Thursday, September 30, 2021

Tomorrow DC


I will be quick as it is already dark and the mosquitoes have driven me into the tent.

Joan and I will be finishing up our ride tomorrow when we arrive in DC.

These past few days have been great and I have a lot to share, but not tonight.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Biking today to Harpers Ferry!

You will find the start of this blog in the middle.  Dang phone shot these pictures up to the top.  When I wanted to add them toward the end.

I forgot to mention two fun encounters I had yesterday. Matt Marra was out on a day ride and saw me so loaded and had to turn around and ride with me a while.  He is new to biking for fun and exercise and was now starting to toy with the idea of loading up and venturing out on a tour.  He asked for advice on what to pack.
I told him atwo shirts for biking and one shirt for evenings after your shower.  One to sleep in.

I should have also said to pack as if he would be caught in a downpour when it is cold out.  We haven’t had that this trip, but cold and wet do not make an enjoyable camping trip.

Matt is visiting from The Carolina’s

I met up with Joan in Williamsport.  A lovely town with old colonial style homes lining some of the streets.

I got a sub, where do I put it?  Joan came over and snapped it under my bungee.  Fixed! It didn’t fall, eggplant parmigiana sub?  Messy but good for lunch and supper.

When I started riding I the morning yesterday I encountered Nick and Frank who I had seen near the Paw Paw tunnel detour.  We chatted and they invited me to ride with them!  I was thrilled!  Nick asked me if I was an engineer.  I laughed and said I was married to one for 42 years, some of it rubbed off on me.  Nick said the three guys in his group are all engineers.  He did something with cement… structural? And Frank was electrical and held a patent on the bomb detectors at the airports.  Of course all units sold to the government he doesn’t get a royalty because the government helped fund the research.

Later we encountered the third engineer.  Ralph worked in Energy.  The last position was in energy efficiency which he said he enjoyed a lot.

At one point I pulled up on Ralph taking a picture of a huge tree with white limbs.  He took my picture riding by it and I gave him my email so he could send it to me.

Just then a man with a big friendly smile came walking down the trail.  “Lovely day, isn’t it?” I said to him.

He said”I am 81 and I am doing fine!”

“I am 68 and I am doing fine,” I said smiling back at him.

“I am 64 and I am doing fine!” Ralph said.

The walking man told us he was from the area all his life. I asked what the tree was and he said it was a sycamore?  Shoot I don’t remember.

He asked us if we had a paw paw yet.  He then showed us to a tree with ripe fruit.

It turns out his bne was Ralph too.  I used Ralph the biker fro Albuquerque’s phone to take a picture of the two Ralphs.

I am going Ralph the biker will send that picture to me too.

About be is Nick and Frank from New Mexico.  They are staying in air b&bs on this bike trip.
Ralph the biker is below.


We made it through some obstacles that oncoming bicycle tourists on the C&O warned us about.  They made it sound like major a difficulty, but we sailed on through them.

Last night we camped in a primitive site on the trail.  This morning it is supposed to rain.  So instead of making coffee I had enough service to locate a town nearby with a University.  Cafeteria here I come!

First a few miles in the C&O and then a nice switchback to a bridge.

I learned that the confederates burned this bridge during the civil war.  It is nice now with a wide sidewalk for biking across.

These pictures are not in order, so I will just write. Little about each so you know what I am talking about.

One of the obstacles we were worried about was an avalanche that might get fenced off by the National Park Service before we got there.
Once we both got through I did the happy dance.  Smooth sailing now into DC.  Less than 100 miles away!

This is a close up of the kiosk on the bridge into Shepardstown, WV that was burned during the civil war.  
The C& O canal has an area where they built a dam to slow down the current so the miles could pull the boats up the river.  They thought this method around this bend in the rice would be cheaper than blasting through another mountain.

Under the bridge on my way to breakfast in Shepard’stown.
View from our campsite last night on the Potomac.  We arrived around 6:30 and it gets dark at 7:30 this time of year.
Sign explaining why the bikers and hikers were being detoured.

Breakfast at the University Cafeteria.  I am in heaven!
The end of our detour we had a very steep downhill on dirt.  Glad it wasn’t raining!  I pumped my breaks all the way down, leaning backwards to keep my bike from sliding down the hill into the fence at the bottom.

View into Shepherdstown from under the bridge.
Kiosk explaining the movement of cAnal boats out of the canal and into the slow moving river above the dam.
The miles didn’t have a nice smooth sidewalk to walk on pulling their canal boats up the river.  The kiosk said this area was rough.

Cool, the steamboat was first demonstrated here and the inventor lived here.

Joan has been hitting home runs in finding us interesting bike friendly camping.  In … where was that?  She took me behind a bike shop full of junk and motors and then around the corner where there was a big screen porch full of wooden bunks.  We got the whole thing to ourselves.  Showers to and walking distance to services in town.

One thing about touring when we take all day is there isn’t time for clothes to dry.

Well, one more refill of my plate and then off to Antietam for a tour hopefully.  (Three plates!)

A shout out to my daughter in law who is getting major surgery possibly today if all goes as planned.  And sending love to all who love her.  A special spirit.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Frostburg to Paw Paw and first primitive camping

 It is Monday morning and since I can’t sleep I am writing to you again to try to catch up to where we are at in the trip right now (at a cool place in Hancock, MD the skinniest part of any state in the union.  MD is only two miles wide here between PA and WV.)

Leaving Frostburg at Eight while the morning mist was still

Rising and the air was even cooler when you are bikin downhill.

Happy happy morning!  We both slept very well in our cozy bunkhouse.  Right across the street is a station for the scenic railroad.  Look at what appears to be coming soon to this area if not already in service!

Joan suggested we ride together today since we would be going downhill and I could keep up
Better.  At first I said I would go first because I knew she’d be faster anyway.  Then I changed my mind and waited for her at the bottom of the switchback in Frostburg.

It was a super grea ride!  We kept stopping for pictures and then to remove layers.  It took close to two hours to get to Cumberland where we were greeted by Cheri who guided us to a grocer and a coffee shop.

Gotta go pack up the bike.  Time to get ready to ride.

A Miracle and a Good Laugh

 Greetings from Inverness, Florida. I have sooo many stories to tell.  So much fun to share.  But I will save you from yawns by telling you ...