For the first time in several years, my traditional Fourth of July Run wasn’t on the streets of DC. Normally, I would sleep in a bit, then head out from our apartment in Rosslyn to weave my way through the revellers gathering on the Virginia side of the Potomac. If I timed my run properly, I could get to one of the security checkpoints just as the high target areas around the Mall in DC are opened at 10am. The security guards would let me through pretty quick– it doesn’t take long to search someone who’s only wearing shorts and shoes– and then I’d surge past the cooler-carrying throngs to cruise down the silent and completely empty streets, where I’d imagine that I was either leading a local road race or visiting some post-apocalyptic cityscape. Surreal.
But now I’m out in the suburbs, so I my run today was on a bikepath. Which is ok, I guess– you can smell all of the grills cooking away, and it is kind of fun to sneak up on the more casual bikers as they labor up the hills. But the big payoff today was a buck deer with velvety antlers bounding through the brush, then clearing the two-lane path and both shoulders in a single bound. Beautiful.