DC Trip, April 22-27, 2019

I have been Princeton’s representative to Universities Space Research Association for 22 years. Every year there’s an annual business meeting of the representatives, followed by a symposium and a reception. This year was the 50th Anniversary of USRA, and the symposium and reception would be held at the National Academy of Sciences which chartered USRA. I invited Candace to come and since she used to live in the Washington area (Reston, VA) she said sure, but it’s my spring break, so let’s make it a vacation.

We came up with a plan: I would drive the van, with our bikes, to Washington, DC on Monday. USRA business would be on Tuesday and Candace would join me for the reception. On Wednesday, we would drive to Arlington to meet Candace’s long time friend Dick, who would lead us to the “Waterhouse” in Kilmarnock, VA - very close to Chesapeake Bay. We would meet Sandy at the Waterhouse and spend the rest of Wednesday and part of Thursday with Dick and Sandy. Then we went to Reston to visit Tom (best man at Candace’s wedding) and Joanna. We had a nice dinner and stayed overnight with them.

On Friday we left the car with Tom and Joanna and rode our bikes on the Washington and Old Dominion Rail Trail to Purcellville where we had a reservation at the Creek Crossing Farm Bed and Breakfast. The W&OD is one of the nicest rail trails I’ve been on. It’s wide, paved, has a yellow line down the middle and sensible road crossings.  For major roads there are bridges or traffic signals. There are no posts to keep cars out, just signs, so you don’t have to thread your way through narrow openings. On Saturday, we rode back to Reston, and after another short visit with Tom and Joanna, drove back to Princeton.

There was really nasty weather around on Friday, but “future radar” showed an opening in the morning so we decided to go ahead with the plan. And it worked perfectly. We got to Purcellville, had lunch and made it to the B&B by about 1:30, just before the thunderstorms started. Saturday was beautiful, but there was a 20-30 mph wind, almost always a tailwind!

Here are the tracks of our rides from Reston to Purcellville and Purcellville back to Reston. Note that the first includes a round trip from Lincoln to Purcellville for Friday dinner and the second includes a round trip from about 2 miles past Purcellville back to the B&B to retrieve something we forgot!

Clicking on a photo below brings up a larger version. You can also activate a slide show.