This weekend’s jaunt took me to Quantico Marine Base, where I hoped to visit the base airfield and the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS). As with any trip to the eastern part of the county, this required a successful navigation of heavily trafficked roads. The springlike weather made the trip very pleasant and may even have had a positive effect on the drivers, some of whom actually stopped to allow me to cross some congested areas. I didn’t have any close calls with automobiles, which is always a welcome event.
After reaching the base, I made my way to the river and the airfield which sits alongside side it. There were some great views at this point, but sadly photography of the airfield is prohibited. Not wanting to spend the rest of my day in the brig, I kept my camera stowed and continued on to the OCS facility, about a mile further down the road.
I found the school to be vacant, probably because there is no class in session at the moment or possibly because the candidates are in the field at the moment. The first thing I came across was a large “parade deck,” which the candidates no doubt spend many exciting hours on. As an Army man, I was amused that the Marines would pave over a perfectly good parade field just so they could call it a “deck.”
These were the only occupants in evidence near the barracks. They were not cooperative subjects and had an annoying tendency to turn their backs whenever I closed to take a picture.
On the opposite side of the barracks was an impressive obstacle course. When the candidates are not drilling on the parade deck, they are no doubt amusing themselves on this. Pictured is only a portion of the course, which runs for over a mile. Good times.
As I left the school, I took the below picture. I always feel compelled to take a photograph when I cross railroad tracks. I guess I’m a sucker for the “disappearing into the horizon” image they provide.
My trip home was uneventful. The entire route was only 27 miles and was happily devoid of the drama which I endured during last weekend’s ride. I returned home with plenty of fluid and I had increased peace of mind brought about by this handsome addition to the contents of my saddle bag. I suspect it will be many months before I need my emergency stash of money, so it is folded neatly inside a ziplock bag to protect it from the elements.