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Dangerous Curves

Alice in Maryland: Day 1 (22/04)

I woke to a bright, sunny morning. Looking out of the bathroom window, I saw a bird feeder covered in birds I didn't recognise. Soon I was eating breakfast and learning to identify cardinals, bluejays, chickadees and American goldfinches (a bright Dayglo yellow, unlike the European version). The morning was spent running supermarket and Post Office errands, which was, of course, all novel and delightful to me.

Then we went for a ride.

Rick's stable includes a BMW maxi-scooter of the kind I test-rode last year, and he was also able to lend me a helmet in my size (I'd brought my own jacket, boots, gloves and Kevlar-lined jeans). We set ourselves up with intercoms and I was ready for my first experience of the US on two wheels.

Although I've ridden on the right in continental Europe, I wasn't used to the massive intersections and confusing traffic lights of American roads, and I was glad to have a guide when we came across those. For the most part, though, we were on local back roads and seldom saw another vehicle. The curves were gentle and the passing countryside endlessly fascinating. Black buzzards perched in the trees or circled above. We slowed to let half a dozen whitetail deer cross the road ahead of us. Later, Rick drew my attention to the rear end of a woodchuck vanishing into the verge. We also saw a dead possum, which was interesting although I'd rather have seen a live one.

Things I Ate
I had a cheeseburger and fries at Five Guys and understood why elfasi raves about them. In the evening Rick and I went to the Maryland Tavern, where on his recommendation I had a crab pizza seasoned with a famous local product. Absence of cider drove me to a $2 pint of pale ale.

Mount Airy water tower
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I would have voted for Foster's Grille over Five Guys, but YMMV. ;)

Roadsign - approve.
If I'd seen any cyclists at all I'd gladly have shared the road!
Not sure there was one of those in Mt Airy!
There's good eatin' on a possum! And yeah, the roads can be a little confusing at first, as well as the turn-right-on-red-after-stopping option.
Yes - I'd read about the right-turn-on-red on the scooter forum, but it still felt weird doing it!
I'm enjoying your reports of your American adventure. Glad to see you had a good time. Sorry we didn't get together. Maybe next time ---if you're ever near NY city.
Thanks, and I certainly hope there will be a next time! I've been thinking of the USA as a place you get to visit once a decade or so, but I've discovered it's not really *that* far, and needn't be that expensive if flights are booked early and cannily...
Hold the phone - You're OVER HERE? OMG. You thinkin' of coming up to NY this time around?
I was over there - home again now, though!

I hoped I might make it to NY but a week was just too short to fit everything in. I'll have to do it all again, but more and longer...