, let me crash into people and things. Now that's fun, but the carousel give me a break, OK mom now can we go get some cotton candy or salt water taffy. You know the kind the pulls the fillings out of your teeth.
Next stop is Washington Monument Bookstore, having 22, count em, 22 friggin stamps. Stamp Nirvana, Washington Red (the stamps use red ink), just like Jed Clampett out hunting squirrel. From Glen Echo, downtown Washington is like 15 minutes it that. We found ourselves on Pennsylvania Avenue. The drizzle has picked up a bit, so I figure the traffic is lighter than it would have been. White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian, Jefferson’s place, WWII Memorial, the Viet Nam Memorial.…what a great town. We circled the Washington Monument looking for a parking place and decided to squeeze our bikes between 2 cars. Steve decides to stay with the bikes in case they need to be moved. My walk (I am gonna call it a hike) was somewhere around ½ mile to get there.
I arrive at the bookstore, walk in and there it is…The counter containing all of the stamps. Since I stamp in 2 different books and on index cards, I am gonna be here for awhile. I pick up the first stamp, trembling with excitement and test the how it stamps. Just like having caviar and truffles ( I don’t think I ever had caviar and I don’t know what a truffle is).
Next stop is for another stamp bonanza location. National Capital East Headquarters. Well this is when the political promises started coming down like donkeys and elephants (my allegory to rain). I made it to the new DC stadium, stopped and asked someone. Of course it was just across the river. So back Steve and I go. Well I circled probably at least 3 times. Ended up at Anacostia Park, which theoretically was the right place. Stopped in a metro park police station and all they did was scratch their head. Plenty of signs around saying "Save our Park" blah blah blah. I finally had to give up and head back for my cousins house in Fredericksburg.
Ok it is Sunday, it is pouring out, Washington DC is not full of people, we are on I395 going to I95. GIVE ME A BREAK!! There is a traffic jam. The traffic is not moving..WTF...how does anybody live down here. No wonder our politicians lie to us, their brain patterns have been altered from norm by all the exhaust fumes. Make note, don't move to DC or surrounding area when required to travel to DC on a regular basis. Steve and I pull over so I can plan a different route. 7100 leads to Rt1. That's the ticket...I love my 2610.
On the way back to Fredericksburg, I head for Prince William Forest Park. I don't have a clue what the significance of this place. One of these days I will look it up, but I stopped for the spot I am sure Steve is getting antsy at this point and I bet his feet are wet.
Arrive in the Fredericksburg area. At a traffic light I say to Steve "2 or 3 quick stops and we will go back to my cousins". I smell ink. Well it is still pouring. At the next light Steve says, "I am going back to your cousins, this rain is gonna kill me". We part ways and I am off to find Salem Church. Again NADA, now I am suspecting all of the work I put into locating the National Parks. sigh. It is around 4pm and I figure I have time for one more location. I am going to the main visitor center for Fredericksburg / Spotsylvania Battlefield. This where my cousin John works out of. Arrive there to find out it is open to 6. Damn I could have gotten in 1 more location and then this place. I have a nice chat with the folks in the center, after getting my INK at the bookstore. Time to head home for the day.
My cousin has this gravel and dirt driveway, which drops into a gully and then immediately climbs back up to a plateau. I really hate this driveway. Not only does it go down and then up but it has a big curve in it to avoid the big tree and it is tilted on the rise to his house. No, I did not drop the bike, but I still hate it. It is the most imperfect way to end and a perfect day.
Today's bounty 26 INK spots, not bad but not 57, however there is always tomorrow.