Sunday, August 14, 2016

Day 40 Cumberland, MD to Hancock, MD

Day 49 Cumberland, MD to Hancock, MD 62.3 miles 390ft climbing #NM2NY4LFSA

We started with breakfast at Mark's Cafe. It is a great spot with excellent espresso pulls and good, fast, hot breakfast. Because we only knew of two potential stops off trail on the way, we had them make us sandwiches to go for lunch. Our route took us 50 miles down the C&O Tow Path. The C&O is more primitive than the GAP also less maintained generally. There are far fewer towns on the trail so less community investment. If it weren't a National Park, it probably wouldn't exist. I'm just saying that it is not highly condusive to bicycle travel. There were plenty of muddy sections. We felt like we were at the cross races through some sections. Lauren's bike, being a road bike, has almost no mud clearance and I cleaned it out twice for her during the ride. It slowed us down a little but at least it was mostly shaded. That's good because we're in record breaking heat again. 100 degrees today plus humidity. I always bear in mind the potential for extreme conditions becoming dangerous. I felt that quite a bit during the 110 degree days from New Mexico to Amarillo. Then again in Southern Missouri. Today never felt dangerous. We stopped and checked out a couple of locks and talked to a park service guy at one. There are 74 locks on the canal between Washington, DC and Cumberland numbers 1 through 75 because they never built lock 65. About 45 miles into the ride we stopped for lunch at a group of picnic tables in the busiest campground we had seen on the C&O. There are hiker/biker campgrounds every 6-8 miles that have water available at a hand pump. This campground was one of the very few we'd ridden through that had asphalt road access. It was super peaceful when we got there and soon after, all of the sudden it's mega motorcycles mega loud and then came a blaring A/C-D/C karaoke. Just A/C-D/C. I like A/C-D/C. This was a greatest hits album turned nightmare. The baffling thing to me is where the sub woofer was. The fidelity was actually pretty good and the volume rices the forest. At least we could finish our lunch and ride. There were families camping there peacefully who didn't have the choice to hear it or not. Another 4 miles down the trail, we picked up a paved trail running parallel called Western Maryland Rail Trail. We'll be back on it in the morning. We headed into Hancock and to The 1828 Trail Inn. It is a beautiful old Craftsman house operated by wonderful host and hostess Bill and Darleen. Complete with bike wash and lock-up for bikes. Then on to dinner across the street at Buddy Lou's. Of course the she crab soup was spectacular, we are in Maryland.








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