How to Contemplate Your Naval (Academy)

Waning Gibbous Moon

In 2007, I met Joe “Tatu Jo” Kisner on the Pacific Crest Trail near Cascade Locks OR. Joe is an elite American long distance hiker from Huntington Beach CA. I picked his brain that day and I learned a bunch of valuable trail strategies.

One way to conserve energy on a long hike but still make your miles is to do a double nero. Don’t take a day off, just cut back a little on back to back days. It improves your mental game and it allows your feet to adjust, especially early in a hike.

So I followed up yesterday’s 7.7 miles with an 11.5 mile day today and I’m glad I did. My bad right knee was sore to start out, but it got better as the day progressed. And I no longer feel that haziness that I was beginning to get two days ago. A good, timely double nero.

Tatu Jo is celebrating his 50th birthday by starting his second thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail this week. I’m sure he’s not reading this blog, but thanks for the knowledge, Joe!

Under today’s sunny blue sky, I walked from just past the west end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge over the Severn River past the Naval Academy to Parole MD. The route passed some food stops early in the day, but then it was all trim and true Navy business. Not much in the way of restaurants or c-stores. I’m glad I had my snacks.

Lots of cyclists and runners passed by, greeting me with a friendly “Good morning, sir!” Clearly I sport that distinguished officer look when pushing Bobalooie down the road.

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Early on, I passed St. Margaret’s Church, which dates back to 1692…

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The highlight of the day, though, was crossing the Naval Academy Bridge over the Severn River. The views of the Academy and the surrounding area were sweet. I ate lunch at Jonas Green Park next to the river.

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Sailboats and yachts…go navy.

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Naval Academy grounds…

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Very nice bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the bridge.

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The football stadium looks pretty new…

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Eventually, the route followed city streets to the Poplar Trail, an old but functional parkway through aging west Annapolis neighborhoods. Several people out for their Sunday strolls stopped to chat with me briefly.

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It may sound corny, but city trails really do build community. They provide opportunities for people to interact in a friendly way in a natural setting. They enrich the quality of urban life in the simplest of ways.

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The next two days will take me through more rural areas before walking through Washington D.C. parks into Georgetown. Then it’s on to the C&O Canal along the mighty Potomac River.

Peace, Love, and Hey Joe,
Palomino

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