Saturday was a wondrous day to be out enjoying the fall foliage and today it was at its peak. It was a joy to drive along the country lanes with the leaves swirling around in front of me, blue skies with dark heavy clouds skimming past on a blustery breeze. and everything was looking so vibrant through my polarized sunglasses.
I stopped to get gas at a 7/11 that was filled with tourists heading to the Skyline Drive. The lines inside were long and a local in front of me made me chuckle by muttering rather loudly, "Ain't you got trees where you live?" Evidently not because there were hoards of people here. And they would act like lemmings and follow each other up the mountain and down the Skyline Drive in single file. But I wasn't going there, I was taking the low road and it was evident as I drove that none of the city dwellers or tourists had done any research because I was the only one enjoying my scenery. The fall colors were beautiful down here with a crystal clear creek bubbling and tumbling over roads, following me alongside the road as I drove by.
I picked another rural road and slowly made my way back down the mountain to the valley and came across an abandoned farm. There weren't any really interesting buildings but there was a lovely old bus parked out the front.
There were also a couple of old trucks that had almost disappeared from view, covered in vines and brambles. I tried to get back there but thorns were digging through and getting caught on my jeans. I will have to come back once winter kills off this aggressive vegetation.
And then it was back to Marshall. The skies were getting darker and the clouds were hanging lower.
On Sunday I met up with Nancy in Alexandria where we were going to cycle some of the Mt Vernon Trail. It was a sunny bright day but the wind was colder today and as we set off I fervently wished I'd worn gloves that covered my fingers. We both had jackets on and for once I didn't mind wearing a helmet as it kept my head a little warmer although my poor ears still suffered.
I didn't bother with too many photos as I wanted to enjoy the ride, it's been a while since I'd had a good long pedal on the bike and the scenery was pretty although I was constantly aware of the roaring traffic passing by alongside us. We never really got away from this apart from the few areas where there were boardwalks that left the road and took us closer to the water.
We weren't sure of the total mileage that we cycled but it was in the region of around 20 miles and we were both pleased to realize when we got back to the cars that we could happily have cycled more. So we pledged to return and put in more miles as well as explore other routes in the vicinity in the future. But for now we were happy to load up the bikes and finish the weekend with a stroll into Old Town Alexandria and grab a pizza.