Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Trails - Day 5

04/29/2009 10:06:41 by Administrator

Williamsport MD
Cumberland MD
84 miles

What change one day can bring. The temperature has dropped 30 degrees and the grey skies greeted us as we made another stop at the Waffle House. This time there were more customers enjoying waffles and coffee. Dustin again packed away the "All Star" breakfast. Where the heck is all this food going?

On the morning ride, we were treated to a barn owl sighting. He "who-ed" we "who-ed", we thought he must have a resent kill on the ground because he stayed between two trees (flying back and forth) next to the towpath. We have seen so many different animals on this trip. Dustin and I also spotted a nearly all albino whitetail deer today.

We had a 25 miles ride in store for us this morning, then lunch in Hancock. The boys enjoyed each other's company and before we knew it, we were sitting down for lunch at Weavers in Hancock. If you find yourself in Hancock Maryland, and looking for food.....go to Weavers! Since you must pass the two large cakes and pies displays before you are seated at Weavers, you begin to remember that your mother is not along on this trip...and maybe having pie first, then the meal, is a good idea. I looked at the menu and saw chef salad. So I am thinking....hum...a little salad...then pie......Mom would be pleased that her training is still working after 50 years.

Then the "little salad" came out. Not only was is good and priced right, but I had no room for pie! Dustin's meal however didn't stop him. After consuming his turkey sandwich, french fries and gravy, he moved on to one quarter of Greg's turkey club sandwich. Then as Greg and I tearfully looked on, the S.O.B. ordered and ate a slice of chocolate cream pie!

Stuffed (at least Greg and I were) we headed back on the trail. And then............with 30 miles to Cumberland...the rain came.

We had also stopped in Hancock for some supplies. We thought we would get to the Paw Paw tunnel, hunker down in Paw Paw under the gas station's overhang until the worst of it was over...then find a campsite for the night. This plan changed when we all realize that the rain wasn't going away, and the trio did not wish to set up camp in the rain. I wish to say that the last 30 miles on the C&O was fun, but it wasn't. It was a blessing in disguise though. For Greg's and Dustin to experience the whole bike touring experience, they need this. Most of the time you tour, very seldom do you ride. And for thirty miles into Cumberland, we rode.

For thirty miles, the bikes got muddy and wet, the riders got muddy and wet, and the trail was completely muddy and wet. All this wetness made the trail was very greasy. SeeMore went down twice when his back end just slide from underneath Dustin and I. Since we couldn't travel very fast, both times didn't hurt, just made us more muddy and wet. For thirty miles all I did was focus on my single track, puddles, and trying to pick the best line to the next point. It seemed that the more we rode, the more the trail conditions got worse. With about 5 miles to go, we made a command decision to abandon the trail. Using the GPS, we found a road that connected us to route 51 which led us to Cumberland.

Before we reached the Holiday Inn, we stopped at a car wash and hosed the bikes down. You should see the hotel room right now, there are wet clothes all over. Greg's bike and SeeMore are downstairs in the hall for the night. We are about to go out and have some well deserved steaks and a couple beers.