Annapolis -> Washington DC

April 9, 2010

To continue from last night, when we went to bed it was 90 degrees, and when we woke up early in the morning it was 40.  It had rained most of the night, and a lot of the wooded area around us had flooded.  Luckily we stayed mostly dry, although we’re quite freezing from the quick and unexpected temperature change.

We packed up our gear, and moved back out to the side of the road that we cooked dinner at the night before, and made our breakfast. After eating, and then stopping for water at a gas station, and some replacement food at a grocery store, we fairly quickly and easily found the main road were looking for and were on our way.

It was about 50 degrees when we finally got out riding, with ridiculous wind gusts. We both agreed that it was the most intense wind we’ve ever ridden in. So with already chilly temperatures, plus all that wind, and it made for a fairly uncomfortable morning. We just layered up and did our thing. I got my first flat about two hours into the ride – which I’m fairly certain was caused by a thorn from the woods in Annapolis. Easy fix. Anyway, we rode on main road the whole day. We met fellow cyclist who had ridden from Mexico, and was still going. He had some really helpful tips as well as provided a route suggestion.

The crazy high winds continued all day, which caused us to remain pretty cold for much of the day. The winds were also working against us, so making great time was hard. As early evening started rolling around, we were worried that we would be arriving in DC in a section we don’t know about at a time where it was too late to find another option. So we decided we’d find the closest train station and take a train into the city (we were only two stops from Union Station) to save some time, and see if we could find a place to camp. If not, we figured if we were in the center of town we could find a motel – and at least we would be safe.

When we finally arrived at the station, we passed the time waiting by talking with two gentlemen who happened to be waiting for the same train. When it arrived, the conductor stepped out, and the first thing out of his mouth was “Well, you guys know that you need to have a folding bike to ride the train?” We quickly explained that we were not aware, and that we didn’t really even know what town we were in. He agreed to let us ride anyway, which we were grateful for.

As we got off at Union Station in Washington, DC we walked our bikes out towards the street, we saw someone get off who had one of the aforementioned folding bicycles. He looked surprised to see us exiting the train with our fully-loaded touring bikes, and asked if we were allowed on there. We explained that the conductor cut us a big break, and as we continued to walk with him, explained our what we were doing to him.  When we were close to the street, and had been talking to him for about 3 minutes, he very kindly offered us a place to stay.

We graciously accepted his offer, and ended up eating a wonderful dinner with his family, and socializing with all of them. Currently, I am writing this from their spare room, as Dawson sleeps on the floor next to me in his sleeping bag.  We could not possibly be more thankful to this family for welcoming us into their home for the night, and for sharing their food, laughs, and stories with us.

I am going to leave off tonight with a final picture, which is the view of this Washington DC street and starry night from the window of this spare room. We have already met so many incredible people, and are so happy to be on this adventure together.

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5 Responses to “Annapolis -> Washington DC”

  1. Gina said

    This is awesome. I’m really excited to hear about the people you guys meet. That’s one of my favorite parts of going new places.

  2. Megan said

    What!??!!! LOL soooo random! That’s awesome, you have already met people only a few days in. So are you actually in DC? Keep the posts coming, its so good to be able to know how its going. Is all your camping stuff wet? I know you knew you would eventually run into rain but hopefully your stuff isn’t already all damp. Good thing you know the Lester under tent tarp procedure. Also random had my gallbladder ultrasound today, I may be lacking one by the time you get out here! Won’t know till Monday. Love you!

  3. Henry said

    Awesome stuff.

  4. Ingrid said

    We will be flying over you today as we head to Florida. Look up and wave. Have a great trip this week.
    Ingrid and Matt

  5. KJ said

    Hey guys!
    Loving the posts…keep them coming Matt! So glad you guys are meeting all these people along the way and that you have already found some kind people! That’s wonderful they let you stay with them (thanks to them!!) Hope you got to see a bit of DC on your ride today…great city! That’s also awesome you met that cyclist coming from Mexico! Hope the winds die down & you don’t get too much more rain… keep it up boys! You’re doing great 🙂
    Love ya both!
    -KJ ❤

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