Pittsburgh to Mount Veron - Day 404/28/2003 15:18:46 by Administrator
From: Hancock, MD
To: Harpers Ferry, MD
Tuesday, after a great breakfast of Mary's pancakes, Katelyn and I took off from the campground. We rode on the paved trail next to the C&O into Fort Frederick State Park (about 15 miles.). It rained for 25 miles, a steady downpour. It was a GREAT ride even with the rain. Katelyn was a real trooper. We averaged around 15 MPH on the paved path, in the rain. We found out the name of the purple flowering tree from a man walking on the path. It is called Ridge bud. It finally stopped raining when we pulled into the Williamsport Visitor Center, 33 miles from the campground. With a couple of Luna bars and some more Gatorade, Dustin took on the stoker's position. We saw our first deer on the trail and I saw my first bluebird (no not a blue jay!). Dustin and I took our first and only spill on the trip. We were going a whopping 2 mph, so the dump was not too tragic. But a spill is a spill. We were trying to get over a small stream, when Clyde wanted to go sideways, and we wanted to go straight. Clyde won. This was right before the 5-mile detour around to Dam 4. We traveled a total of 17 miles in glorious sunshine!
We meet up and had lunch at Dam 4 and Mary rode the final 28 miles of the day. This part runs past Big Woods, Antietam National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry. If you can only do a 20-mile stretch of the C&O, I would tell you to travel the portion near Harpers Ferry. Wow, what a glorious ride. The wild flowers and wild life are abundant. You travel along the Potomac near the falls and white water. A yellow jacket flew in under my shirt sleeve, and before exiting decided to sting me. Mary rolled the sleeve back, and the bee flew away. I didn't even get to sting him back! The total today was 78 miles. This is my first 75+ miles trip since I swore I would never do one again back in 1989. I was riding a rails-to-trails in Wisconsin, and "hit the wall" at 65 miles , with 10 miles left to get back to my car. I feel very good, a little tired, but everything feels really good. The kids had a tough time locating our rendezvous point at lock #31 but they did it! Which believe me on some of these twisted back country roads is quite an accomplishment. They really are becoming extremely capable adults. We stayed at the KOA across from Harper's Ferry at $45, thank you! Expensive but all things considered the showers made the cost tolerable, well not really.