Silver Springs to Calico Rocks - The woman who sat on the toilet too long (and other odd American tales) - CycleBlaze

May 4, 2014

Silver Springs to Calico Rocks

The first metres on the long, long way to California
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"HEY, I heard about that!", the woman said, with just a little too salacious an enthusiasm.

Richard and I had stopped just before the DC border because I knew that one of the original boundary posts was there and we hoped an information board would say where. It didn't. And instead we got talking to a woman who was intrigued by our loaded bikes and wandered over to chat because, I got the impression, it was easier than running. Everyone else was out running. It was Sunday, it was warm and sunny, and there was a Leggy Lovelies Day going on.

"And where are you guys going?" She was shortish, maybe in her late 30s, bright-eyed and no stranger to exercise. Richard reeled off a few places, getting them in the right order (which with my European haziness of American geography confounds me and irritates others) before naming the place where the woman had sat on the toilet for two years.

"I thought there was something..." (she lowered her voice a little) "...sexual in that, wasn't there? Something kinky?"

I said I didn't know but there was no harm in adding ingenious smut even if it didn't happen.

"Is that sort of thing common in America?" I asked her. "I'm still getting my bearings, you understand, and I feel I ought to ask."

"Maybe not in DC," she answered seriously. "Too many people. Someone's bound to find out. But elsewhere, sure. That may go on all the time."

I do like someone who can see the straight-faced humour in a question and reply in kind.

Saying farewell to Karla, a lovely friend made eight years ago as I rode half the Transam
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Today, with only one (and brief) visit to a toilet, we have been riding to and then along the Chesapeake and Ohio canal. So far as I can see, it goes neither to Chesapeake or Ohio. Or is that my command of American geography? At just the right moment to join lunch driven out to Great Falls by Karla, up pitched Keith Adams, with whom I've been corresponding for eight and half years without meeting. With Richard and Karla on their tandem for the first hour, Keith and I rode as far as Calico Rocks, a romantic name for a hiker-biker campsite no more than a portable loo, a water pump and a fire ring which someone had left smouldering.

The opening days of any tour are predictably difficult for me and this was no exception. I was as glad to get there as that woman was to get off the toilet.

White's ferry - still in use, although with a checkered history, including marooning passengers, running aground and running adrift. More tragic, the grocery store and café beside the mooring has now closed for good
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There's something about bridges - their gentle, almost musical curves, perhaps - that delights the heart
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Point-of-Rocks station: a guide book described it as "the most photographed in America", but it didn't seem that remarkable to me. Does it to you?
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Today's ride: 100 km (62 miles)
Total: 100 km (62 miles)

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