the journey is the destination

the journey is the destination

grant had been asking to ride the trail-a-bike

the day offered a window of opportunity to go man to man
dean was hanging with a friend from down the block
lisa was out running with the dog
I presented the notion of a bike ride to grant
it was offered to ride the trail-a-bike
grant leaped on the opportunity to ride what he calls the trailer bike

the activity was part of the sale
but once things begin
the bicycle is really part of the background
the journey is the destination

the options were to ride the bike path through the tunnels or the bike path to the airport
grant selected the bike path to the airport
but only after a discussion of duration
I think he wanted to take the long way... but nothing too long
yet nothing that ended too quickly

the airport is not a far ride and can be traveled almost entirely on the bike paths

we started our ride on the neighborhood streets of mount pleasant
than onto the bike path along side of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park that passes around the tunnel by cutting through the National Zoo
there was some pedaling on the road along the Potomac River in East Potomac Park
games of softball and cricket on the grassy fields to the left
various boat activity to the right
and the landing planes begin appearing above us
the planes got special notice

we chased the planes towards the airport

questions were asked
but conversation is difficult
so I try to keep it simple and not make any promises to a premise I can not even hear

as we crossed the 14th Street Bride I was lucky enough to time things such that we go under the passing plane
the massive shadow of this fast flying metal bird engulfed us for a second
but not enough to cool us on this hot summer day

out of Washington and into Virginia
onto the Mount Vernon Trail

the frequency of the planes flows in a steady pattern
starting off as small specs working roughly the same trajectory as they grow bigger and bigger on their approach
then the massive planes fly so low that you can feel them
it is awesome!

our drinks were still cool in my hot and sweaty backpack
rather than rest we chased the planes
and of course... I snapped some pictures

a few more planes with the camera back in the bag than back on the bike
crossed the bridge by Roosevelt Island and came out near The Kennedy Center
rather than take the bike path back we cut through the city
across town and through Dupont and then to Malcom X Park
taking to the sidewalk in places where it was most safe
I ride differently with my son behind me
I hope that cars behave different around me with my son behind me

we slowed long enough at Dupont to finish the bottle of gatorade
we passed through Malcom X Park just long enough take in the glory of the cascading fountains and then a short bounce down a set of shallow stairs

up 16th Street on the sidwalk where we cross at Lamont Street
back on the street when back in our neighborhood of Mount Pleasant
straight home as there had been mention of the need to use the bathroom

home now

we each have a bike to work day water bottle filled with ice and water
grant is watching finding nemo
I think I may try to take a nap


fatbob29r said...

The impact of this day will live in Grant's mind for the rest of his days. It's wonderful to share your passion with your son, the pictures say it all.

Scott T. said...

Great story; I find it important to try and spend alone time with each of my boys as well (we spend a decent amount of "boy" time without mom on the weekends, but it's not the same). Probably time for me to spend a little time with Liam.

gwadzilla said...

one on one time is great

I hope grant remembers these moments with the same fondness I do

I will need to print out these pictures to show my boys when they are teenagers

so they know that there was a time when we were friends