Thursday, July 6, 2017

C&O Canal trail mile 100 -- Williamsport

...And if there are particular themes to this stretch for me, they are mostly very green and rainy ones --  grabbing walk days in between thunder storms, sharing the trail with hundreds of cyclists and (again) scaling back my daily mileage expectations while sweating profusely in the amazing humidity! Camping areas (as well as the trail itself) along the Potomac tend to be beautiful and fairly buggy, including gazillions of fireflies after dark - dazzling!  And of course, the area abounds with early U.S. historical battlefields and other significant places.  For example, Williamsport was one of the sites considered by President Washington for the future Capitol city.

A interesting feature along the trail, the 3000' long Paw Paw Tunnel was closed for safety reasons, and there was a steep and rocky detour trail by-pass.  Luckily for me, the awesome folks I stayed with in the town of Paw Paw shuttled me around the by-pass.  I got to explore the tunnel entrance and enough of the by-pass route to know it would have been an act of penance, indeed, to drag my cart over that hill!  There was also a 20-mile stretch of parallel Western Maryland Rail Trail (paved with asphalt!) running alongside the Canal trail.  Needless to say, I switched to the converted rail path for some easier 'rolling' along that stretch.  Ft. Frederick State Park has a very well restored 18th century fort to explore as well as an impressive nature center it would have been great to revisit for all of my flora and fauna questions!   There are scores of building ruins along the Canal route, some of them restored to use as overnight bunkhouses furnished in period styles.  The one bunkhouse I have experienced myself (so far) is attached to a bike shop in Hancock, sometimes affectionately called The Chicken Coop!

So.  I am a possible 7 days from Washington D.C.(at my current reduced speed!).  After which, it may be that a week or 10 walk-days could get me to the Atlantic!  Will that be a 'wrap'?  I can't imagine what that would feel like...

Former mill site

Lock #50

View from the Paw Paw Tunnel by-pass trail

Paw Paw Tunnel

Taken by my walking companion of an afternoon.  

Paw paw tree.  It has edible fruit later in the season.

8-spot butterfly

'The Chicken Coop' (C&O Bicycle Bunkhouse)

In Fort Frederick barracks room; the barracks buildings were rebuilt in the 1970's, although the original fort was pre-Revolutionary War. 

1 comment:

  1. Good to meet you on the C&O 12 miles from DC the other day--Alessandra, Ally and I enjoyed hearing of your adventures. While in DC you should bring your message to the Quakers at Friends Meeting of Washington. It's a very friendly and welcoming group. The silent worship runs from 10:30am-11:30am on Sunday followed by the introduction of visitors and a coffee hour to chat with folks. I probably will not be there this week--but please attend if you can--it is a very mediative experience and the Meeting House has a lovely garden near Dupont Circle and it's Sunday Farmer's Market. Address: 2111 Florida Ave NW. It is between Connecticut Ave and Massachusetts Ave a few blocks north of the Dupont Metro. The entrance is from the side off off Decatur Place--or through the garden. Jenifer Morris.