Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tales From the Trail - Day 4

On Day 4 (Wednesday), the intrepid band of bikers completed the 185 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, MD along the C&O Canal Trail. The final leg to Cumberland was the longest leg to date at 63 miles. It was also not without its problems. The first real ones since they started off on Sunday. One of the riders (not daughter#2) got three flats. One in the back tire and two in the front tire. They managed to patch them up enough to finish the ride. The girl in question, however, did discover she had the wrong size tubes for her tires so they couldn't replace the tubes. In addition, the final 15 minutes on the trail, as they were coming into Cumberland, it started to rain soaking them all. Before going to their hotel, they stopped at a bike shop to replace the patched tubes. The rain had lowered the outside temperature to the 60s and inside the air conditioned bike shop it felt even colder to the soaking wet bikers. Hot showers all around were in order once they reached the hotel.

However beginning their trip on Day 4 from Hancock, MD, one of the first sites was an old cement works.

They also biked through Little Orleans, the last easy access to the trail by car until Cumberland due to the mountainous terrain. This is Bill's Bar in Little Orleans, which apparently has burned down.

At Mile marker 155 is the Paw Paw tunnel. They rode through it rather then dismounting and walking through it (as recommended). Daughter#2 said it was cold and dark.

This section of the rail has a lot of abandoned track, most from the Western Maryland Railroad. This trestle bridge is a Mile Marker 156.

Just a view of the canal and trail around Mile Marker 166. That's Lock #69 in the foreground.

This bench and tree is at about Mile Marker 178. I put it on for The Son in Law who deals with trees all the time as part of his job. The plaque next to the bench reads: This tree is the most outstanding Swamp White Oak specimen known in the State of Maryland. It is listed as a Maryland State record in the Maryland Big Tree Champion program. In 1991, the tree was 16 feet, 2 inches in circumference 4 feet above the ground. The tree was 82 feet high with a spread of 84 feet.

As they got closer to Cumberland, the signs of civilization begin to appear - at Mile Marker 182, a sewage treatment plant.

The very last Mile Marker at Cumberland.

The very end of the C&O Canal Trail is at the Cumberland Visitor Center. This statue is outside the Visitor Center.

Congratulations to Daughter#2 and the girls with her for finishing the trail. Halfway done. Day 5 starts The Great Allegheny Passage.

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