07 May 2012

Three Days on the C and O Canal part II

We are going to start back on the morning of day two departing Harper's Ferry W.VA. Looking across the river on the left of the river bank is the C and O heading back down river to Georgetown. Also the Appalachian Trail the follows the same route for a couple of miles. The Appalachian Trail is just behind me in the picture.

There is a lot of history on and off the trail. You just need to keep your eyes open to see it. Like this cave. I am sure if you get one of the books about the C and O it will tell you about the caves.

Next up the trail is the Antietam Creek walk-in camp. Take note, this camp is a fee use area. It is a nice big camp site area and the last time I was there camping it was full of Boy Scouts. Keep this in mind!! I am sure they are not as load as the trains...

Just before getting to Shepherdstown W. VA I got a flat. In your trip planning you need to plan for flats. It is not a matter of if but when. Stop and take your time with any trail side repair. Because what you have with is all you have so make the best of it. After fixing my flat I went into Shepherdston for lunch and found a Sheetz. There are other place in down. Once you across the bridge into town you will come to your second stop sign which is a four way stop. Sheetz is to your right and to your left are the shops in the downtown area.

After eating I make the plan to keep riding to the 80 mile point. I wanted to make it to Williamsport which is just short of the 100 mile maker. But I have a pinch in my neck that is causing me some issues and I go the plan "B" which is to turn around here

Now along the way I use my cell phone to text my wife my location on the trail. Cell phone coverage is spotty at best. I also carry Solio solar charger to keep the phone going. So now I am heading back to Harper's Ferry to get something to eat and then plan on riding a few miles down the trail to a camp site to put me somewhere around a 55 mile ride on day three. I stop at Bald Eagle Island Hiker/Biker camp site. It is a nice open site but the train tracks are just on the outside of the towpath. So just like needing a patch kit you will also need ear plugs! This is not the only campsite that you will here the trains. Brunswick MD which is just up the road is a train switching town. You will here trains all night ear plugs or not.

Day three I get up and I don't even make coffee. I plan to eat on the bike figuring I have about five to six hours of riding and I would not like to sit in traffic in NOVA (Northern Virginia). It is also cold this morning it must have gotten down in the 30's over night.

Stop at Great Falls for a quick lunch.

Here is the Waltworks on Day Three. This is what I built the bike to be able to handle and it did a great job. Time for a new set of tires and bar tape. I am sure some new cables would not hurt! I don't have the ultra-light bikepacking going on but I am getting there. I have some more work to do in this area.

Nearing the end around mile marker 4 you get to see some of the old mile makers.

I finish up with my three day trip with 17 1/2 hours of riding and I covered 178.6 miles. I had plan that I could have done the trip end to end in four days and even if my neck was not giving me issues I still think it would have taken five or maybe six days. I did feel like I was still on a schedule either by time or miles and that is something I don't won't to have happen again.

I hope to get to another post up this week to talk about some of the equipment I used or did not use on the trip. Everybody wants to see your gear list!


joel said...

maybe need to get those drops up higher to aleviate the pinched neck issue?

joel said...

sounds like a fun trip nonetheless!

Bikewright said...

Not a bar issue, I had the issue before the ride.

Dan O said...

Cool report. Makes me (almost) miss the east coast...

Anonymous said...

Good report, might have to try something like that one day when time allows.


Metro said...

Great to see the WW loaded and in action. I just came across some of your related comments on bikepacking.net.

I still need to do the Pittsburg to Nova ride one day.

Glad you had a good time.