I’ve been battling a nasty cold this week (probably bronchitis but I’m too dumb to see the doctor) so there hasn’t been much riding. This gives me a chance to provide a brief update to last weekend’s brevet, including two pictures taken by DC Randonneurs’ George Moore as I reached the crest of the final ascent on Etlan Road (about Mile 62).
At least the trees looked good.
In this photo I am wearing my new helmet cover, which I purchased for this ride. There was a chance of rain and the morning temps were supposed to be cool. As it turned out, there was no rain but the cover still kept my head warm without needing to wear a skull cap.
I am also proudly wearing my clear lenses, which I swapped out later in the day for darker ones. I kept the lenses in my saddle bag and it was much nicer than bringing another set of glasses or doing without during the night portions.
Historical Marker Segment!
I had a bumper crop of historical markers. Truth be told, I pedaled past several others but I simply couldn’t stop at every single one. I was moving slowly enough as it was.
I came across the first marker in the early morning light (Lord knows what I passed in the darkness before this). It details the story of a one-room schoolhouse that once stood in this location. The sign reads as if the school still stands, but I could find no evidence of it. Perhaps in better light it would be obvious to me where it is.
About a mile away from the previous sign was this one, describing the relief of Union General George McClellan at a site four miles from the sign. Why they couldn’t be bothered to put the sign closer to the actual location is curious. I sense the hidden hand of the local chamber of commerce.
Also in Marshal is this sign, describing an event six miles away. Very curious. One can only imagine what different course the war would have taken if the 9th NY Cavalry actually captured General Lee.
Right next to the above sign is a classic, erected in 1928. It’s interesting (to me, anyway) to see the basic design for these signs has been unchanged for 85 years. It must be said that the authors were a little less wordy in the earlier versions of these signs, which must have been far more difficult to produce than today’s versions.
Below is another classic, also erected in 1928 near Boswell’s Tavern (Mile 110). Nobody refers to Marquis de Lafayette very much these days, but once upon a time he was a superstar, worthy of remembrance on things as mundane as when he opened a road.
Our final sign is much newer, thus it has more words. It is an homage to FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps, which gave jobs to unemployed workers. The fellows in this particular company came from Pennsylvania, where they did all manner of odd jobs in the local forests. Why the CCC couldn’t find forests to clear for these men in Pennsylvania is not addressed in the marker.