SITES a LEED for landscape

It is not the destination; it is the journey. That makes sense in the figurative way and today literally when I rode my bike down to the SITES event in Alexandria. We went to Alexandria a lot when I first came into the FS, but I go there rarely today and I have never gone all the way on the bike trail.

The bike trail journey was cool. You take the W& OD until it merge with the Four-Mile Run trail, which then turns into the Mount Vernon Trail. You have to leave the bike trails a little in the town of Alexandria.

The first part was very familiar, following my quotidian commute at least as far as FSI. The next part was familiar. I had been down many times, but not regularly. That part went as far as where Four Mile Creek enters the Potomac. The last part was new to me but not strange. I had been near driving, but not on the bike. The one-way distance was about sixteen miles. This was our first summer-like day, so it was sort of hot, but it was nice to sweat.

My first picture shows a cobble stone street in Alexandria. Very picturesque but hard on cars and impossible with bikes. I took a picture but avoided it. Next shows the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the southern terminus of the trail I had to cut west to get to the meeting site for the SITES. Alexandria has gentrified and the old factories are now bars, restaurants and lofts.

You see that in picture #3. The forth picture is the bike train going up to the old Potomac River Power Plant. It was a coal burning station that polluted the nations capital. It shut down in 2012. Now that it is closed, we see it more fondly. Picture # 5 shows the bike trail tracks and condos. The tracks used to carry trains loaded with coal for the power plant. They run no more and now the tracks are just interesting and quiet enough that you can have a high-priced apartment on the “wrong side of the tracks.” The penultimate picture shows a cattail marsh near the Potomac and finally is the bike trail in a typical section.