Remembered daybreak ride - June 11 2006
Lesson learned - do not start a new blog right as a busy summer gets wound up. You will lose momentum and may never get the "round tuit" necessary to encourage a restart.
Way back on June 11, 2006, I experienced an amazing ride on one of my favorite routes. It was a beautiful, almost spring-like day. It took me several miles to even begin to work up a sweat, which is quite an accomplishment when riding in the summer on the normally muggy US east coast.
As usual I began with a bit of a warm-up ride around Hillsmere, one of the water privileged communities in the Annapolis area. I took a picture of one of the boat launches to show you what it looks like before the sun comes up. I realize this kind of view is not commonly seen unless you happen to be a commuter, a crabber, a crew jock or a weirdo. (The last one applies to me.)
My ride took me through downtown Annapolis where I nodded a few hellos to the other brave souls that rose with the sun. On my way into town, I snapped a few photos on the newly refurbished Eastport Bridge. There is a new surface, new paint on the railing and new flowers hanging in the baskets. On the Annapolis end of the bridge I noticed that the sun was just peaking over the docks at the Annapolis Yacht Club (known locally as AYC).
After passing through the harbor area, I headed up King George Street past St Johns College and the Naval Academy and turned right on to MD route 450 to cross the Severn River via the Naval Academy Bridge. Though this bridge was the source of some controversy when it was built in the early 1990's it is a wonderful addition to the area. It is a graceful curving bridge with wide shoulders for cyclists and an elevated sidewalk for pedestrians. It is an invigorating climb either on foot or on a bike, but that effort is rewarded with an excellent view up and down a very attractive river.
On the north side of the Severn River (which I will always think of as the other side of the river) I turned east toward the Bay and took advantage of my status as a naval officer to aim for the Greenbury Point reserve. This is an amazing piece of land that juts out into the mouth of the Severn River and has Mills Creek on the other side. It used to be the home of a long distance communication station that played a minor role in my submarine service - it was the source of a number of important "family grams" including the announcement of the birth of my second daughter. The VLF antenna facility array was removed several years ago - I actually watched the 1200 foot tower fall from a window at the Naval Academy while I was teaching there.
Since the station is no longer in operation, the peninsula has been turned into a preservation area that is accessible to military people and employees of the Naval Academy during all daylight hours and to the general public during certain limited hours. The area was a farm before being purchased by the Navy and it is still mostly cleared scrubland. There is a nice 2.5 mile gravel road that circles the remaining antennas and mostly stays on the waterfront.
Here is a picture looking up from the base of one of the remaining towers. I kind of like the effect - what do you think?