All loaded up I hit the trial and first made my way to Chanticleer. A pleasure garden, located about 30 miles outside of Philadelphia it was a nice beginning to another fine day. From there I made my way over to Longwood Gardens. A beautiful and expansive collection of historic and interpretive gardens, left to us all by the DuPont family. This is the greatest garden in the USA. Surpassing the French inspired indulgence of the Biltmore Estate, stepping away from the Draconian undertones of Kykuit this place is spiritual. On no less than 4 separate occasions the spiritual shivers befell upon me, making my hair stand on end. This place is magical, not about the house but perhaps rather about bringing the Kingdom of Heaven down to the Earthly plain, just below our feet? This is a must see for everyone!
From there I made my way into Delaware and onto Winterthur gardens, Museum and Estate. I hold this place to be one of if not the finest example of the Naturalist Garden Design Style in North America. The place and the garden additions were set in harmony amongst the indigenous trees. The collection even sported a few specimens that had been brought over from the Arnold Arboretum some 80 years ago, the same one I had just visited near Boston two days earlier. As I made my way out to the Turn Pike I passed by many a fine school donated and built by the DuPont family. Unlike others, they did not need to use charity later on in life, as a vain attempt to balance and payoff the karmatic debt incurred, prior to earthly departure. Numerous families from the Gilded Age attempted to make right the misdeeds of self interest, speaking the sacred words to have the Earth open up, (in of all places Cleveland Ohio), forcing her to reveal her treasures, not the DuPont’s! No fan fare, no ‘Centers’ needed. The daily lineal and lingering deeds of the house that is true, this is what defined this French families heritage.
From there on I made my way into Washington D.C. and into Dumbarton Oaks. Yet another great American garden, sadly on the verge of disrepair, from there it was just a short drive to the Hotel and like Superman and the Phone Both I was changed and peddling fast down onto the Mall. Entering in east of the White House I made my way down onto the road that runs in-between the Mall and the White House. Three peddle cycles down and in, a Federal Agent barked, “The road was closed” and “turn around”, I quickly said yes sir and saluted on my way back around. Just then out of the corner of my eye I saw two additional Federal Agents on their mountain bikes make a move to intercept me. I said to myself, there was no sign or barricade, I did exactly as instructed, and I pay taxes, do I have nothing to say to these two fellows? Nope! I hit the peddles hard and they both gave up after about a mile. I can only guess that they both agreed with my logic stream? I sure did hope so.
From there I was on my way around the Washington Monument/Obelisk/Nimrods Tower as I made my way towards Capitol Hill, the Senate Building and on past the Supreme Court. All of the Agents guarding these venues were friendly as I continued to wave to everyone, just in case they had received an earlier radio call about some Bike Detroit Mission Recon Guy?
Man this was fun. I headed back down the other side of the Mall and made my way down to the Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials. Past the Korean War memorial I made my way down to the Air mail Marker, crossing over on into the Lady Bird Johnson Memorial Park on my way back up the river. Circling around the Arlington I felt a true heartfelt appreciation for all of those fine men who followed tough orders so that I could freely ride my bike today. All politics aside I am Proud to be an American.
Bike Washington D.C.! J. Meyers bike explorer