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22 July 2014
Washington DC is an interesting city. When the original plans were being made in the 1780s and 1790s, they called for a 100-square-mile area to be allocated for the city, and George Washington (who was President at the time) wanted to include the City of Alexandria in Virginia. But the Residence Act, passed in 1791, specified that all the federal buildings had to be on the Maryland side of the river (mostly because someone realized that the law allowed the President to choose the location and some members of Congress didn’t want him taking advantage of that and including his own property to the south of Alexandria). So we ended up with a diamond-shaped District 10 miles on a side, overlapping both Virginia and Maryland, with the actual city in Maryland.
13 January 2014
On the first day of the new year, I got completely stir-crazy and drove off for a hike. I wanted to see some bedrock, but because I live on the Virginia side of the Potomac River but not far enough west to be in the Piedmont province, we don’t have rocks to look at. (We have some lovely river terraces and a whole lot of cobbles of things that came from the parts of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge where they have rock exposure, but that just doesn’t count.) So I braved Northern Virginia traffic and a chunk of the Beltway to go visit Great Falls – specifically, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the Maryland side.