In my desire to get spring rolling, I booked a ton of activities for the next several weeks. This weekend was a bit of a warm up, in a manner of speaking.
The fun started on Saturday. Mrs. Rootchopper and I went into DC for the Science March. She made a sign. We stood around in the rain and checked out other people’s signs. The signs, and the people, were impossibly nerdy. The guy in front of us had a sign that showed that the cost of Trumps trips to his resort in Florida would pay for over 1,000 post-docs. Nerd after nerd came up and asked him what his assumptions were. I am not making this up. In response he would turn his sign around and show them. He had the assumptions written on the back. I am not making this up either.
After an hour of waiting around we made it into the part of the national mall where the speakers were speaking, as speakers tend to do. There were several tens of thousands of people in front of us and an equally impressive amount of mud below us. I later learned that I knew seven people withing a couple hundred feet of our location. I didn’t see them though.
At 2 o’clock the march began. On time. (These nerds are pretty impressive.) The size of the crowd plugged Constitution Avenue up. It took us an hour to walk one city block. We bailed and hoofed it about a mile to our cars. My wife drove home. I drove to my office where I was picked up by a co-worker.
Off we went to Baltimore to watch the Orioles play the Red Sox. I went to college in Boston and lived within walking distance of Fenway Park during my sophomore year. I also drove a cab during two summers. Suffice it to say that Bostonians love their Sawx!
Here are a few random observations about baseball in Baltimore:
- The hot dogs outside Camden Yards are the best I have ever had. I only had one.
- Camden Yards is a much nicer ballpark that Nationals Park because
- The seats in the upper deck seem much closer to the field
- The acoustics of the park trap the roar of the crowd. This place gets loud!
- Prices of food and drink are much less than in DC
- Brick > concrete
- Having an old warehouse just beyond the outfield is way better than having a new parking garage beyond the outfield
- The crowed yells “O!!!!” during the National Anthem. It’s truly obnoxious when they do this when the Orioles play in DC. In Baltimore, it fits.
- There are a few things I don’t like about Camden Yards
- It is next to a football stadium that lurks like a monument to civic waste
- It is also next to a seriously poor neighborhood. Very depressing.
- Of much lesser significance, there is no place other than your seat to eat your food.
- Bike parking is outdoors and not protected
The game went pretty quickly once we got the rain delay out of the way. About a third of the crowd was rooting for the Red Sox. They went home disappointed as the Orioles won 4 – 2.
I had planned to participate in the car free event in Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park on Sunday morning. I didn’t get to sleep until after 1 a. m. Getting up at 5 to drive 80 miles then ride a very hilly 62 miles in 40 – 50F temperatures wasn’t my idea of a good time. So I slept an extra hour and went to brunch with Mrs. R/C and a friend from her hometown who was in town to participate in the march.
Brunch was fun. Afterwards we walked a mile back to the car through the Enid Haupt Garden at the Smithsonian Castle. This garden is one of my favorite places in DC. Sadly, it will soon be removed for a new museum building.
The rest of Sunday was devoted to deep, deep meditation on the deck. Okay, I took a nap. Sue me.
This morning’s ride to work featured 50F degree temperatures, drizzle, and a steady headwind.
I started late and was groggy to boot. My head hung down. Things just appear suddenly when your head hangs down. At one point I was awakened by the shortest running shorts I have seen in a long time. Fortunately, they were on a very fit young woman. They were rather pleasantly undersized. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the view. Woke me right up.
A half mile later, I spotted bright orange out of the corner of my eye. I looked up to see a large mallard standing on the trail. He had huge cartoon feet. He was utterly unfazed by my passing. I didn’t even get a quack out of him.
My final visual surprise came when I just happened to have my head up. Chris N. rode by and gave me his patented salute. I used to see him nearly every day but his commute changed. Now he’s back.
The ride home was gray and cool and drizzly. The wind had the decency to push me home.
The party continues later this week:
- Friday: a retirement
- Saturday: ride to the Climate March and a Nationals baseball game
- Sunday: a 50+ mile bike event ride
- Monday: a retirement dinner for a second retiree
After that I have a college graduation, two concerts, the Ride of Silence, a weeknight baseball game with folks from work, a Sunday baseball game with my daughter, and Bike to Work Day.