View of the Harbor From Fort McHenry Park

View of the Harbor From Fort McHenry ParkI woke up to a cloudy, cool, and windy fall Saturday, and oh, it felt good. N. asked if I might want to spend the afternoon with our books out at Fort McHenry–I could ride my bike and meet her, and she’d drive with a blanket, pillows, and some bottles of water. I looked up at the gray skies and felt the breeze and thought, YES, GREAT IDEA. Because in spite of the look of the weather, I really, really wanted to ride my bicycle. I tossed my things in my waterproof pannier and headed down the hill to the Inner Harbor, where I dodged Maryland and West Virginia football fans wandering about the bike/ped path. For all they may blood-feud with each other, they certainly share a penchant for not sharing the path with bicyclists. I used my outside voice to get myself to the other side and up and over to Fort Avenue for the zippy ride out to the park. I took the first right onto the path and rode along the water. There was a family picnic bravely gutting out the wind, a man on a bench near the wetlands restoration spot going through what looked like class notes, a guy walking his tiny dog, both of them with handkerchiefs around their necks, and a couple here and a couple there looking at each other all romantical-like. I spotted N. splayed out under a tree and rode up the grass to drop the bike and splay out next to her to listen to to the trees blowing in the wind and look at the gray-white sky between the leaves. And then some raindrops–don’t panic, it’s probably nothing. We dozed off, woke up, and then more raindrops. The place cleared out, but that seemed excessive. N. ate a candy bar, I summoned a squirrel, and then it really started to rain. We hopped up, she put herself in her car, and put myself on my bike for a soggy ride home, which it was, but I wouldn’t have traded that particular bike-riding afternoon for a thousand sunny days. Fall, I like the look of you.

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