The primitive campsites the the Park service provide along the towpath are an OK set up as long as you are prepared. They offer a cistern with potable water with a pump that brings it to the service. The water is purified with iodine so if you are sensitive to that you would have to haul your water in. In my site last night I shared with a troop of boy scouts riding the towpath earning their cycling merit badge. No problem as there was plenty of room. They have a port-a-john at each of these sites and maintain them pretty well as I found all the ones I had to use during the ride to be acceptable clean-wise.
I got packed up and brewed up my usual 1st breakfast of hot oatmeal. My stove of choice is a Jetboil because all the camp cooking I do just involves boiling water to add to instant food. The Jetboil stove is very, very efficient in doing that. It boils up 16 ozs of water in a minute and a half, maybe two. Plus, it cools off fast so you can pack it back up quickly before you can even eat your food.
I was excited to explore the towpath today. My route today will take me along to the town of Paw Paw and a brief visit to West Virginia before I have to tackle the detour up and over the closure of the Paw Paw tunnel, ending in the town of Hancock, MD.
Here we go!!
First turtle in the trail of the trip!!
The Park service was doing some rock scaling around the entrances to the Paw Paw tunnel so it was closed for about a month. Too bad because it looks to be an interesting experience to ride through. The canal and path going through the mountain in a tunnel. I'll just have to come back!!!
The detour involves a 2.5 mile hike-a-bike on a trail up and over the ridge that the the tunnel goes under. It starts bad for me when I almost can not get up the steep, gravelly footing, path to get up on the trail. Then it was a steep, sweat-fest for the mile of push-a-bike up to the top of the ridge.
I rounded up over the top and hopped on to ride down the back side. Whoa.....too steep at the top!!! I had brakes squeezed tight and still could not stop!! I turned it into the hillside and hopped back off before any crashing ensued!! As I hiked down I did the math. When I checked all my gear for my Amtrak ride it was 46 pounds, the bike I am guessing weighs about 32 to 35 pounds, and I go at 215, so, almost 3 bills rolling down the trail. No wonder the brakes could not hold!! After the first 200 yards or so the trail mellowed out and I could jump on and ride!!
All fun (?) things must end and I was back on the towpath heading for Hancock.
We'll pick up there for tomorrow.
Thanks for reading along!!