cumberland trail connection

“SNOW FLURRIES & MUD PUDDLES” (Saturday, November 27, 2010)

Woke up in my tent across from the YMCA to the sound of cars and people headed in for their morning workouts. Packed up and pedaled into town to grab a quick breakfast. Then stopped by the Cumberland Trail Connection bike shop before hitting the C&O Canal trail. The bike shop’s owner told me if the trike had a breakdown along the trail to give him a call him and he would retrieve me. Appreciate that, Hutch. Always nice to know someone has your back. Before leaving, saw this humorous Uncle Sam wind spinner outside the shop, which cracked me up. As I was planning my trip, a friend had actually suggested I traverse the country in this very same Uncle Sam outfit, complete with top hat. The funniest part is he was serious.

Made it through the first gate two miles down the path without incident. Only 182 miles left to DC, but embracing the old Japanese maxim sent from my friend, Clifford: ‘When in the face of victory, tighten your helmet strap.’ Good advice, particularly given all of yesterday’s incidents.

Some light snow flurries were coming down when I hit the trail, which I had pretty much to myself, save one biker I saw camped out during the first couple of miles. Lots of mud puddles to negotiate, but otherwise good trail conditions.

As the mile makers to the end of the trail started ticking down one by one (184, 183, 182…), I felt the urge to slow down, as part of me doesn’t want this journey to end. Saw nine deer, one wild turkey and lots of evidence of beaver during the ride today. Frankly surprised I saw any wildlife at all, given how much noise the trike makes vibrating on the rough gravel path.

Was a cold (highs in the mid 30s), but beautiful, day for riding. Ran into locals Bob & Sue Steine on the trail, who were camping. Told me if I hadn’t already passed Lock 49 by the time they got home on Monday, I might be able to stay in the Lockhouse. They’re Quartermasters there, and were fairly confident it would be available for a night or two. Logged that away as a possibility.

Settled on one of the many designated campsites near the banks of the Potomac River.

Pitched my tent and built a fire to keep warm. Calling for a low of 28 tonight. Sat out for a couple of hours until it started burning low, then retired to the tent for some blogging and sleep.

Including side trips, pedaled a modest 35 miles today.

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