My neighbor Jim was packed up a little earlier than me and bode me a fair well and "good life". He was heading for the Old Dominion & Washington trail to take him into DC. It is a paved trail. He was tired of the towpath and the bumpy ride. He had a Soma touring bike and was running 32 tire size. 32's are fine for the GAP (you can ride anything on GAP!!) but I would recommend at least a 38 or more on C&O, especially if you catch a rain week while you are here.
Packed up and brewed up a quick breakfast. I had the Mountain House breakfast mix of eggs, sausage, peppers, potatoes and this was the first time I have been disappointed in a Mountain House meal. It was OK, but I would have been happier with my regular oatmeal.
Down the trail I go!!
This was an interesting set of locks. The first lock brought the boats up to a new level and also turned them 45 degrees to the right. The next lock immediately turned them 45 degrees back to the left. a very cool solution to elevation and direction change of the course of the river. The canal had to stay close to the river because it needed the water flow from the river to fill the canal, or the river to take away excess water in the canal. Aquaducts and pump houses were built to maintain this balance.
You can see the towpath in this picture taking a sharp right turn.
Back out on the towpath after my break I knew I had about 20 miles to knock out but there was still things to look at.
Turtle's checking out the warm sunshine!!
It was a great trip and one I am so glad I rode. There were a few more logistics to have to arrange to pull this off in a tight schedule, but it all worked and was worth it. I, of course would have liked to have more time and reduced my daily mileage to take in a bit more of the history of the areas. That is what I have always wanted in my bike tours, an open ended time frame. That's what retirement will get me in a few more years. It always feels good to ask your body to perform physically and it answers the bell. I will never take that for granted as I see many of my peers that could not do this type of ride. Motivates me to keep working on physical conditioning even when I don't have a trip planned, plus it just makes for a better life!!
I want to say thank you to those of you that followed along to read. I enjoy doing this type of journal and it just stamps a memory for me with reflection of the ride right now plus I can look back and read a few years from now and re-live it all.
Everybody take care and find those tailwinds!!!