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ADT JOURNAL: CHAPTER 9
Here We Go Again The Send Off
March 25, Tuesday
All the hoopla resulted in our departure time being after 11 am. The day was cloudy with a high in the 50's. The route was mercifully level with mostly paved roads with very few cars. Jim Ippolito, Larry Wunderland, and Reese rode with us to Milton with Melinda carrying our panniers and sagging us. (Sagging is the biker's equivalent of slackpacking for hikers.) What a terrific way to start. Reese and Melinda then sagged for us the rest of the day.
We ended the day at the shelter built especially for the ADT by Billy Staples, for an Eagle Scout project, at Tuckahoe State Park in Maryland. Then, what a surprise. At the shelter with us the first night, was a former A.T. thru-hiker, Bill Pyles, who had started on the ADT in Delaware three days ago. Also, Bob Fletcher, the ADT Coordinator for eastern Maryland stopped by. Lots of good trail talk, the satisfaction of a 63 mile day accomplished and a new shelter. Life is good. We'll see how long this honeymoon lasts!
Every day that we remember to record them, we will post our daily statistics taken from the computer on Bill's bike.
63,9 miles, 12.9 mph, 4 hours 56 min seat time
March 26, Wednesday
We have been watching the comet Hale-Bopp and are excited about its brightness and tail. So, on our second day of biking we made only 38 miles and are thoroughly exhausted.
38.6 miles, 8.4 mph, 4 hrs 34 min seat time
After lunch, we rode through Greenbelt Park and then the Anacostic River Greenway. After riding through several miles of lightly travelled Washington DC city streets, we arrived at the northern entrance to Rock Creek Park. The ride throught the park was great. Temps were in the 70's and there were dozens of bikers and walkers on the trails. A detour at Pennsylvania Avenue led us to the mall which was packed with sun worshippers and tourists. We rode around the reflecting pool and Washington Monument, saw the Korean War Memorial, took pictures of the cherry trees which were at their peak and ate some ice cream.
We then found a bike path which took us in front of the Kennedy Center and then to the C&O Canal towpath. The towpath was in great shape and we rode to Lock 10 where we met our daughter, Chrissy, and her boyfriend, David. We ate dinner at Boston Market, enjoyed our shower at David's house, and even did some laundry.
63 miles, 9.7 mph
March 28, Friday
Next, we cycled on to Great Falls, where extensive rock cliffs and raging waters presented a real challenge to the original canal builders. At Seneca, we took a quick trip off the trail to Poole's general store where we stocked up on snacks and enjoyed the old timey atmosphere. The C&O Canal includes designated campsites spaced 5 to 8 miles apart, which are attractive and have outhouses, picnic tables, and water pumps. The water pumps were not yet turned on for the season and the campsites and officially not open until April 15.
The trail was rough for about 10 miles throughout the day, which slowed our progress. The weather was perfect and in the 70's. We decided to call it quits for the day at Harpers Ferry instead of riding on to our intended destination at Shepherdstown. We stayed with A.T. friends, Bob and Dorlyn Williams. Jack made arrangements to meet his wife tomorrow at Williamsport, where he will leave the trail. We have really enjoyed his company for the first five days of our trip. He really earned his trail name of "Easy Rider".
56 miles, 9.2 mph, 6 hours seat time
March 29, Saturday
The towpath is closed at Dam No. 4 and a 4 1/2 mile detour on roads is necessary. Returning to the towpath, we encountered a few places where we had to walk our bikes due to eroded trail, but it mostly smooth. We stopped in Williamsport where Jan met Jack and we all stayed at a motel before each going our respective ways.
45.6 miles, 9.8 mph, 4 hours, 36 min seat time
March 30, Easter Sunday
Near the end of the day, we entered the Paw Paw Tunnel, a 3,118 foot long tunnel constructed for the canal with the towpath alongside. We walked our bikes and used flashlights through the tunnel. What an engineering marvel of its day! With rain predicted, we headed for a B&B in Paw Paw, WV and a day of rest. Bill is showing beginning signs of a cold.
60 miles, 9.7 mph, 6 hours, 13 min seat time
© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.