Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lunch at Great Falls, MD

With all the rain we've had lately, Steve and I decided to check out Great Falls as the water had risen dramatically in the rivers. We walked along a favorite creek of mine on our way there and indeed the water was gushing along its course.
A picture of Steve taking a picture.
We first drove to the Virginia side of Great Falls but once we reached the gate, we were informed by a ranger that the park was closed as the rising riving was considered a danger. I could see waves crashing over the river bank in the distance. Undaunted, we turned around and headed for the Maryland side. We met a guy who informed us that we'd probably have better luck parking at the Old Angler's Inn and hiking from there. We followed his advice and set off along the path with a fine drizzle of rain accompanying us most of the way.
 The scenery was beautiful as we walked along with the raging river on one side and the silent old canal on the other. 
The dampness seemed to accentuate the green lichen on the rocks and they seemed almost alien with their vibrancy.
 We passed an old mill house and around the corner came to a closed path. A warden stood guard by yellow tape that prevented anyone walking further. Frustrated that we could hear the roar of the river and see nothing, we turned around and started retracing our steps. But as soon as we were out of sight of the ranger, we cut through the woods to the river bank. Clambering over rocks, across sodden ground and through briers, we were determined to see Great Falls.
We climbed down to the bank and could at last see the Falls, albeit from a distance, but we had completed our mission. The water had definitely risen so that spray from the force of the waves crashing over the rocks was clearly visible. It was wonderful to just watch the power of the river. With our curiosity sated, we finally walked back the 2 miles to the car and decided to warm up in the pub.
The Old Angler's Inn was almost empty because of the foul weather. This inn is usually packed during finer days so I was glad to be able to visit it for the first time without feeling crowded. The fire was blazing and comfy leather sofas with throws added to the cozy atmosphere. We looked at the menu and plumped for calamari and oysters followed by beef and brie sandwiches washed down with Newcastle Brown Ale. Steve chatted to the waiter about the best whiskey in the world which apparently is Johnnie Walker's Blue Label. After a quick discussion, we decided to go all out and have a glass each. Our waiter quoted $40 a glass but agreed to drop to $35. With great aplomb, he brought forth a brand new box, unwrapped the cellophane and pulled the oak cork with a resounding plop.
Here's Steve obviously relishing the moment before his first taste. It was pure nectar. We sat like cheshire cats grinning across the tops of our glasses and savoring every sip. We eventually finished our lunch and left the almost dreamy world of the pub. I think that I can honestly say that was the best lunch I've had since I've lived in America. Thanks Steve!

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