Mineral > Alexandria/D.C.
The Final Ride and the Final Weekend
I was so far east by now, everything was pretty flat due to the Potomac delta. It was hot though, but I didn't mind too much since I was going to be done. I passed the small Lake Anna a little ways outside of Mineral and thought about how nice it was to see water again and some boats. Eventually the road went through some state parkish areas and the roads were really nice and freshly paved outside the little town Spotsylvania.
Just outside of Fredericksburg, I jumped on US1 and for the next 50 miles or so, following this main artery towards the Nation's Capitol. It was busy for sure and some of it was reminiscent of riding through Clarksville, but it was the easiest and most direct route I could follow besides I-95. My main goals at this point were speed and time. At the wedding, my cousin Laura told me I could stay with her and her husband Geoff and I didn't want to arrive at their house really late at night as was customary most nights of my trip.
Very few breaks or stops happened as I rode to their house. I stopped once at a Hardees for chicken fingers but that's about it. It was very hot along busy US1, especially in the late afternoon, but managed to get to their house around 6pm. My plan was to take a shower and then treat them both to dinner in payment for letting me stay with them. Up and over the bridge crossing a little tributary to the Potomac and I was in their neighborhood. I finally found their house and after struggling with my bike to get up the stairs to the front door, I knocked to find Laura with open arms in spite of my three-days worth of grossness. I made it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I arrived on a Thursday and coincidentally, it was also my 25th birthday. Happy birthday to me. =D
I took a shower and upon hearing that it was my birthday, Laura popped a bottle of champagne so it was champagne in the shower for me. I wasn't immediately hungry after getting there, but it didn't take too long for it to set in after I had stopped moving. I started a small load of laundry and since Geoff was at a business school function that night, Laura and I walked to get dinner at a local sushi place a few blocks from the house. It was super awesomely good and one of the best meals of my trip. After that we walked back home and since she had work in the morning and I was pretty exhausted, we both turned in pretty early. Dear lord that bed was comfortable.
There was a huge book fair going on on the Mall lawn that day too so the three of us went to check it out. Unfortunately it was raining pretty steadily all day which made for a sloppy time, but still not bad. They had a bunch of guest speakers and big circus tents so we ditched under one and listened to the guy speak for a while as we let the rain blow over. A late lunch was found at Paul, a french bakery place and after souping and sandwiching it up, the three of us ended up watching a lot of Anthony Bourdain and this whacked out Columbian reality TV show called Protagonistas de Nuestra Tele that night when we got home. I didn't completely understand it since it was all in spanish, but it was still entertaining to watch. I made kettle corn and that just makes everything better, including tv shows in another language.
Afterwords, Julian went to get a haircut so Liz and I walked around the Mall and the Capitol. I needed a jumping picture to mark the official end of my trip so that's exactly what we did. I also needed to find a bicycle shop that would pack up my bike and ship it to Miami and we accomplished that too. We got my Amtrak ticket for the morning and ventured back to the apt for the night. We all got up pretty early in the morning because Liz had class, Julian had work, and I needed to get to the airport. I went with Liz to the subway and finally said goodbye as we parted ways under ground, she to school, me to BWI. It was such a perfect weekend thanks to all my friends and family in D.C. I couldn't have asked for a better end to my epic cycling journey across the United States. =) I heart all of you!