8/20/12 Mount Airy, MD to Grasonville, MD – 62 miles
I woke up somewhat apprehensive because it was quite overcast and the forecast was for 40% chance of rain. Pulled out the rain gear for the panniers, and we started on our way at 7:30 am, hoping to get as many miles in as possible before it rained.
We took the most direct route possible on a state highway designated as a bike route – Hwy 144. Turned out to be a great choice. Although mostly 2 lanes, it had a nice broad shoulder and good pavement. There was rolling hill after rolling hill, but these were not nearly as steep as the day before. I suspect the road was flattening out somewhat as we got closer to Baltimore.
At Ellicott City, we picked up a beautiful bike trail at Patapsco Valley State Park that took us almost all the way to the BWI bike trail that loops the airport. The trail ran through the woods and alongside a creek. At certain points, the railroad ran nearby. Absolutely gorgeous and paved the whole way. Likewise, the BWI trail was paved and took us to a connector over to the Baltimore and Annapolis Bike Trail (B & A) that runs approximately 20 miles to Annapolis. So, most of the day we were on paved, flat bike trails and made excellent time. Throughout the day we met people that wanted to know about the ride and offered helpful directions and suggestions re local places. Approximately midday, the sun came out. No rain for us today!
I had called ahead and made a reservation with a private shuttle service to transport us across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. They met us at Sandy Point State Park and the transfer could not have gone more smoothly. They let us out at the local library on the other side so we could use the Internet to search for a motel in Grasonville, our goal destination for the day. We booked a motel and headed out on yet another beautiful paved bike trail for the 6 mile ride to Grasonville and the Sleep Inn.
Our experience at the Sleep Inn was one of those magical experiences I will never forget. We were cheerfully greeted by the motel desk clerk, Amita, and her 3 year old son, Ayaan, who was quite the helper. She graciously allowed Randy to use the motel facilities to wash clothes, and hovered over to help him. Since there were no restaurants nearby, we decided to order out and have it delivered. Amita and Ayaan joined us in the breakfast area and we had the best time with them. She is originally from India, and we learned all about her family and she told us a little about how she came to be in Grasonville. She and Ayaan were absolutely delightful. I learned that Amita and I had a lot in common re foods we like and the way we look at things in general. Randy just sort of sat there for the most part, smiling and shaking his head. As we finished eating dinner, Amita asked if we wanted ice cream. Since I hadn’t seen any stores nearby, I asked where we could go to get it. Randy said, “she’s always up for ice cream!” Amita then told us she kept a “stash” just for certain hotel guests, and proceed to serve us chocolate and butter pecan ice cream. It was great! I told Randy that the whole evening felt like we were staying at someone’s house because of the way Amita treated us. She was more like a friend than a desk clerk. I just loved her and her son and wished they could go on to Ocean City with us.
When Amita heard us discussing possible motel options for tomorrow night, she called the owner of her motel – who happens to own the Sleep Inn in Salisbury – and asked for the best rate he would give us there and had him reserve 2 rooms for tomorrow night. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!
A great day in every possible way – and not a drop of rain.