Friday, June 12, 2009

Swamp and Bridge- Wilson Bridge Bike Lanes

After coming back from the pool yesterday, I loaded my bike onto an express bus down to the Wilson Bridge, Maryland side. It was on the news that the new bike lanes were open on the new 12 lane span. So I get off at "Wilson Bridge" stop, wiht the bike, and head parallel to the Beltway by going down the walkway at Oxon Hill Farm- the one that leads to the visitor center and barns- I ask the rangers where to find the path. They say around the fence- I try the first roa. It lead about 300 feet to a shed. I then go down the paved road that went to the water. An idyllic marshland southern farm. The road turned to dirt, and to rut marks. It ended at a pile of Jersey barriers. Promising, but no lead after a minute in a brush. I then tried down another clearing. A wobble in the mud made both my shoes get wet. An organized grove of trees grown wild. A line of vines. Sight of the bridge- but there was a fence- and it wasn't the correct freeway. Sweating and overwhelmed with mosquitoes from the swamp, I pushed back after seeing a few decayed animals-large ones, and got back to the road- a great relief for a person who thought he'd need the state trooper to pick him up (the cell phone made me feel secure). So I get to the trail, which was the one that the rangers were probably talking about. I head up a while, and pull over to a subdivision at the first chance. Going up the road with the most traffic, I find a folded dollar, and came out where I had gotten off the bus. determined, and only having lost an hour, head back to the bridge. from an outcrop I tried to spot the bike trail. Two abutments far off was what I identified as the access point. I coast down the road in National Harbor, and end up on the shoulder of the bridge- I remembered, 3 12' lanes and a wide shoulder. I maneuver across an exit ramp and onto the safe side of the guardrail. When I reached the trail overpass, I pulled my bike 6 feet up, and myself as well. That is when I hurt my thumb. But I came out unharmed. I scouted on the other side of the overpass, and found out that the trail came from the National Harbor riverline area. I reached the foundation of the bridge, and there was an inspirational sign about this tristate project (MD_DC- over water_VA) I pulled out my camera for a shot- no memory card. But At least I found how to get there! It was a great view, great experience as I made my way to Washington St (VA 400), the end of the trail. A glass sound barrier made the final half mile very quaint as I passed above the cemetery. And I made it. My week's journey. I'm going to take Little Brother sometime- but I'll spare him from the swamp part of the trip.

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