Monday, September 29, 2008
A week ago, on a gorgeous Sunday, anywhere from three to five thousand men, women, children, dogs, and miscellaneous "amphibiai" traversed a section of Baltimore rarely seen on foot. A long stretch of highway forever dumping vehicles into the city, I-83, or as we Baltimoreans like to call it, the JFX.
The Jones Falls Expressway takes its name from the winding body of water lying underneath. Some call it a stream, others call it river, but whatever its moniker, the winding stretch of flora and fauna used to be pristine. Now, it's just a muddy slick of its former self. Tomorrow it could be a contender.
And that's exactly the point of the annual "Rally on the River." Last Sunday, people came from far and wide to soak up the sun, walk, bike, run, kayak, moon bounce, hula-hoop, skate board, scooter, play chess, eat, drink, laugh, dance, you name it, they came to have a good time.
And the JFX did not disappoint.
For a mere five bucks and the cost of a rental, one could leisurely bike down the usual site of rush hour purgatory. The Jones Falls Watershed Association closes its southbound lane for a fundraiser to help clean up and protect this secluded patch of nature and give people a reason to let loose.
The Rally was a blast. Lots of fun activities, things to see and do, stuff never shown in the local paper. For some odd reason, it usually depicts the event as a walk down a lonely highway. The Rally is anything but.
This was my first time playing next to traffic (the northbound lane remains open to vehicles) and I have to admit, it was an eye opener. "Rally on the River" must be the best kept secret in town. Look for it next September.