Last week was my final week staffed in Cincinnati, so I finally got my act
together, booked an Airbnb and drove across to Brown County State
Park in Indiana. I’ve
been meaning to go there for a while, as according to MTB
the state park and surrounding areas have some of the best trails in Indiana.
I wasn’t disappointed - the state park is amazing. Miles of well maintained
trails (gravel, downhill flow, technical sections/rock gardens) coupled with
amazing views made the trip worthwhile.
I’m at the airport about to head back to Cinci after a couple of days in the US
It was a good trip, though I almost missed my flight thanks to leaving a bag at
security and only realising when boarding had already started. The 1 km run to
security and back while wearing boots and wondering if I was going to make it
got my heart rate up!
The moment I left the airport in DC a motorcade stopped all the traffic which I
guess is a fairly regular occurrence here.
On Friday night I walked about 8 km from my hotel past the Marine Corps
memorial, around Arlington national cemetery (you’ve probably seen this in
movies rows and rows of white tombstones), across into DC, to the Lincoln
Memorial and Washington Monument, north to the White House, past the treasury
and to a local pub for a nightcap. It’s crazy how close all these attractions
are. While I was outside the White House a guy next to me said to his mate, not
too quietly, “I think I see Donald standing at the window in his underwear,
crying” at which point I burst out laughing.
The big green area between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington monument is
called the National Mall extends even further east to the US capitol building.
Its surrounded by museums, monuments, memorials and other federal buildings.
On Saturday I caught the Metro and started at the Smithsonian National Air and
Space Museum which someone from work recommended, it was filled with really
cool stuff. There was also a fighter jet simulator there which would roll
upside down and everything, it was pretty great! It was a short run but I think
I’d have made myself sick if it was too much longer.
The national art gallery was on the other side of national mall, so I went
there next. There was lots of … art. I appreciated a few things but I can
only handle so many portraits of stuffy old white dudes. The oldest painting I
saw was from 1247, and there were loads of pretty old sculptures. There was a
painting by da Vinci and more recent names I know like Andy Warhol.
From there it was a short walk to the United States Capitol, which is the most
impressive building around. I was able to go inside the rotunda, but the full
tours were all booked out.
The Library of Congress is reachable from the Capitol via a tunnel, so I went
there next - another super impressive building. Jefferson was apparently a big
reader and his collection of books was there, they weren’t all dated but some
were super old.
Another Metro ride home and a run closed out Saturday. Managed 9km at just over
12 km/h (with a few stops for stretching and photos) despite the temperature
sitting at around 30°C. Theodore Roosevelt Island was really nice.
I spent the last weekend in New York City, doing the tourist thing. I went with
very few plans and met up with another guy from work who has spent a year in
NYC. Despite a several hour delay and change of airline & airport on the
flight there, it was a successful trip!
Saturday played out as a busy day! In order:
Run in Central Park
Grand Central Station
The High Line - a park that’s been built on
decommissioned overhead train tacks
Oculus - a $4 billion transit station
9/11 Memorial - pretty sobering to think there were two massive buildings
full of people where the monuments now stand
One World Observatory, 102 floors up
Stone Street - a street in the historic district with lots of old bars, it
was absolutely packed though because of Cinco de Mayo
A Housewarming in Brooklyn, where we ended the day
Sunday was a quieter day. We spent most of our time in Dumbo (Down Under the
Manhattan Bridge Overpass), an area in Brooklyn with pretty great views of the
city. We went to Grimaldi’s pizza, which
is one of the old, amazing pizza places in NYC. A walk across the Brooklyn
Bridge closed out the weekend:
Yesterday I went for a walk through some of Dallas that I haven’t explored yet,
despite technically living here for about 9 months (I say technically, as a lot
of that time was spent travelling for work). I made a rough
map of my walk using On the Go
Following are a few notable points on the trip.
Trinity River and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge:
Lockhart Smokehouse - a reasonably famous BBQ place, where the ‘Texan
Vegetarian’ section comprises of chicken/turkey, instead of beef 🤣:
A 30-ft eyeball in downtown Dallas, which is quite hard to miss:
And finally, this sign, which I feel captures so much of what it is like walking in a US
city other than New York:
I never did spot the pavement in that area, but at least I know not to expect one to appear now that it’s ‘ended’.
The lack of people walking here continues to blow my mind. I walked an hour
from the Bishop Arts District to downtown, and didn’t walk past a single
person. A group of young guys went past in a car and one of them yelled “ain’t
y’all heard of Uber?”, further affirming my belief that everyone thought I was
crazy for walking. I guess it’s not that surprising given a couple of times the
pavement I was walking on came to a major road and just stopped, leaving me to
backtrack and find somewhere else to go.