04/11/2010 — Goodbye DC, Hello VA

April 13, 2010

Dawson and I awoke early to begin the process of packing up all of our gear again. After that, we ate some breakfast with Paul & Jessica. After some final preparations, we said our goodbyes to the family and headed on our way.
We felt quite confident in our directions this time around, as we put a solid amount of effort into deciding on them, so the ride started out well. We crossed through DC one last time and headed for the road we needed. As we were finally riding out past the city limits, I thought to myself that I was almost surprised by how many cool things and people we saw and met in our time in Washington, DC – and that as a person who had never visited before, I am quite fond of it. I think the value of this city lies somewhere much deeper than the famous buildings and monuments, as I had thought before.
Once we passed into Virginia, much of the ride was rolling hills. We could tell that we were gaining elevation, as we head towards the mountains we will cross in a few days. But the riding was smooth and the weather was near perfect: about 88 degrees and sunny all day.

Around 2 PM we stopped at a grocery store to figure out lunch. As we pulled into the plaza, I noticed that there was a lebanese restaraunt called Raouche Cafe which excited me quite a bit. I got a falafel sandwich (yes again, I love it) and a mango juice which really added up to a fantastic lunch. I’d like to also note that the people who worked there were extremely friendly, which added to the overal appeal of the stop.

Dawson went into the store and came back out with a Vitamin Water, an orange, and a can of chick peas in brine. I do not know exactly what caused him to select this lunch, but he ate it all – even though he wasn’t too keen on the chick peas on their own, out of the can.
I would also like to make a shout out to Charles and his son Charles, who talked to us outside of the store. You were both very kind and I quite enjoyed meeting you and talking to you about what we are doing.
The after lunch riding went reasonably well, without any problems to note until in the early evening Dawson hit a piece of wood and a nail went into his tire and out the side. Luckily, we were in an ideal location – a beautiful little neighborhood with shady green grass to sit in to fix the flat. I sat in the grass, and took some pictures & enjoyed a Clif Bar while Dawson patched his tire and changed his tube. We shared the previously mentioned orange, and Dawson used his phone to look for campgrounds in the area.
We learned that there was a campground 16 miles away, and since it was already evening, we rode briskly West towards the setting sun in order to find a place to sleep before dark. We both felt that this was our best riding so far, as we both got into just the right groove, the pavement was smooth, and the scenery was beautiful – and the combination of all of that made us quite productive. Eventually we came across a church which had quite a big lawn – so we decided we’d at least stop and see if we might be able to set up camp there for the night, for free. After pleasantly conversing with several of the people there, we were told that we unfortunately could not stay, but were given directions to a campground that was closer than the one we were headed for.
We followed those directions, and were so happy to finish up the end of our ride into a gorgeous park that had the camping area in it.
We set up our tents fairly quickly, and just finished cooking our pasta as the sun finally set. We ate our food in the dark, and headed to our tents for a long and ideally restful nights sleep.

2 Responses to “04/11/2010 — Goodbye DC, Hello VA”

  1. jon richard said

    good stuff so far! great hearing about the trip, still grudging you guys for having such a great time without me! keep on updatin’ this, im waitin to hear more about your guys’ adventure! good luck and keep pedalin

  2. KJ said

    all I have to say is Dawson I absolutely love your outfit! I wouldn’t expect anything less out of you haha lovin that you are rockin the belt too..although it looks new?? anyways I’m proud of you guys and keep it up!!

    Matt- the pics are great! awesome to see where you guys have been, can’t wait for more updates!!

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