Moving Right Along

We have enjoyed touring our nation’s capital, and for those who love history, museums, stunning architecture, and lots of freebies, Washington DC is THE place to visit.  I suspect there are few cities in the U.S. where so much can be seen without opening your wallet.

And just as there’s no end to the monuments and museums one can explore in this city, the list of bike trails crisscrossing lovely woods and parks and running alongside gurgling streams, lakes and rivers goes on and on, and we have tested many of them.  From our temporary home at Greenbelt Park the Sligo Creek Trail, Anacostia River Trail, and the Paint Branch Trail have become a major part of our weekly exercise routine.

Our favorite city ride has been the Mt. Vernon Trail, the trail we had hoped to bike with friends John and Pam.  This 36-mile trail traverses DC and Alexandria, VA alongside the Potomac River, to George Washington’s plantation home, Mt. Vernon.  Loading bikes and bodies onto the Metro (a new experience for us) was a great way to hit the trail and avoid the traffic, but can be a bit of a hassle if the subway traffic is heavy.

The ride down to Mt. Vernon was awesome but the sea of tourists we found on arrival not so much.  We have become a bit crowd-weary so after a quick snack we hopped right back on the trail.  Luckily we had taken the Mt. Vernon tour many years earlier so didn’t really miss anything.

Stopping to admire planes lift-off at Ronald Reagan Airport, watch the lazy Potomac glide by, stroll through Teddy Roosevelt Island, and catch a freebie performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (yes, you can do that donning bike clothes) can easily be accessed from the trail.  Wracking up miles on the endless bike trails has been a welcome break from hectic city life.

As much as we have enjoyed all DC has to offer, we are moving on, letting the ticks pick on someone else for a while.  We knew there would be ticks (not unusual back east) but they are a rather acute problem at Greenbelt Park, in what could be the perfect location for families wanting to see DC on a budget.  It seems Terry is quite the “tick-magnet” and no matter how he tries to protect against these tiny critters, even staying on the pavement, they still seek him out.  They don’t seem to like me at all, which pleases me to no end.  We look forward to taking a break from big city traffic and daily tick checks as we begin our slow journey west.  Happy summer everyone!

52 thoughts on “Moving Right Along

  • Sounds like you got lots of exercise on your bikes, still seeing lots of great places, regardless of the crowds of people. I’m so glad you got to do those things, and I’m glad you are on your way back west.

    • It will still take us awhile to get back since we have a wedding to attend in late Sept in Denver but it feels good to be back on the road.

  • I can’t believe four months has swiftly passed by. I kind of like their Metro, its very efficient and its fun to watch people hurrying to get to their desk and work 🙂 Steve and I would have loved that biking trail you took, another perspective of seeing the capital and its surrounding and thats the scenery we have not seen while there.
    Love that Magnolia header , (or is it?) nicely taken and the green background color, my favorite color. Beautiful captures LuAnn.
    And you are heading west already?

    • Four months has not passed by yet but the ticks were a huge problem for Terry so we cut our time short. He has already been on antibiotics for Lyme once so we both agreed he doesn’t need to go down that path again.

      Yes, the header is a magnolia. You seem to be good with birds and flowers. 🙂

      We won’t get back west until later this year. We have a wedding to attend in Denver late Sept so we will be visiting family in the midwest, spend some time in the Dakotas, then drop back down into Colorado to do a bit of hiking and exploring before the wedding. After that, we point the rig west.

  • Sounds like awesome biking and so many sights to see. Al and I used to fly in and out of Reagan National Airport all the time. Always interesting take offs and landings as the flight pattern would bend following the Potomac River and NEVER over the white house. Ah, memories….hubby and I had our first date in D.C. Safe travels west 🙂

    • Glad to bring back a few lovely memories. We’ve had a great time in DC but are looking forward to getting out into nature more.

  • All sounds awesome. Thought you were in the park for the summer. Did the ticks drive you away?

    • The ticks drove us away. We were forever having to check Terry over and I even cut his hair very short so that we could spot them easier. They were such teeny little deer ticks and he had just been treated for Lyme a couple months before so we finally had enough. We were warned by the rangers to not even go on the trails in the park, so it really curtailed our hiking plans.

  • Just read your further posts, we have plans for the Dakotas mid August and up for hiking in CO early September. We leave for the East about mid September. Would love to connect with you.

    • We don’t have any concrete plans yet but let’s keep in touch and see if we can make it happen. Would love to see the two of you again.

      • Do keep in touch as we are pretty flexible through mid September. Do plan a trip to MN around the week end of August 22nd.

  • Looks like a wonderful ride but the ticks sound awful. They must be ridiculously thick. Ugh. Safe travels as you head West. I love the photo of the bicycle sitting on the road. makes me smile.

    • We expect ticks back east but once we got to the park the rangers said even they don’t go on any of the trails anymore because they have all been treated for Lyme since working in the park. Since it is under the National Park jurisdiction, there is little they can do in the way of spraying or removing the deer. It’s a lovely park so it is really a shame. Watching kids roll around in the grass and leaves while we were there made my skin crawl.

      • That’s incredible that all of the rangers have had Lime Disease. Yikes. Yes I can imagine watching the kids rolling in Tickville was challenging. Too bad about the infestation in such a lovely spot.

      • It is a shame. The rangers told me that the state of Maryland ranks third in the nation for number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease.

  • What a way to enjoy DC and avoid a bit of the mobs. Nice that they have all those bike trails. Glad to hear you’re finally pointing in this direction. Perhaps the ticks were trying to tell Terry something? 🙂

    • I think they were Gunta. I often wondered how many ticks we could have running around in the RV. Having taken care of a friend who had Lyme disease, among other health issues, I know it is not a disease to take lightly.

  • you two are AWESOME! you’re living a life that many dream of having – yet they’re hobbled to a life that owns them… you are squeezing the best out of each day – and i smile when i read your posts and enjoy the beautiful photos as you tour the country!

  • When we visited DC it was for a very short time and with the normal overseas places to visit seen we had moved on missing so much… but I said back then that to see all there is to see in DC one needs a month as far as I’m concerned… you certainly seem to have enjoyed your stay… safe travels heading west….

    • The ticks were far worse than what we could have imagined. It was a daily worry, especially for Terry. We are looking at slowing down the pace and getting away from big cities for awhile, although we did take a whirlwind trip to NYC. Loved Manhattan, but my goodness, the people!

  • It is great to explore the world by bike, looks lovely! Good to have bike trails! It is no fun on the road wiht all the pollution and the cars!

  • The pair of you must have such strong leg muscles. 🙂 I loved Washington, but think we saw most of what we needed to see there. That trail does looks magical. Pity about the ticks though. Your blood is obviously not as tasty as Terry’s. 😯

    • I don’t know how strong the leg muscles are since we left hiking in the mountains back west. We are trying to get prepared for doing just that again later this year. I think the ticks like Terry but the mosquitoes seem to like me more. 😦

  • Crowds of people are rubbish, unless they happen to be my groupies! You know I wondered why I had such a fixation on watching that cheesy show NCIS and I think it is because I wanted to experience Washington D.C as well…except that your trip is more safer and believable and awesome. I love the photos…if you are heading west then i will possibly be heading that way in three months or so.

  • Glad you did get to see many of the sites and bike the area while you were trying to dodge the ticks. I do feel better knowing you have moved on though, especially for Terry who “loves” the ticks…or is it the other way around:) We were thrilled that we were able to coordinate our timing and get in a few visits even if the weather didn’t cooperate.

    • Not sure Terry would say he loved the ticks, nor did I love doing daily tick checks and praying I will extract those little buggers, heads and all. We were also so thankful that we had the chance to spend time with you and John and look forward to reconnecting sometime later this year back west.

  • You certainly made the most of your time in the D.C. area and have given us lots of great ideas for when we visit — although the tick infestation is making me question our plan of traveling in the area. Like you, we enjoy spending a lot of time in outdoor activities, and it sounds problematic. The bike trails look fantastic, though! And your magnolia close-up is gorgeous.

    • Thanks Laurel. I’m not sure all the parks have the issues that Greenbelt Park has, based on what the rangers told us. Our ranger didn’t blame us at all for leaving early. He told us the staff desperately wants to see this issue taken care of, but the park is also responsible for the BW Parkway which runs right along the Greenbelt and it is in bad need of repairs. They are in the process of doing that now and with the lack of park funding, that takes priority over anything else inside the park. There are other parks in the area, although they are quite a bit pricier.

      We tried to make the most of our time here and the bike trails are awesome. We are in need of an escape from the hustle and bustle of big cities, although we did a very quick trip to NYC while we were in the area.

      We were told Maryland is the third worst state in the country for reported cases of Lyme disease. If you are like me the mosquitoes like you more than the ticks do. 😉

  • We had an awesome time in DC. I think everyone should visit there at least once in their lifetime. I would love to go back.

    We didn’t have our bikes with us when we were there. What a neat adventure it would have been though riding along so much history. I am sure I would have been the tick magnet in our family. Glad you had such an unforgettable time. Happy Summer to you also.

    • Thanks Marsha and I agree, everyone should visit our nation’s capital at least once. We lived in the area many years ago when we still worked and I saw little of DC, my focus being on work over pleasure. We had a wonderful time.

  • Washington is one of the five states I long to see and explore. You certainly made it even harder for me to long for it stronger. 😀 I do hope to see it in the future badly.

  • Dang ticks…don’t think I want to be there with four pups! Ticks and Mosquitos can ruin a really good thing.
    Safe travels back west…
    The magnolia bloom is exquisite! I really miss them….

    • I would not recommend bringing dogs to the park. I had a tough time watching the kids run around the park. We are looking forward to getting back to nature for awhile.

  • LuAnn, So glad that you enjoyed your time in DC – except for the ticks! We used to live there and still marvel at the accessibility to wonderful trails, great public transport, and incredible free sights. Like you, we become crowd weary, so we seek solitude and find it in some of DC’s hidden gems. But no matter what, July will be wall-to-wall families and tourists, so you’re moving west at a good time. Thanks for all your wonderful posts while based at Greenbelt. Where are you heading now? ~Terri

    • We did a very quick trip to NYC before we had to get to northern IN for some annual RV maintenance. We will be visiting family in the midwest for a short while. Hope you and James are having a great summer. 🙂

    • I don’t know if it is a product of age or because I am somewhat of an introvert and need some alone time to recharge, but crowds and I don’t co-exist very well these days.

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