Possum Point

Today is Super Bowl Sunday.  I felt obligated to come up with a football-related theme for today’s ride but I couldn’t think of anything.  I couldn’t even come up with something sports related.  I guess I had “rider’s block.”  Instead, I decided to head for another nook along the Potomac River – Possum Point.

To add some distance, I circumnavigated Prince William Forest Park.  The park’s namesake, Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, was the second son of George II.  He died at the age of 44 from a heart attack brought on by chronic obesity.  I often ruminate on the fate of Prince William as I pedal by the forest which bears his name.  A good lesson from history, I think.

A fitting motto for the day

When I reached Route 1, I stopped by the US Marine Corps Museum.  If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend you stop by for a visit.  It’s well worth your time.  Since I was spackled with mud and wearing cycling shoes, I eschewed a trip inside and pedaled around the grounds a bit.  There is a sidewalk leading to a chapel with monuments to famous people and units along the way.  Etched in the sidewalk are values of the Marine Corps.  I paused by “Endurance” and took a photo – it seemed appropriate on a day like today. 

Leaving the museum, I headed north through Dumfries to the main event for today’s ride: Possum Point.  This is a small peninsula nestled between Quantico Marine Base and Leesylvania.  The map indicated a three-mile road to the end and another mile-long road to nowhere branching off of it.  This is why I haven’t traveled this way before – once you get there, you have to turn around and brave the crazy traffic on Route 1.  A lot of aggravation for not much roadway.

The road was straight and lightly traveled.    I passed older homes with views of the water.  It was all very nice and the real estate was certainly very expensive.  You can imagine my surprise when I reached the end of the road and saw the Possum Point Power Plant!

This is some awfully nice land to put a power plant.  I can only imagine why this place was chosen.  To give you a sense of how nice an area this could be, this is the view 180 degrees from the same spot where I photo’d the plant.

C’est la vie.  I pushed on the branch road (Cock Pit Point Road), which was deserted and straight – perfect for cycling.  It has a nice hill, which I may take advantage of later this summer when I want to improve my climbing abilities.  There was a wilderness area set aside for eagles to nest.  I didn’t see any nests or eagles, so I pressed on to the end, only to find a power supply company.  Again, an odd location for an industrial site, IMHO.

Having reached the end of the line, I retraced my route to Dumfries, made it across Route 1 and pressed onward toward home.  It was a great day for a ride with just a hint of Spring in the air.  The warm weather can’t come soon enough.  It’s been about 14 weeks since I wore cycling shorts.  That’s good news if you are worried about people knowing you don’t shave your legs, but it’s certainly very bad news if you enjoy cycling in warm temperatures.  And I like warm temperatures very much.

And no, I didn’t see any possums.

6 thoughts on “Possum Point

  1. Wow! We drove up Rt.1 to 301, and over to MD to cycle today. Our paths came close! It was beautiful. We also saw remnants of the snow you have been mentioning. Glad you got to ride today. One day, we are just going to see each other on the road, and say……. ” that cyclist looks familiar……”

  2. Do you know how Possum Point got it’s name ? As far as I am aware, the possum is an native of Australia and PNG and was introduced to New Zealand (much to their disgust)

    1. Wikipedia informs me that there are possums in America as well, although their proper name is “opossum.” Like the Australian possum, opossums are marsupials. In America, they have a reputation for hanging upside down from trees, despite the fact they reportedly never do this. They made for great hunting over the years by backwoods hillbilly types.

      I haven’t been able to figure out how Possum Point got its name, although I did find a Civil War reference to the area being known as “Possum Nose.” When you look at this spot on a map, the point definitely has the appearance of a possum’s nose, so I suspect that is the source of the name.

  3. Looks like a nice ride, Steve. Is that climb information consistent to the region? The last time I was there I didn’t have road rides on my mind, so I don’t remember~

    1. Yes, it is. I usually climb about 1,500 feet for every 30 miles cycled around this parts. The people who cycle the Appalachians about 100 miles to the West would consider me a “Flatlander.” Then again, I was amazed to cycle 26 miles in Tampa and only climb 121 feet. Thanks for stopping by!

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