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C & O Canal tour ?

Old 07-04-20, 09:24 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Marylander View Post
I was going to check it out today but I got on at Brunswick and looked at the huge number of vehicles there and decided to go south rather than north, which usually has less traffic. I might walk up the stairs there to see on a work day this week.
Brunswick is the starting point for tubing heading to Point of Rocks, so it was jam packed at both ends today.
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Old 07-05-20, 07:45 AM
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Ah, ok, that makes sense. I saw the big crowds standing around in point of rocks...
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Old 07-05-20, 10:23 PM
  #53  
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The other end of the Paw Paw tunnel is boarded up with a door that was open.


Big rockslide into the canal.

Didn’t open until 2:00, so I missed one of my favorites.

Towpath still washed out near Brunswick.

This is the temporary crossing near Brunswick. Much easier to get up the other side now.

Hiker biker site near Harpers Ferry

Monocacy Aqueduct
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Old 07-06-20, 06:19 AM
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wow, that's beautiful. that is exactly what i need right now. thks for sharing
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Old 07-06-20, 06:24 AM
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Great shots!
I drove over to Lock 38 in Sharpsburg and did 19 miles upriver and back - I really like the section between Lock 38 and Williamsport. Saw several of the pump handles were back! Too bad about Nutters - I always try to work in a stop there!

I did a short writeup with some photos on Cycle365 here.
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Old 07-06-20, 07:46 PM
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hey jpescatore, enjoyed your write up of your tour and the photos were fantastic
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Old 07-14-20, 04:47 AM
  #57  
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How was the ride?
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Old 07-15-20, 06:04 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
How was the ride?

i leave tomorrow. spent the first week off my ship stripping my bike down to bare frame and overhauled every component. got her ready and started shake down cruises about five days ago. i have my panniers loaded with my trip gear. i have been using the fairfax cross county trail system. made a mistake yesterday and tried to ride to great falls. trail got so bad i had to push the bike for miles through the forest. oh well.

from where i am staying it is 10-15 miles to the beginning of the co canal in georgetown. i will be on the road system until alexandria va. then i will be on the mount vernon trail till georgetown (almost) then i will ride backwards on the canal until i get to the beginning. then off to swains lock for a nice easy day one....i hope

as always open to any suggestions

thks
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Old 07-15-20, 07:12 AM
  #59  
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If you cross the 14th St bridge and ride along the river, you will pass the Mile 0 marker, tucked away behind the building.
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Old 07-15-20, 07:46 AM
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hey alan s, thanks for the tip. mile marker 0 is behind what building ?

how was your trip ?
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Old 07-15-20, 09:23 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by mark d View Post
hey alan s, thanks for the tip. mile marker 0 is behind what building ?

how was your trip ?
Itís a secret. Like finding a geocache. My trip was great. A little hot, but the humidity was OK. The towpath was in excellent condition.
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Old 07-15-20, 11:14 AM
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glad to hear you had a good trip
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Old 07-15-20, 08:27 PM
  #63  
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It's behind a rowing center - a bit hard to find. A quick Google will give to turn-by-turn directions.
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Old 07-15-20, 08:44 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by mark d View Post
i leave tomorrow. spent the first week off my ship stripping my bike down to bare frame and overhauled every component. got her ready and started shake down cruises about five days ago. i have my panniers loaded with my trip gear. i have been using the fairfax cross county trail system. made a mistake yesterday and tried to ride to great falls. trail got so bad i had to push the bike for miles through the forest. oh well.

from where i am staying it is 10-15 miles to the beginning of the co canal in georgetown. i will be on the road system until alexandria va. then i will be on the mount vernon trail till georgetown (almost) then i will ride backwards on the canal until i get to the beginning. then off to swains lock for a nice easy day one....i hope

as always open to any suggestions

thks
Sounds fun, enjoy! Once tried to follow one of those trails which was bikeable at first then got narrower & narrower & weedy (incl poison ivy)...a creek had a narrow plank to cross--I was carrying the bike but kind of got stuck since the end of the plank was too high to jump off with a heavier bike--trail had been deserted but with sheer luck a couple happened to hike along right then & helped lift the bike down.

Old Town Alexandria is pretty scenic--has a cobblestone block at the base of Prince St & the Torpedo Factory art gallery with restaurants & public bathrooms. Lotta noobs ride the Mt Vernon trail--you know, folks that wobble & swerve right as they approach you.
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Old 07-16-20, 07:40 AM
  #65  
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ok todays the day. my mom changed my plans. she wants to provide me with a final good dinner before (spam gets on the menu) at swains lock today. my mom is a great italian cook so i never say no to her meals. she will drive me to georgetown where i will start on the canal. she will drive to swain's and wait. short enjoyable day.

it has been a bad year for me. i know it has been worse for many others so i mean no complaint. on this trip i am looking for peace. nothing more. when i find places that give me peace i will linger.

thks to all for their help
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Old 07-19-20, 01:00 PM
  #66  
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I went a few years ago. My road bike with fat-ish Panasonic tires wasnít really robust enough for the muddy puddles on the double track, especially farther up the route. I recommend a hardtail 29er with a locking fork and a light tread to the tires. I usually enjoy road bike on gravel and dry double track, but the regular summer thunderstorms leave the trail a little too muddy for that.

Camping was plentiful, I found space at the sites along the way. Met up with a friend and did the Gap trail.

The mud puddles and constant unclipping led to some IT band troubles and so I came off the trail for a few days, and skipped about 30 miles unfortunately. I will be back!

Dont miss the falls north of DC.
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Old 07-23-20, 06:34 AM
  #67  
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finished my ride monday. just getting back to my laptop now. had such a good time i considered going on to pittsburgh. weather was perfect. no rain.

day one: swains lock. i was relaxing in the river thinking no need to continue on. this spot is perfect. then came the pit viper. slithering across the water towards me. actually might have been a harmless water snake but i did not stick around to debate the point

day two: brunswick. flat tire (broken ribbon). glued in a piece of plastic to cover rim. got hammered at the smokehouse microbrewery. best ipa ever. did not feel like pedaling to the next campground hammered so i looked for and found a small trail to the river. beautiful spot. i mean oh my god beautiful. made camp. next morning i decided to stay a day or two in this spot. then came the hispanic family. sorry to lose my privacy but they were very nice people. the wife made me cafe con leche. delicious. started to settle in for a relaxful day, then came the rest of the family. all 18 of em....with chainsaw. yep chainsaw. i moved on

day 3: williamsport. got hammered at the co bar and the third base bar. consumed the worlds best calzone at the ...can't remember but it was great. stealth camped because once again did not feel like pedaling on hammered but next ,morning i found the campground about 200 mts down the trail from my spot, oh well

day 4: mile 140: decided to not get hammered any more. behaved myself. washed my clothes in the river. they needed it. relaxed in the river. locals told me about an air conditioned spot on the trail just before mile 140. they said you will feel the temp drop, then shortly down the trail there is a small trail to the right. this goes to the cave. i found the trail and it was much cooler in this area. i debated sleeping in/near the cave as it was about 150 degrees out, but i could see no water source

day 5: arrived cumberland. got a room at the cumberland inn. dinner and ipa's at uncle jacks. bought the t shirt at the bike shop. selfie at the 184.4 obelisk

day 6: went to the train station beautiful building. found out it does not function with amtrak and some nice meth heads gave me directions to the amtrak station. found it. had the charm of a bus station. no human works there. phone number posted to call for ticket. nobody answered the phone of course. impossible to buy tk at that moment. my mother tried to get tk via her computer and phone. no dice. my sister came and got me

things i did wrong:
1. racing seat. oh my god did my butt hurt. i'm talking i need a morphine drip butt hurt. bought a padded seat cover thing in hancock. saved my life.
2. road bike with 25 mm wheels. i had no problem but it was a dry period. i could see the remnants of giant puddles as i got closer to cumberland. could have been tough. i knew this before i left but i rode what i had
3. got hammered a bit too much

things done right:
using the bike forum resource. great bunch of guys here....thks
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Old 07-23-20, 09:47 AM
  #68  
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Glad you had a great time. If you had gone farther north on the GAP, you would have found the trail conditions much much nicer and more conducive to your smaller tires.
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Old 07-23-20, 11:45 AM
  #69  
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Good idea to avoid snakes in the water. Could have been a water moccasin, which is venomous, although not native to the area.
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Old 07-23-20, 01:27 PM
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Water moccasins are not found in MD. There are venomous copperheads (which can swim) but it's more likely he saw one of the species of water snake. I've seen quite a few snakes both in and out of the water near the C&O Canal & Potomac river. In western Maryland (i.e. beyond the greater DC area) there are Timber Rattlesnakes. Here's a good website with MD's snakes, including photos:

https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pa...rSquamata.aspx
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Old 07-23-20, 02:45 PM
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speaking of rattlers in the smokehouse microbrewery i met 3 guys touring from pittsburgh to georgetown. one of the guys showed me a cell photo of a rattler he had almost sat on, on that trip. almost impossible to see in the leaves....i have killed 2 copperheads this year although not on this trip.
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Old 07-23-20, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
Water moccasins are not found in MD. There are venomous copperheads (which can swim) but it's more likely he saw one of the species of water snake. I've seen quite a few snakes both in and out of the water near the C&O Canal & Potomac river. In western Maryland (i.e. beyond the greater DC area) there are Timber Rattlesnakes. Here's a good website with MD's snakes, including photos:

https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pa...rSquamata.aspx
Ok, sure.

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/yo...1aac9302e.html
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Old 07-23-20, 07:46 PM
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Even that article doesn't claim there have been any confirmed sightings of water moccasins in MD. Deep Creek Lake sounds esp. dubious given the harsh winters in that far western corner of MD. It's not unreasonable to think that water moccasins could expand their range due to climate change. Southern MD (nowhere near the C&O Canal) would be the most likely part of the state where they'd first appear. But I would also expect that they'd show up first in central VA before they get to Southern MD (defined as the 3 MD counties south of DC wedged between the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.) But I haven't even heard of confirmed sightings in central VA. Lots of folks in the DC area seem to assume that a water snake must be a water moccasin.

BTW, the Washington Post had a cool photo 2 years ago of a copperhead entwined in a chain link fence in East Potomac Park in DC (a short walk from the Jefferson Memorial). The photo was supplied by the National Park Service, which I consider a pretty reliable source.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...315_story.html
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Old 07-23-20, 08:28 PM
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Growing up in southern pg county (rural) we did call water snakes "mocassins". I wasn't so worried about whether that was accurate or not and you couldn't just Google it. We were very familiar with copperheads. I had one cross the tow path in front of me about 5 miles north of Brunswick while I was out running a couple years ago. I waited while he stared at me before finally he headed into the grass. I always considered them kind of aggressive and have seen them chase people before. From that article it sounds like mocassins are a lot more aggressive, which is not how I remember the swimming snakes we had around where I grew up.
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Old 07-23-20, 09:46 PM
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It was probably a harmless snake, but I sure would not want to be bitten by any snake. I’ve had little garter snakes on the towpath trying to strike at me.
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