Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Brits and Bikes

On Saturday, a couple of my British friends, Mary and Carolyn, along with Hannah, one of Mary's friends who I've been out with a few times before, came over to Meadow House so I could take them out for their first taste of Urbexing. I'd decided to take them to some abandoned houses in the area, not wanting to put them at risk in more industrial or off limit places. I wasn't even sure if they'd enjoy it, or would simply get bored at the first building.
 This old theater in Marshall couldn't be accessed but looked quite interesting from the outside. I just took a couple of snaps then walked around answering their questions.
 This next old house really fired up their enthusiasm and after that I guessed my other locations would be fine for them too. It was fun watching these newbies 'ooh' and 'ah' over textures and the old materials of the building.
The next place is my favorite abandoned house and I was excited to see their reactions. I wasn't disappointed, They were enamored. We were saddened to find that it was no longer accessible, but on reflection I was glad, if it meant keeping vandals out.
 We spent quite a long time just shooting the outside and exploring the outbuildings. Someone had been looking out for the old place, the grass was cut, with branches and logs stacked neatly at the back. It was so pretty with spring flowers, blossoms and new leaves shining vibrantly against the old wood of the house and buildings.
The next house was one I dubbed Vulture House as many times when I've driven by there have been vultures perched on the old chimney. We didn't see any as we walked towards the structure but when Carolyn and I walked back to the old hen house, we startled one, and it loped out of the barn, noisily flapping its wings as it slowly took off to sit on the house roof and stare down at us.
 After checking out one more old residence we stopped at The Plains for lunch. Hannah took a photo of us crossing the road, none of us aware of her pointing her camera. Afterwards we thought it reminiscent of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road.
We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out some more abandoned houses in the neighborhood and were amazed when we found it was well after 4pm when we were done. We were all tired but the girls had really enjoyed their first urbexing experience, and it made me realize just how many old abandoned houses I have in my area!
The next morning I met with Richard to get some more cycling practice in. We were cycling the W&OD trail from Rte 28 to Purcelville, a total of 42 miles. I didn't bother with a camera today but was glad I had my phone to capture a few shots. I didn't take any on the way out to Purcelville. We stopped there for lunch, having a starter to share and a main course washed down with 2 beers each. I knew we'd pay dearly for this! Afterwards as we unlocked our bikes the warm sun on our backs encouraged us to keep jackets off and then we made a huge fuss of securing them to our bikes since we had no bungee cords or saddle bags big enough. I had wrapped mine around the seat post using the sleeves to tie knots and hold it in place while Richard had screwed his up so tightly that somehow he manged to finally force it inside a tiny postage sized bag on his rack. But not even 2 minutes into our ride and we'd stopped, quickly pulling them back on over our cold arms!
This poor black snake must have had a shock as I cycled past his tail and Richard past his head. I stopped not wanting any other cyclists to run over him while he was sunbathing on the warm tarmac. I walked up to him and nudged him until he moved into the undergrowth.
A lovely old barn where we found the Easter Bunny inside, very appropriate for the day.
Some old cars at a scrapyard in Leesburg and an old kiln. We struggled a bit with the pedaling after our huge lunch but nowhere near as much as we deserved to and by the time we got back to the car, I realized that I could happily have done quite a few more miles. I usually dislike riding on this trail because being the suburbs where the population and interest in cycling is steadily increasing, this is more often than not a busy route, but we had lucked out choosing to ride on Easter Sunday. We passed few folks, most were likely at church or with families, we smelled a few BBQs on the way. If we keep cycling regularly like this, we'll be ready for a century by late summer!

No comments: