Thursday, June 23, 2016

C&O Canal Day 1 - Cumberland to Indigo Neck Hiker Biker

Max and I are continuing on from the GAP and taking the C&O Canal Towpath to DC. The towpath is 187 miles long and we are giving ourselves four days. 

One thing about the towpath is it's not as well maintained as the GAP, and it can be pretty muddy and rough going if it's been raining. Which is has been doing.

Max is very proud of his tough looking bike. He pokes the chunks of mud off with a stick when we take breaks to make his bike lighter and faster.

We had lunch today at the School House Cafe in Oldtown, MD. This is a cafe in an old school building, which is no longer a school.

Max noted that they have a big TRUMP sign in the window. I told him that doesn't necessarily mean the people running the restaurant are nasty racists, and how there are a lot of Republicans in western Maryland, and it may be that they are just supporting the Republican candidate. Also there is nowhere else to eat for 10 miles in any direction.

Then I read the white notice next to the TRUMP sign on the way out. Never mind. They are actual racists. Sigh.

Here is the entrance to the Paw Paw tunnel. This is one of the highlights of the trip, although telling this to Max means that you're going to get an argument about how the tunnel is not high, and it's completely dark inside so it's not light and so it's not a highlight. He was insufferable all afternoon after the Trump sign.

The Paw Paw Tunnel is a highlight, regardless of what Max says. It's 3000 feet long, with a canal running through it.

Here is a Zebra Swallowtail. There were a bunch of them outside the west end of the tunnel.

Max had to look up the ID as soon as we got Internet. We also discovered that the camouflaged butterfly from yesterday on my bike seat has us completely stumped.

Dinner was at Bills Place at Little Orleans. We shared a ham steak and fried chicken. They no longer have T-Bones, because they are too expensive.

I would normally camp at 15 Mile Creek campground across from Bill's Place (which makes it easy to drink beer all night there...) but they are now charging $20 and it's only 3 more miles to the next free hiker biker site, which is exactly the same primitive camping experience. Indigo Neck is this one.

It's also supposed to pour down rain in the early morning, which will make the towpath a mess, so camping here just makes it that much quicker we get to the nice smooth paved Western Maryland Rail Trail.

Here is the Strava page.

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