Friday, October 16, 2015

GAP/C & O Trip Diary

Day 4

Pigments Ferry to North Mountain hiker/biker free campsite, 60 miles

So far I’ve only had to pay once for camping. It was worth it to get a shower and WiFi. I haven’t even been eating out much except for the egg breakfast, gob, strudel muffin, and today it was pie. At night I've been firing up the stove and boiling rice and tossing in a soup mix. Hearty, hot, and welcoming. This trip I am doing better with eating and self-care.

It rained during the night at Pigmans so getting out was wet. I ate breakfast standing. Nevertheless, I got away by 8:30. I again felt sluggish. At a certain point what I thought was a big puddle on the path was a gaggle of wild turkeys—about a dozen or so. I wasn’t able to get a pic. 
after coming thru the Paw Paw Tunnel

blurry Ted
trail was at times a single or double track
after the tunnel exposed rock wall comes right up to the path

After 10 miles I came to a very long tunnel where I met Ted from Pittsburgh, age 67. It is his first tour and he just had a knee replacement like 10 weeks ago!! He was so kind and interesting. We both confessed that we were petrified of falling on the trail and that the trail conditions were tougher than we expected. We rode together for 40 miles. At Hancock we parted, but before we did he bought me pie at Weaver's Restaurant. Triple berry pie alamode. Thanks Ted! Also in Hancock there is a trailside bike shop, really convenient. Maybe the guy at the desk was having a bad day—he didn’t appear to be a rider or a mechanic—he was in fact negative. I asked about ice cream and the visitor center, he said there ain’t no ice cream, the visitor center is closed. Okay. I asked about hosing down my bike and he said it would be $7. When I appeared shocked he bluntly replied—someone has to pay for the water. I asked if I needed to pay to fill my water bottle—

I originally was going to stay at Fort Frederick, a large pre-Revolutionary War fort where the British fought the French, but decided to go further. I wasn’t in the mood to pay $16 for a campsite with no extras when I could get rustic for free at the hiker/biker sites situated about every 5 miles on the trail. So I went on several more miles to North Mountain. About 60 for the day. I was able to take my time setting up, drying things out, and making a nice relaxing supper.

The day had turned out warm. The mud puddles were drying up. And for about 21 miles before and after Hancock I took a paved parallel path that made the miles fly. Tomorrow the weather looks good, even better, and I hear the path improves somewhat. Tonight I watched the sun set over the Potomac, listening now to hoot owls and loud insects. Once again all by myself at this camp.

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