Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 7, 2011: Cumberland to Hancock, MD: (49 miles):

The day was beautiful, but the C & O towpath had it challenges. First it was muddy, secondly at places it was narrow, and third it has grass in the center of the path which for a three wheeled bike (trike) makes for a difficult ride. Eighty percent of the path has a grass center so Cal needs to keep one of his front wheels on the grass at all times. This definitely decreased his speed. The US Dept of Interior Park Services has not been spending much money on this
National Parkway

There are 75 locks on the Canal. None are in working condition, but they are keeping some of the lock-tenders houses looking good on the exterior – you cannot see into any of them. 
C & O Towpath Trail Begining - Cumberland, MD 

Canal Boat

Sculpture of Canalboat Boy and Mule

As usual it was foggy this morning when Cal began riding, but this was no issue as he was on a trail. He began riding at the Visitors Center/Train Station in downtown Cumberland. They have developed a great museum and display area highlighting the C & O canal.  Building a canal boat, ownership of the boats and the canal, working on a canal boat, types of cargo hauled, and the role it played in our US history and economy. Last evening I was able to spend 15 minutes in the museum before closing time, and before Cal arrived. 

This morning I spent more time in the downtown area after Cal ‘hit the road’, and before I drove to our first meeting location. I met him twice this morning along the path. After we ate lunch, I continue on the road no more than 1 mile, crossed the bridge (Potomac River) and I was in West Virginia.

However for me to navigate to the afternoon meeting point, I had to retrace my route back to Cumberland, go east on Interstate 68, and then navigate winding ‘back’ country roads. It was a long way out and around to get to where I wanted to be. At one point I went downhill 5 miles! Curves, and more curves! At another point there were no road markings as the road was only wide enough for one vehicle – I kept hoping I would not meet anyone!  PLUS we had no cell phone reception most of the day! We had to make plans when we separated instead of talking on our cell phones (the old fashioned way!!).

Lock and Lock Keepers House

Cal Riding a GOOD!! Section of the Canal

View of the Appalachians

To get to any of our meeting points I had to go out and around far enough that I really had very little time to spare until Cal would arrive.        

Paw Paw Canal Tunnel - West Entrance

Paw Paw Canal tunnel - East Entranced

Today Cal rode through several tunnels. One had no lights, and it was 3000 ft long! Thank goodness we knew about this, as Cal took along a flashlight. This tunnel was a canal, with the towpath right next to the canal, all in the tunnel. 

Cal saw a flock of wild turkeys and a deer today. I have not seen any wild animals except squirrels.     

Tonight we drove into Hancock, Maryland for a hotel/motel, but did not find any to our choosing. We did found a delightful B& B right along the canal. They have a place to put the bikes inside, and also a washer/dryer. Cal’s clothes were splattered with mud, so laundry was a necessity tonight. 

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful pictures. I'm so glad you have had good success with the trip, even without cell communication. I hope the weather continues to stay nice!