June 14 – Day 10
Horsepen Branch Hiker Biker Campsite to Washington, D.C.
The previous day at the Veterans’ gathering,Đại úy Chuck learned that he’d unintentionally planned the arrival in DC for Flag Day and the Foundation Day of the US Army, so wearing the Stars and Stripe/U.S. Constitution shirts given to him by RUSeeN Reflective Apparel was even more appropriate.
Cuppa Joe made using the French Press feature of the JetBoil's Flash Java Kit, along with some energy bars satisfied morning hunger before setting off for Great Falls where there was supposed to be food. Here’s the sidebar about food. When riding an unsupported tour the greatest concerns are water, where to stay next and where’s the food. Specifics about food are irrelevant. If it’s edible, it’s food. So, if the Visitor’s Center at Great Falls has a concession stand, it was a potential bull’s eye.
The Visitor’s Center was good preparation for an anticipated mass of humanity to be encountered in DC and there were lots of people to test our ability to cope! Salvation in dealing with “Where’s the food!” came in the form of volunteers for Borrow-a-Bike, a program offering free, two-hour, loaner bikes to visitors. Deena, one of the volunteers, acquired an ATV and knew the route to the concession stand. Yay, food!
Wearing jerseys depicting Stars and Stripes, the Constitution, Blind Veteran and Vietnam Veteran attracted the attention of many people at the Visitor’s Center, including the gentleman taking orders at the concession stand, a former Vietnamese National. On a very personal level the NCOIC spoke with the widow of a Vietnam Veteran and experienced a deeper understanding of the significance of the Vietnam War at home. Thank you, Ingrid.
Great Falls was a good stopping point to delay arriving in DC as Đại úy’s cousin would not be avail for a pick-up before 5PM. The journey through Pittsburgh had made an impression and if a ride could be had, then, fine! The operating, replica canal boat at the Park would have to wait for another day.
Traffic on the Towpath increased dramatically inside the 10-mile post and became heavy before mile 5. Hasty, mumbled and cryptic directions were the norm inside the metro area. “Look for the pointy building” was the funniest and least helpful. Eventually, The Wall was reached. There’s nothing more that can be said about that right now.
While waiting to be found in DC a storm arrived in full force and making the decision to accept a ride a very good decision. Eventually, through rain and mysterious roads Debi arrived. Yay, Cuz! Now, two Zero Days awaited.