Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer and it seemed inappropriate not to make the most of the holiday. So when the forecasted rain from Tropical Storm Lee held off, I took advantage with a ride around Prince William Forest, through Quantico Marine Base and over to Possum Point. I haven’t cycled around the forest since May and I haven’t been to Possum Point since February, so it was definitely time for another visit. With temps in the mid-80s, it didn’t feel as if Summer was losing its grip just yet.
Drama has been following me as of late (hurricanes, earthquakes, torrential thunder storms, angry motorists) and today was no exception. 10 miles into my ride I passed a terrible auto accident. A car had somehow managed fly about 100 feet into the forest and landed upside down. It was extremely bad and I can’t imagine how anybody in that vehicle survived. There were several cars stopped on this rural road, at least two of which had signs of damage. I asked the Park Ranger on site if there was anything I could do to help and he told me that everything was in hand. As I continued onward, I counted four fire trucks, two ambulances, four motorcycle police, one fire chief truck and one police cruiser on their way to the scene. Here’s hoping I’m wrong and everybody made it out of there.
UPDATE: Local reports are that the driver of the vehicle died on the scene. The passenger is in the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
I am happy to report the rest of the ride had no brushes with death. I made it to Quantico Marine Base and pedaled up the hill on Purvis Road, noting with satisfaction that the hill seemed far less of a challenge than in months past. I eventually made it to the Potomac River and puttered about some of the side streets. I came across a mighty oak tree in a picnic area near Marine Corps University, which I provide below for your viewing pleasure.
After taking in some fluids and some energy chews, I headed back off the base and made my way to Possum Point Drive, which features a nice ride along a large estuary to the Potomac, then a one mile climb along the river bank. I took a break at the top and took in the view pictured below. Not one minute after I put away my camera, a buck bolted from the brush right next to me (in the bottom right corner of the picture). He had been hiding there and grew tired of waiting for me to leave. He leapt across the road in two bounds. Deer are amazing creatures and it was great to see one so close.
I completed my circuit in good form and ahead of the approaching rain. My calf injury (i.e., no jogging) and early returns from work last week have allowed for some nice pedals – eight rides in eleven days for a total of 150 miles. That’s a good rate for me, one that I doubt I’ll reach again until late October after the Army 10-miler is run.