Pier Into the Bay at Middle Branch Park

Middle Branch Park PierOh yes, it’s spring break, and I need it, badly. I have a zillion things to get done this week, but this weekend I am going to take a much needed actual vacation, and it started with a bike ride on a relatively warm day, in and out of the wind. I hopped on the Surly and headed down the hill, a quick stop for bike gloves and and then for a sandwich, and I was on my way to the Gwynns Falls Trail and a ride over to Middle Branch Park. I took my time, pedaling slowly into the wind–every direction was a headwind today, it seemed–and enjoying the sights. I love this trail because it takes you past such beauty, but it is always peppered with the detritus of city life–the old mattress on the trail by the bus station, the birds circling the trucks headig to the giant trash incinerator labeled “Baltimore,” the Westport power substation, a surprisingly large collection of empty pill bottles over by the light rail tracks–it’s all here. There are so many layers of everything, so many different lives living in the same places, a sensation particularly keen on the stretch of the “trail” between the empty lot and the water on Wenburn. In a car I feel like you can forget that, but you can’t on a bicycle, if only because you are avoiding the broken bottles and dog shit with your front tire. The park was quiet today, just the one gentleman sitting on a picnic table and watching the water. We said our how you doin’s and I headed to the end. On the way back I walked out on this pier. I never do that because I want to keep riding, but come on, the last thing I was in today was a hurry. I snapped this picture looking back from the end of it, reminding myself to watch my step. Some minutes with the water and it was back on my bike and I rode the rest of the way around the harbor and up the hill for a few laps around Fort McHenry before dropping back down for a quick stop at the gym for a swim and a near-nap in the sauna before heading back up the hill to home, a soft 20 miles under my belt. Oh, vacation, you are so lovely.

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