A sampling of sights and sounds from last Monday's pedestrian ramble:

And the context: 28 April offers a surprise opportunity to go out for one of my now-favorite activities --- jogging along creeks and through woods --- combined with another peculiar passion, coordinate-collecting. I come home early to take Daughter Gray to a late-afternoon music lesson and discover that Wife Paulette [1] needs to go downtown as well. She doesn't mind driving.

So off set I at 3pm, with Global Positioning System receiver clutched tight in one hand, water bottle in the other, and mini-pack strapped around my waist. It holds a pair of spare batteries for the GPS plus a pair of Clif bars for me to nibble --- and, to ward off emergencies, a calling card that gives ID information, a cellphone, and a few paper towels (don't ask!). A zippered wrist pack contains another ID along with some spare change. Be Prepared, you know ...

Simple Plan: follow an arc, proceeding from home through the woods of Walter Reed Annex to Rock Creek, downstream half a mile to the Georgetown Spur, and then along the Capital Crescent Trail [2] through Bethesda to the Kennedy Center area of Washington DC on the Potomac. From there, assuming my body doesn't betray me, I can jog north along lower Rock Creek past the National Zoo to the Levine School of Music. Roughly 17 miles total, a not-unreasonable distance if I go slowly enough from the start. All asphalt or crushed stone ... smooth, with few major hills ... sporadic water fountains ... some pathways new to me, some segments traversed before ... and plenty of pleasant scenery, both natural and human, along the way.

Simple Works: three hours later I arrive at my destination. The sunny spring day is slightly too warm for comfort at the start, but an intermittent breeze and trees along the course make conditions tolerable grading into comfy as shadows lengthen. I religiously record times and coordinates at every half-mile post along the trail, and force myself to take at least a 45 second walking break as I do so. Apparently this isn't quite enough of a rest, given my current pitiful physical condition. My pace averages ~10:40/mile. A least-squares fit indicates that I slowed by ~2.5 seconds/mile/mile during the journey. That's not the acceleration that I was aiming for.

But I survive --- somewhat exhausted, walking most of the final mile, with a couple of small blisters --- and feel relaxed and quite happy overall. It's been a good day's jaunt. And for those of a quantitative cartographic persuasion, coordinates (WGS84 datum) for the markers along the Capital Crescent Trail:

38:59:49077:04:13Milepost 1.5 - west of Jones Bridge & Jones Mill roads
38:59:39077:04:412.0 - just west of Connecticut Avenue
38:59:19077:05:032.5 - after the trail cuts through Columbia Country Club
38:59:01077:05:243.0 - before the tunnel under the Air Rights Building
38:58:45077:05:493.5 - near water fountain and historic display
38:58:23077:06:054.0 - Bethesda Pool and Little Falls Branch Park
38:57:57077:06:124.5 - near the bridge over River Road
38:57:34077:06:265.0 - before the Massachusetts Avenue bridge
38:57:13077:06:445.5 - middle of Little Falls Branch Park
38:56:49077:06:566.0 - by the connection with Little Falls Trail
38:56:24077:06:546.5 - after the Dalecarlia Tunnel
38:56:04077:06:507.0 - near the Potomac River above Chain Bridge
38:55:37077:06:357.5 - approaching the Arizona Avenue trestle
38:55:18077:06:148.0 - before Fletcher's Boathouse
38:54:55077:05:578.5 - continuing parallel to the C&O Canal towpath
38:54:34077:05:379.0 - further down the Potomac
38:54:22077:05:089.5 - more good river views
38:54:19077:04:3610.0 - after intersection with Glover Archbold Park trail
38:54:17077:04:17official endpoint on the Georgetown waterfront

Miles 0 through 1 are on the eastern side of Rock Creek. Last year I recorded them as 39:00:07N 77:02:42W and 38:59:52N 77:03:43W respectively. Construction is now underway to rebuild the damaged railroad trestle bridge near mile 1 --- thanks to fine work by the government and citizens of Montgomery County, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association [3], the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, and others of good spirit ...

(see also CoordinateCollection (19 May 2002), RockCreekTrail (31 May 2002), MarathonCoordinates (3 Oct 2002), MarineCorpsOrdnance (1 Nov 2002), Rocky Run (17 Nov 2002), AnacostiaTributaries (28 Jan 2003), EdwardsFolly (13 Apr 2003), ...)

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicScience - 2003-05-05

(correlates: CelebrityTakeover, 2004-08-04 - Eight Eight-Eighties, CoarseCorrection, ...)