Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hiking and Biking

Camp David has numerous winding paths that connect all of the guest cabins, lodges, and camp facilities. Many guests have enjoyed riding bikes or taking long strolls on these paths.

There is also a nature trail that starts near the entrance and winds its way around the camp as shown on this 1971 map. This newspaper article describes how President George H.W. Bush used to enjoy running on the nature trail with his dogs.

Laura Bush, in her book Spoken from the Heart, recalled walking a two-mile perimeter trail with a steep hill at the end that she nicknamed "Big Bertha".

During the Camp David peace negotiations, President Carter would often ride his bike around camp and President Sadat would go for a long hike every morning.

Bikes are a convenient way to get around the camp and are readily available to guests.  This 1979 newspaper article describes an incident when Carter advisor Clark Clifford tried his hand at riding a bike for the first time in many years. Having never used modern-day hand brakes, he tried to stop on the way down a steep hill but only ended up pedaling backwards until he finally had to bail out in the dirt.

Here are some photos of hiking and biking at Camp David over the years.

President and Mrs. Ford, daughter Susan, and Liberty take a walk around Camp David  in August 1976

President and Mrs. Carter go for a bike ride at Camp David

 President Carter talks to members of the Israeli delegation;     Presidents Carter and Sadat go for a walk.                   

The Carters take a stroll in April 1978;  President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in November 1986

President Bush and Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark ride bikes; President Bush and Prime Minister Abe of Japan 

President and Mrs. Bush take a four mile walk around Camp David with Marvin Bush, Andy and Kathleene Card -  2002 

Sources: Spoken from the Heart; Eugene Register-Guard; Lakeland Ledger; The President is at Camp David; Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library; Jimmy Carter Library; Ronald Reagan Library; White House; National Archives

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