Friday, September 24, 2010

Thanks to you

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Sorry for any spelling issues but doing this on a Droid can be cumbersome.

Thanks to Tammy for the transportation to Pittsburgh and then home from DC.

Thanks to Mike for letting me tag along on this journey.

Thanks to my beautiful wife for supporting me on all the crazy things I do.

Thanks to my kids for their support and love during the past year.

And the Biggest Thanks goes to my Lord and Savior for watching over me during this trip and keeping me safe.

Go after your dreams and don't let anyone stop you.

Recap and final thoughts

It has been over a month since I finished this trip. I have had some time to reflect back on my experience and am happy to say that the sore knees and the aversion of any seat that sits on a pole has escaped my mind.

Many people have asked 'would you do it again?'. The Answer is no. Some parts of the trail I would not hesitate to do again and I might just do that. However, the whole trip I would not. Once is enough. I have experienced it and happy that I survived the trip.

Some random thoughts:
Do not be afraid to try something outside of your comfort zone. This was way outside of mine and it was a good experience.
Give bicyclists along the road some room when sharing the road with them. They are pursuing a goal and they also have families that want to see them alive at the end of the day.
People along the trail we for the most part very friendly. However, the closer we got to DC, the kindness sorta disappeared. Do not take life too seriously that you miss the true meaning of life.
One place I will not spend the night at again is the campground at Ohiopyle. The campground was very nice and the people running it were very nice, but the so called quarter mile uphill climb after a long day of biking was almost a killer. I would rather bike ten more miles to the next campground.
If I do any other trips like this I will have Sherry follow me in the RV so I have a comfortable place to sleep. The tent camping in the high heat and humidity sucked.
At the end of a long day, you do not know how much a cold soda means to you until you cannot first d one. Thanks to the family that gave us a couple of sodas one day when the machine would not work.
When focused on getting somewhere, do not forget to take the time to enjoy the journey.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day ten - Washington DC

Wow, we made it. We both woke up early this morning. Not sure if it was the excitement of the last day, the hoot owls or just wanting to get off the trail. We left camp around 7:45 for the final twenty six miles. Breakfast consistent of granola bars and powerade. The weather was getting warm already and the humidity felt like 100 percent.

We biked down the trail about twelve miles and came upon Great Falls area. We stopped and grabbed a bagel to eat. Still hotter and just as humid. After looking around a little we continued on. The trail as a lot better without all the mud. My knees were beginning to get sore but the end was in sight. For the last five miles there was a blacktop path that ran parallel to the canal path. This was nice.

We followed this trail right into DC. What a great sight to make a turn and see our destination in sight. After asking directions from several people we found the Lincoln Memorial. From there the Washington Monument was our final destination.

What a great day/trip this was.

In a few days I will post some additional comments about the trip. I will also try to get pictures put out so you can review them. Sorry I was not able to do while on my trip.

PS. I have not given up on the cross country trip yet.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day nine - To within twenty six miles of our goal.

Today was a long day. We left the hotel well rested and ready for our journey. Our first stop would be Harper's Ferry. That was twelve miles. I was able to share some of my singing talent with Mike. Not sure he enjoyed it.

We arrived at Harper's Ferry and locked our bikes up and walked across a bridge to a really neat town. The buildings still look lie the original ones from way back. Definitely recommend this place if you get a chance. We ate lunch then walked around for a while.

Then it was time to hit the trail again. Today's trail was a mix ora good solid trail with a lot of mud holes thrown in. He mud really took its toll on us. Took a lot more energy than we expected. We wanted to get within sixteen miles of DC but we were running out of daylight and energy. Guess we have a longer ride tomorrow. Supposedly the trail gets better as we get closer to DC.

Tonight we are sharing our campsite with a gentleman from the Air Force just getting away for a few days.

I am pretty tired so I am gong to end this now. Hope everyone has a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. Maybe I will go camping this weekend.

Zach, I could have used your dirt bike today.

See ya.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day Eight - To Shepardstown

Well we had another hot and humid night of camping. It did not cool down much at all. I got a few hours of sleep but not great sleep. We got a rain shower around five in the morning. I was up and out of my tent around seven. It was very quiet and peaceful. I saw a couple of deer and a fawn crossing the path as I took a small walk. Upon returning from my walk our camping guest was coming out of his tent. We struck up a conversation and he is from Columbus also. School teacher on a quick ride before school starts.
We all broke camp and started our ride for the day. Just down the trail we ran into a six mile detour over some hilly country roads. Not much fun. Had to walk the bike up several hills. During this detour our new friend damaged his pedal don't some hard pedaling. After several miles on the trail his pedal was getting really bad. He told us to go on despite our unwillingness to leave him on list own. We worked out a plan of action and headed on our way. So happens about a hundred yards up the trail we saw someone loading several bikes into a truck so Mike and I headed over the canal to see if he had any suggestions for helping our broken down friends. So happened he use to run a bike shop from that location and found a new set of pedals that fit his bike. What a stroke of luck.

We then continued down he trail towards Shepardstown. Our plans were to stop here for the day and get a hotel with pol and hot tub to mend our aching and tired bodies. Our friend contnud down the trail.

We crossed a very big bridge into this small college town. We eventually found our hotel of choice, Clarion and checked in for the day. This is a very nice place and we got a great rate. We showered and had lunch in their tavern. Yum yum.

We then headed to the hot tub. By this time it had been raining quite a while and had not stopped. A great day to be off the trail. The hot tub hit the spot. Now I am doing the blog while laying in the bed almost falling asleep.

We have a slight change of plans. We are going to complete our trip on Friday instead of Saturday. This means we have seventy more miles and two days to complete them. We are hoping that the severe rain that hit the DC area this morning did not mess up the trail too bad. That could make traveling rough if it is full of mud. Time shall tell.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day Seven - Little Orleans to south of Williamsport

Last night the sleeping was much better. The weather cooled down and I had use use m snuggie. Mike was actually the first out of his tent this morning. I know, hard to believe. But I ended up waiting for him to get everything ready to leave. We ended up leaving around 10:30.

The first three miles or so was back on the bumpy canal trail. Then we cut over to the Western Maryland Rail Trail which was twenty Tao miles of asphalt trail. What a great treat his was. We took his trail into Hancock where we ate lunch at Weavers. Great food and a haven for bicyclist.

After lunch we stopped by the bike shop where I met some workcampers. Great stories they told.

Then onto the trail for the remainder of the paved trail then back onto the canal path. We traveled twenty five more miles to our current canal campground. Another hot and stisky night in the woods with the trumpeting crickets.

Today we traveled close to fifty miles. Our longest day yet. Nice campsite and we do have a single fellow that just pulled up and is making this his stopping point for the evening also.

Lets hope it cools down tonight. I am thinking it might a little.

Night all.

Day six - Near Paw Paw to Little Orleans

Today started out with a couple of sleep starved bikers from the overnight humidity. We got up, broke camp and hit the trail. The good thing, only sixteen miles today. We are stopping at Little Orleans Campground which has a pool and showers.

First we had to go through the over 3000 foot Paw Paw tunnel. We walked he bikes rhrogh this one. These was only a narrow path without lights. We had to us our flashlights on this one. Boy did it get hot in there also. We then started counting down the miles to the campground. Guess what? It was again up a steep hill. But we made it.

The office/store was air conditioned. YES!!! We set up camp then showered and headed for he store to buy some real food. Hot dogs, chips and beer. Heated the bad boys up in the microwave and chowed down.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool. Met some neat folks from New Jersey. They had a three year old not that I made best friends with. Hi Zeth.

This couple invited us over for dinner. What wonderful people you meet while camping. Thanks so much guys for your gracious hospitality. You will never know how much we appreciated that invitation. Especially Mike. Me too.

Then off to bed we went. Tired but rested.