Day 10: Pentagon City to Mount Vernon, then back to Alexandria

This morning, Nick made another Vietnamese coffee and a pop-tart. I want to test out my theory that my fatigue is caused by a lack of a full breakfast. So after getting my bike out of the bike storage in the parking garage and saying goodbye to Nick outside of his apartment building, I rode less than a mile to Bob and Edith’s Diner. I was at Bob and Edith’s with Crispin last year when we cycled the C&O Towpath. This time, the place was packed. I sat down and ordered a western omelette. I was experiencing fatigue while waiting for my food and was so glad that I wasn’t cycling.

Bob and Edith's Diner

The food came later than expected, but it was a lot. I finished the whole thing and ordered a banana at the end since I needed the potassium. The waitress didn’t charge me for that.

After breakfast, I caught on the Mount Vernon Trail and rode it all the way to Alexandria. I’ve been to Alexandria on my 2018 trip. This time I want to walk around downtown. After taking a bathroom break at the visitor center, I walked on King Street and saw a CVS. I went inside to see if I can buy some electrolytes, as they are recommended by my former Warmshowers guest, John Goldman. For some reason, the adult electrolytes were in the baby aisle. I bought a box of them and will be using them tomorrow to see if they can cure my morning fatigue.

Downtown Alexandria

I wanted to stay in Alexandria a bit longer since it's such a beautiful town. On the recommendation of the lady at the visitor center, I went to Jones Point Park and sat on the bench for a while.

My college friend, Liz, had chatted me yesterday to see if I was available. I contacted her again to see if I can stay with her in Alexandria. My plan was to leave Alexandria if she didn’t get back to me after lunch.

I rode a few more miles on the trail and had a Chicago hot dog at the Bread and Water Company. Liz didn’t text me so I got back on the trail going south to Mount Vernon. I need to ride over 35 miles to Prince William Forest Park.

On the Mount Vernon Trail

By the time I reached the end of the Mount Vernon Trail I was tired. I chatted with a retired couple named Phil and Cecilia about where to camp around here. The nearest campsite doesn’t allow bicycles and I didn’t feel like riding another 27 miles to Prince William Forest Park even though it was only 2 PM. With my speed, I would get there around 7 PM, which is a bit late for me. I ended up deciding to stay where I am since there’s a parking lot and a patch of grass to set up my tent. I don’t think the police will give me any trouble and I see a camper already parked in the lot.

Phil and Cecilia

My plan is to grab dinner at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant later. It’ll only be a 0.2 mile ride. Then I’ll ride back here to set up camp.

Just as I finished writing this, Liz texted me saying that I can stay at her place for the night. She lives in Alexandria and I had just rode from there to Mount Vernon. It's about a 10 mile ride back. I decided to ride back to Alexandria since I have not seen Liz in 17 years since college and it'll be nice to have a shower and a bed.

I got to Liz's house five minutes before she came back from work. Liz was dressed in a military uniform when I saw her. She works as a top physicist in the Pentagon. After I settled in the basement, I took a much needed shower. Soon after, Liz and I decided to walk to King Street to grab dinner.

We had an excellent Indian dinner at Indochen. I had the tandoori chicken and it was delicious. I paid for Liz's dinner since I'm staying at her place at the last minute.

Tandoori chicken

When we came back to the house, Liz and I took her dog, Dash, for a walk down Kings Street. We also stopped by the Hollensbury Spite House, the narrowest house in the United States with a width of 7 feet.

In front of the Spite House

Once we came back to Liz's, I was tired and quickly went to bed. I was so glad to have stayed indoors since the temperature dropped overnight. I rode a total of a little over 28 miles, but that included my ride back to Alexandria.

Liz, by her Steinway piano