End of the road at Pig Point
Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Fred Robbins, Patricia Sanders, Ron Altemus, Ken Williams, Jim McGhee, Tracie C, Debby Bowman
Guests: D. Reese, Danzie S.
Weather: Partly to mostly cloudy, 41-50 degrees, winds 3-5 mph
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31909973 38 miles, 1400' elevation gain.
Mishaps & mechanicals: none unless you count Tracie's can't-click-out-in-time tumble-over at the end of Wrighton, but we've always agreed we don't count those unless something bad happens and nothing did, so...
It felt chillier than 40 when we began, but the rollers on Southern Maryland Boulevard warmed us up by the time we got to the turn onto Greenock. Brooks Woods took us to Bay Front, and after a half mile we turned onto Rt 2. Before long we turned off onto Old Ridge Path Lane (one of the lovely old roads that parallel Rt 2 and might at one time have actually been the old highway) and then Nutwell. Nutwell is a lovely back road, one that always makes me think "If only it was a hundred miles long!" A long downhill in this direction, a sharp uphill at the intersection and we head north on Nutwell Sudley then turn right on Sudley.
We've been on relatively unfamiliar roads until now, but with the turn on Sudley we're on the main route to Deale. A turn onto Muddy Creek and the next onto Swamp Circle, and we're at Bay Front. Around the circle and we stop at Highs.
It's been pleasant until now, but as we get close to the Bay it gets colder and the skies cloud over. Debby's feeling cold and decides to skip the exploration of Deale Beach and Masons Beach. Passing those up will put her onto the climb on Deale Road in less than a mile, and I'm sure she'll warm up quickly enough. The rest of us pootle around through 1920s era beach front vacation communities with narrow streets, water views and charming old houses.
As we're climbing Deale Rd and heading down the curves on Franklin Gibson back to Bay Front the skies clear and the sun comes out. The next six miles on Bay Front seem to me to be the most tiring part of the ride. The total elevation is only 360' and the maximum grade is only 3.5%, but it's one long gradual climb after another, up and down all the way to Lothian, and by the time we get there I'm definitely ready for the break.
It's the 30 mile point, and if anyone wants a short cut this is the place. It's two miles straight back on 794, or you can head straight to Wrighton on 258, but nobody's interested in a short cut, so we turn head up to Wrighton and turn left on Southern Maryland Blvd.
We've been the opposite way this winter, but this is the first time we're heading south on Southern Maryland Boulevard in forever, and when we turn on Upper Pindell it's the first time ever that I can recall. Upper Pindell is nice, easier than although not as beautiful as Lower Pindell. We turn on Pindell and then -- for the first time ever -- turn left on Wrighton and take it down to the end of the road. We really can't see Pig Point but you can see the Patuxent in the distance, although you can't see the shore or get close to it without going on private property, and so after stopping to admire the view we turn around.
At the end of Wrighton Rd, looking left
On the way down Wrighton we passed Blue Shirt Rd, the entrance road to the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. As we're retracing on Wrighton I see Ron turn on Blue Shirt Rd heading into the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, and then there's Debby coming towards us. The climb on Deale Rd and the sun coming out (plus getting away from the damp air by the Bay) have perked her up, and she's been adding miles exploring Lower Pindell and Mallard Lane. We've passed Mallard a million times, but this is the first time anyone's explored it.
We finish on Plummer Lane and the MD-4 Service Road and learn from Ron that Blue Shirt is hard packed gravel and the park is closed on Sundays, won't open until Wednesday morning.
It's been an interesting ride and fun exploring new areas, and a mild day on a winter ride's a great time to be doing it.