Blue Skies, Cherry Trees, Silver Dollars, and Wooden Teeth

Enjoying a granola break on a near perfect day at Lakes Regional Park

It’s been a picture perfect weekend here with sunny skies filled with big billowy clouds and temperatures in the low 80’s (yeah yeah I know all my Northern friends hate me). People are out enjoying the weather exercising, shopping and lounging at the beach or pool. In fact I have never seen the park so full of families! It’s just good to see people up and about enjoying this Presidents Day weekend.

Speaking of Presidents Day, Happy Birthday George! Ok I’m off by one day, but it’s close enough.

Did you know that George never chopped down that cherry tree? The cherry tree legend comes from a book published shortly after his death, by Parson Mason Locke Weems. There is no evidence that Washington actually chopped down a cherry tree as a youth. While it made for a great story about his honesty, the cherry tree story is not a George Washington fact.

He also never threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River. First of all, there were no silver dollars during Washington’s youth. And the Potomac River is over a mile wide. According to Washington’s step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, he did throw a piece of slate “about the size and shape of a dollar” across the Rappahanock River near Fredericksburg, VA which is only 250 feet wide.

George did not have wooden teeth. They were most likely made of Ivory or metal, not wood. According to the Mount Vernon website, he had one set of teeth that included a cow’s tooth, and one of his own teeth and others made of hippopotamus ivory, metal and springs. At the time of his 2nd inaugural address, Washington had only one real tooth left, and his dentures were very painful and distorted his mouth. Because of this, he gave the shortest inaugural address of all time lasting 90 seconds as it was only 135 words long… which is nearly 3 times shorter than this blog post.

So onto the ride. It was a breezy but thoroughly enjoyable ride. I was very tempted to extend the ride by another 20 miles or so, but will instead leave that for this coming weekend.

Route: Lakes Regional Park
Activity: Cycle
Started: Feb 21, 2011 9:29:00 AM
Ride Time: 1:45:02
Stopped Time: 1:11:42
Distance: 24.98 miles
Average: 14.27 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 24.15 miles/h
Ascent: 150 feet
Descent: 193 feet
Calories: 1592
Official: No

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