To Pohick Bay Regional Park

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 03/31/2005 - 11:17

The wind shifted at bedtime last night so that I had to listen to the Interstate and railroad all night... they weren't loud enough to justify wearing earplugs, but the trains were loud enough to wake me several times.  I got up bright and early, irritated by the highway that wouldn't leave me alone even in my sleep.

While I was still griping to myself, I saw a sign for Bike Route 1!  I studied my maps and figured it couldn't take me too far out of my way, so I followed it... until I missed a sign (or a sign was missing) and I had to go back to the highway.  The amount of signage they have is not adequate without a map.

I rode through historic downtown Fredericksburg  ("the most historic town in Virginia") but didn't take any photos because the day was gray and dreary.  As I passed the turn for Belmont horse track, I couldn't help singing the song my friend Victoria made up as a young horse fancier.  The part I can repeat in mixed company goes,

We ain't ridin' the Belmont, we ain't ridin' the Preakness,
We ain't ridin' the Derby or none o' them fancy races.
We ain't ridin' nowhere, we ain't ridin' nowhere,
We ain't ridin' nowhere, 'cept for that damn human race.
That damned human ra-yay-yace.

US-1 was not a bike-friendly road at all, but the drivers were very considerate.  I stopped at a bike  shop and bought a Washington-area bike map and noticed that it showed Bike Route 1 entering not far from where I wanted to go.  I asked how to connect in with that, but it meant going an extra 3 hours today and another 3 tomorrow, so I just stuck with the highway!

For the rest of the day I heard muffled explosions, coming, I presume, from the Quantico Marine base.  I think it's neat that there's a land formation called Mason Neck so close to a group of people who call themselves Jarheads.

I stopped for the night at Pohick Bay Regional Park, which is as quiet and natural a place as you could ask for right on the edge of a major metropolitan area.