I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Yo, Steve, I’ve been carefully studying the above ride map and what’s up with you starting your ride at a different spot than where you ended it? That has to be about a mile away. You never do stuff like that, bro.”
Of course, you are right, although I’m not sure why you’re thinking in hip-hop slang. That’s weird.
I didn’t actually start my ride a mile away; that’s just the spot where I got my Garmin GPS to start working. Until that point, it was stubbornly refusing to cooperate. After turning it on, it simply gave me the encouraging status of “working” and then spun its wheels. After several minutes of patiently waiting, I tried to turn it off, only to be greeted with a long beep that continued until I pressed the power button again. Then it finally shut off. I was optimistic when I hit the power button again, but the thing simply gave me the same “working,” message (which was increasingly looking like Exhibit A in a false advertisement lawsuit I was contemplating). I wasn’t going to sit around all day, so I started my ride and hoped the Garmin would come to its senses.
I’ve used my Garmin 494 times since I got it in 2011. It’s simply the most reliable piece of gear I own. I’ve dropped it, been hit by a car with it, been rained on, baked, froze, and just about every other thing that you might expect to happen to a GPS while riding or running. When something works 494 times, you kinda expect it to work on the 495th time. When it doesn’t work, you’re somewhat at a loss for what to do next.
Convinced that the thing wasn’t going to fix itself, I decided to start fiddling. To be honest, I probably should have moved to this stage much sooner in the process, but fiddling doesn’t come naturally for me. I like to have a rational purpose for doing something and pressing buttons for no good reason doesn’t seem very logical to me. Except that it was logical. After pressing the button that causes the Garmin’s stop watch to start/stop, the device snapped out of its coma and immediately began giving me the display full of data that I’m used to seeing. Why this solved the problem I have no idea.
With the case solved, I headed toward Davis Ford. This is a picturesque area that is always nice to visit. You can even take some pictures if the traffic is light or you don’t mind cars flying past you at 60mph with only a couple of feet of shoulder to separate you from them.
This is the bridge with the Occoquan River to the right. You can see there is still quite a bit of grit on the shoulder from the winter snow plowing.
Davis Ford is named after a family which owned a lot of land on both sides of the river back in the late 1700s. Beyond that, I can’t find much else about them. The exact crossing seems to have changed over the years. Washington and Rochambeau moved part of their armies along this road as they traveled from NY City to Yorktown. In the Civil War, Confederate troops from Georgia bivouacked along the river on the lookout for a Federal incursion southward.
Towards the other end of the bridge, there is a view of some sand bars that would be interesting to explore when it is less muddy and I have a boat instead of a bike.
I then climbed up some hills on Davis Ford Road and eventually made my way home. I stopped at the less historic Lake Terrapin (created a few years ago by a home developer) for another picture.
I’m pleased my Garmin is fixed but less than excited about the snow that is currently falling outside my window. With the official start of Spring only days away, Winter doesn’t seem ready to release its grip just yet.