It was during my first full day in the nation’s capital that I stumbled upon Fletcher’s Cove. It’s a sleepy, leafy hideaway tucked in the eastern shore of the Potomac River along the Capital Crescent Trail between Washington proper and Bethesda, Maryland. I was cruising along the busy commuter trail in the drizzle, heading north, when I suddenly realized I was starving.
Seconds later I saw a small sign in the middle of nowhere pointing me to “Snacks.” Down a small set of steps, I found this bait shack, manned by two friendly hipsters, and a pile of old kayaks and canoes for rent. The actual river spot was gorgeous: massive trees hanging over a gently swirling quick current. You’d never guess you were a spoke’s throw from tony Georgetown or a few miles from the White House.
The first hipster was friendly, forthcoming. I asked him if the fish were biting.
“Sure, though not many folks here today. But it’s great--quiet. I worked as a lobbyist for Big Sugar for 6 years. Then I quit to come work at the bait shop. I love it.”
“Six years? Your soul is intact?” I asked with a smile.
“Yeah, well, it’s coming back. Takes a while. This place helps.”
I identified myself as the newb that I was—first time in Washington, first day of exploring, in fact. I explained that I fluked out finding this place. Second hipster piped in:
“Wow. Some people live in Washington for 50 years without ever discovering this place.”
As we were chatting, I watched a faraway angler in one of the boats catch a fish, haul its silver floppiness into the boat.
“Somebody got lucky,” hipster one said.
He wasn’t talking about me, but he could have been.