Saturday, January 10, 2009

Moving to Westerly gonna eat a lot of oysters*

*sung to the tune of "Peaches" by the Presidents of the USA.

Today, a bright clear 28 degree day with snow in the afternoon forecast, is moving day. Actually big stuff moving day. I've been packing and moving the little stuff for a week now.

One thing that has really amazed me in the packing process is how much stuff I accumulated in 9 years. Yes. It's been 9 years that I've lived in the little apartment in Mystic and in that amount of time the amount of stuff I have has grown from a pick up truck load to a 16' rental truck load...and I'm throwing lots out too! (PS If anyone needs dishes, books, towels, a piece of furniture or two, or wants a few good books, be sure and stop by sometime in the next few weeks).

The funny thing is, the more I get rid of the better I feel. This of course, does not apply to the toys. Probably the most significant category of growth has been in the toy department, and those I'm not throwing out at all. I've gone from one bike, to two bikes, one kayak, two tents, three backpacks, cross country skis, snowshoes and all the related gear. I love my toys. But the furniture, dishes, towels, paintings, etc. ehh.

But back to moving. So today we pack it all the stuff up and move it to Westerly where most will wait patiently in their little boxes and bags until 1. I need them. 2. We arrive at our final destination (unknown at present).

Millions of oysters oysters for me

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Biking the Canals

To most people, Washington DC means monuments and politics but after a a few days along the Potomac all I could think of was bike riding. Sure the Lincoln Monument is impressive, and all the activity around the White House is historic and the Smithsonian is the mother of all museums but it was the lure of the traffic-free bike path that held my attention during a recent visit.

It all started at a place called Great Falls, a few miles Northwest of the capital, where our hosts took us to see the rapids, told us about the kayakers who run the falls and the history of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Back in the early 1800's George Washington (yes that George Washington) and others decided that running a canal along the Potomac would be a great way to expand commerce and exploration with the west. After several years, numerous setbacks and lots of lost money the canal was finished, used briefly and abandoned, only to be resurrected as a bike path. And a really cool one at that. Not only that, with the addition of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail a biker with moderately wide tires can ride the 318 miles all the way from DC to Pittsburgh!

What could be cooler you ask? Well, perhaps a ride along the Erie Canal? Not only does it have a bike path as well, it also was a successful canal. (My theory on why one was successful and the other not has to do with one, the C & O being located alongside a river prone to massive flooding while the other, while harder to build, didn't flood, stayed built and by the way, drew on a much larger hinterland) But regardless, and more importantly both make awesome bike paths and a huge quandary. Given that one might only have one week for bike touring in a given summer, which ride should one take?