We finally arrived in Washington DC!
We are so grateful for the love, support, encouragement and prayers we have received along the way. We hope this is not the first and only chapter from the journeys of the tandemcouple. The stoker
This just in from Ken’s camera:
Two Views of a lock on the canal Lunch group
After we ate our food at the Church, a local journalist came walking in and asked if could interview us for the local paper. We interviewed and had our picture taken. Then, off we went in search for Whites Ferry 10 miles down the path.
We slid on the ferry just in time, then crossed crossed tue Potomac River. Our hotel was just another 20 miles down the trail on the West side of the river.
The turtles out sunning on branches in canal, deer on the trail, squirrels competing for a chance to charge up a tree right when we pass by. What a beautiful day it has been, and thats just the first hour.
Beans in the Belfry was so nice. I had a BLT prepared right in the choir loft.
We are staying in Shepardstown WV. A small college town founded by the German/Bavarian community. My only disappointment about our adventure is not having the time to explore some of the small towns that we have called home for the evening. There is so much history (especially Civil War history) along the C&O canal.
Ken and I at Stonewall Jackson’s Damn. Jackson’s Brigade made several attempts to destroy the bridge and the canal.
Ken and I followed the Potomac River all day, as we have for the last couple days. Previously, we followed the east bend of the river but today we rode beside the main river…
And we made friends along the way….
We all happend to stop for lunch in the town of Williamsburg at the same time. We ate at the Desert Rose Cafe and had a wonderful lunch and fellowship together. Thanks to Amy &Jamie, Lue and Brian for making our trip even more special, for sharing your stories and a little piece of your lives.
Found a beautiful cave with a small stream falling into the Potomac. ….
Although we got a pretty early start, we had to stop at the local convenient mart to stock up on ojr supplies for the day, then a quick run to the post office to mail some ckld weather clothes home that were no longer needed. Finally, on the trail again and 10 miles of pavement. Then, back to the bumpy, muddy rustic trail. It was a hot day, but we had a canopy of trees that kept the temperature tolerable.
We are so grateful to a father (Don) and son (Rob) who were biking the trail and joined us for a few miles. They took us took us to a small tavern/grill just a few yards off the path. We stopped for a quick rest, refuelling and conversation. We started back down the trail together and they also took us to a paved trail that forked off from the bumpy, rocky road we were on. The last 10 miles of our trip was smooth sailing….except for a minor mechanical problem. Don told us about a bike shop, again, 10 yards off the path. The owner of C&O bike shop did a quick and free repair and we were on our way to our “home” for the evening. We are so thankful to the wonderful and helpful people we have met along the way!
I didn’t make the climb up because I did not trust my biking cleats on the slippery steps.
I thought we found wild strawberries along the path
…but I was wrong
We were ready to head out at 7:30am, but decided to wait for the rain to pass….which it did and we hit the road 8:10am. Ken posted correctly. The trail was overgrown, rough and muddy.
That’s a shower bonnet over my front bags.
Today may be the first of 2 full days of no cell phone or internet service. Today will be the first time we will travel a lessor used path for 60 miles before we can buy food. 60 miles of no houses or people as we travel through the Allegheny Mountains along side the Potomac River.
Today is the first day we will travel on a different type of trail (more muddy, less pea gravel surface) not so friendly to our bike. We have over 400 lbs on our two tires, we might just sink like quick sand if it rains.
Today we have a 59% chance of thunderstorms.
We will not be able to post our position because of no cell service. We won’t be able to post on this blog until we can find WIFI service, and that could be 2 days. But that’s ok, we have packed plenty of food, water, snacks, spare parts, food, tools, water, maps, food and extra food. I think we will be just fine. God will be with us.
We peddled for just 34 miles. The first 6 miles was a slight uphill climb till we reached Eastern Continental Divide then it was all down hill for the rest of the ride today. 18-20MPH was as fast as we wanted to go on a thick pea gravel trail, and we were coasting most of the way.
We also stopped at the Mason Dixon Line, a few tunnels and scenic points along todays journey.
At 3pm we stopped at the Fairfield Inn in Cumberland MD. The GAP trail ends here but the C&O trail begins here for tomorrow.
We’ve got time to clean up, do laundry, go to dinner at the Uncle Jacks Pizza down the street and get a GOOD LONG nights sleep.
Nice old house turned into apartments and motel, and we slept well.
Now we are off to a late start but ready to go. We have about 6 more miles of a slight uphill ride till we get to the Eastern Continental Devide. We will have climbed to an altitude of 2392ft. The highest point of the Greater Allegheny Passage
Once we pulled the fender back into place, we had to make several more stops to tweak the repair. Once we satisfied that all was good to go, we stopped several more times to get some pictures of the trail…
We have passed so many waterfalls along the trail. Finally stopped for a picture.
Hallelujah! After a slow start…a quick explanation: Our daughter, Sarah gave us a ride through 50 miles of hills, Ken realized he left his bike helmet in the van (had to buy a new helmet)…. We are finally on the Great Allegheny Pass Trail. We will take this trail and the C&O trail the rest of the way to Washington DC.
This is what we have been waiting for. The trail is breathtaking! Today is Sunday and I couldn’t possibly feel closer to God then to be surrounded by this incredible creation!
After a day of misdirection, grueling hills and a longer than anticipated ride, we have decided to give our ageing joints a day of rest and a break from the inclines. We realized our daughter, Sarah, would be driving thru the area on her way to Pennsylvania to visit her cousin. So, after a short detour, she will take us within 15 miles of our next destination, for a (hopefully) pleasant afternoon ride to our next motel.
8:45pm we finally arrived at our hotel. 70miles today! This was our toughest day. Wrong decisions, wrong turns, more wrong decisions and more wrong turns! Wow, there are hills all over the place, and they all go up! Up! Up!
We want to thank Vicki and Ken from Burgettstown, PA who offered advice today and a ride in Ken’s truck. . . We shouldn’t have turned you down. Another wrong decision.
It has been an interesting day! The hills have been intense and we walked up a couple for the first time.
We got caught in the rain, as previously stated. The second time we rode out the “storm” under the awning of a local drug store and the third time we dodged the rain under a Covenant Transport simi that was parked in a lot at the side of the road.
We got our earliest start of the trip this moning, so far. We hit the road at 7:10am. Our goal was to beat the late afternoon storms and with the beautiful blue skies that covered us all day, we arrived at our motel shortly before 3pm wihout a threat of rain.
We met a very interesting person today. His name is Larry and he is also a cycling enthusiast. In addition, we works for the FBI. Larry gave Ken his phone number and told us if we needed any thing at all to give him a call…..thanks Larry! We truly have a guardian angel!
A very tough day of hills, and this is just the beginning! Going to bed every early tonight to get another early start, so we can take our time take and lots of “rests” tomorrow. ……..from the stoker!
We made it to our destination for the day just 1/2 hour before the rain started. Best Western Hotel, Hebron Ohio. Its on US 40 between Columbus and Zanesville. We had a very hot day again, but because of constant replenishing of ice and water we had lots of hydration on hand.
Now its time to order a PIZZA!
Another day of going just a little further than expected. Almost all trails from miles of farm land to the woodlands…and mostly flat. I am not looking forward to the hills of eastern Ohio and West Virginia. At least those days will be shorter rides and hopefully we are getting stonger everyday and will be ready. Ken and I appreciate all the prayers, positive thoughts, and well wishes our friends and family are sending our way…we definitely fell your love and support as we travel. Fromn the stoker.
The “full” breakfast at the motel
was more than disappointing. ..the stove was broken. So we hit the trail and decided to stop along the way. What a great find…a little coffee shop called “beans -n- cream” that offered a full Breakfast/Lunch menu with interesting decor and a warm and friendly staff. The food was great were ready to hit the trail.
Once again, we got somewhat of a late start, mostly due to early morning fog. Riding in the rain is one thing, but riding in fog is dangerous. Once we got started, we stayed on 40 for about 20 miles until we came to our first trail. We have ridden a few trails in Ohio and they have been beautiful! This one (started out) as no exception. The trail was quiet, tree lined and we were surrounded by the countryside. As we continued, I noticed an abundance of honeysuckle growing along side the trail offering a fragrant shade. Then the trail came to an end and we found ourselves somewhere on the “wrong” side of Dayton (meaning not the best part of town). Since it was Sunday, we decided to go straight through downtown Dayton and eventually we were back on the trail and on our way to our destination for the evening.
Unfortunately, we have been unable to post videos and hopefully we can get that done and update everything at the end of the trip, if not sooner. Missing my loved ones, and thinking of you all often!……………the stoker.
From the stoker….we have day 1 behind us. Speaking of behinds, we’re riding down the road just east of Centerville and we notice (2) 7 year old boys jumping on a trampoline, they stop jumping, look us at us and smile, so we waived and one of the boys turned around and mooned us! We laughed so hard I thought we would fall off our bike. We started out with rain, a little sun, mostly clouds, but we certainly didn’t expect a full moon in the middle of the afternoon!!!
After Doing laundry in the sink we safety pinned to dry on curtains. They were dry by morning . . . sometimes.
It’s the night before the ride and we got home later than planned. I am nervously excited about the trip, unsure about my ability to take on such a challenge.
Several people have asked me if we have a “mission statement” for this trip. I had a friend who once walked to Wash DC in the name of peace, a valiant cause…maybe for the environment, also high on my list of priorities. My initial answer is, we are riding to push ourselves to our personal limits and attempt to overcome the deterioration of our 50+ year old bodies and basically survive! On second thought, maybe our statement is after 25+ years of marriage, and the ups and downs that follow; maybe we can show the world that two people, at the opposite end of the political spectrum can work together and accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. If we can do that, maybe others can do the same!…..from the stokers seat.