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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pedal Power!!!

(C & O at Whites Ferry)

I have been slowly bicycling 20-30 mile sections of the C & O Canal Towpath for a few years now, starting at the Western terminus in Cumberland, MD and working my way along the Potomac River towards t'other end in Washington D.C.

This coming weekend (August 19-20) the plan is to do another section. I left off at Whites Ferry the last time, so that's where I'll be starting this time 'round. The ferry can be used to cross over to the Leesburg, VA area...and it's particularly inexpensive for bicycles. Whites Ferry is the only working ferry on the Potomac, and an overall nifty place. It is also a convenient access point, about ½ mile from C & O milepost 35.

I'll be camping for the night at the Swain's Lock hiker/biker campsite, which is at about mile 16.6. The following day I turn around and go back to my starting point.

About the C & O Canal; it was quite a feat of engineering in its day, but was rendered obsolete by railroads. It makes a nice, scenic place to get some recreation nowadays, however.

This trip will require me to drive approximately 160 miles from my rambling estate in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Anyone within range who's interested, feel free to join me, either for the ride or at the campsite.

I always look forward to these trips...
(Some caves in spots along there, too)


Well, I'm back; a good time was had by all.

Upon our return, we took a ferryboat ride:

A perfect ending to the trip...


Blogger boberin said...

Good for you! Probably one of the most fun ways to stay in shape. Been a few years since my bike was stolen, really outta get a new one. This place, naturally, reminds me of the canal along the Delaware, another rather scenic place that my wife and I like to visit.
Getting ready to head to the outer banks this weekend, best of luck, have fun

August 16, 2006 7:44 AM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Sounds like fun. I'm pretty close to the Delaware-Raritan canal. Drive by it often. Some of the locks are still in place... don't know if they work or not. A few nice historical buildings along there too.


August 16, 2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger Beerme said...

Sounds like fun! Wish I could join you. I enjoy biking but don't do much of it these days.
Stay out of the canal...

August 16, 2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger benning said...

Wow! You've got some scenery to see! How is the biking there? How polite - ahhhh, that word! - are the drivers as you pedal along?

Do you stop and check out the interesting sights aong the way, or keep going until you get to the end, then check out things on the way back? Here in Pinellas County - Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo - we have a paved bike path, the Pinellas Trail. It includes overpasses to get the biker safely over the heavily-trafficked thoroughfares, and runs from the northern border down to near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. It then jogs to the east and heads inland. I haven't the wind to try it, but it is very popular and runs through some beautiful areas of the county. You can't get a car onto it. Is that kind of what you will be biking?

More pics! And be careful!

August 16, 2006 8:31 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

One of the reasons I ride a bicycle sometimes is to stay in shape, although I never actually stopped riding one since I was a kid; also, I had to give up running a few years back on account of my knees.

Yeah, you really ought to get another bike.
(Giving up smoking wouldn't hurt, either)

I'm pretty close to the Schuylkill River Trail, but lately I've been riding on the Perkiomen Trail and I've always liked to ride along the Wissahickon...it's one of my favorite places.

Well, I wish you could join me too.

As for the canal, it's mostly empty these days.

The trails I like to ride my bike on are all limited access. I've known of WAY too many people who've been killed riding on roads. Regarding the C & O, roads only cross it every so often.

As for more pictures, check out some of the links...

August 16, 2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Remember to stay within the speed limit.It sounds good to be you.
Have a wonderful time.

August 16, 2006 9:10 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

You're right about the smoking but , God help me I love it so. Roll my own, cost $.70/pack that way so there's no financial restraint involved.
Right about the bike too, should go that route again.
Wissahickon, wasted much time there! Is quite lovely around that stream. Too bad it's more of an open sewer than a stream.

August 16, 2006 9:35 AM  
Blogger JR said...

Two words Sun Screen... Breath in some of that fresh morning air for me...

August 16, 2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

It's good to be me sometimes, yes.
(Not so great at others)

Not much chance I'll exceed the speed limit on my bicycle, though...especially since I had knee surgery 4 months ago.
(ACL replacement)

I know all about how hard it is to give up smoking; nowadays I'll still smoke a good cigar, but that's only once per month or so, usually. I didn't take that up 'til I was finally able to quit the cigarette habit.

But the Wissahickon an open sewer?! You must not have been there in quite a while.

Thanks for the reminder about sun screen, I often forget to use it.

Fresh air is good, too...

August 16, 2006 3:13 PM  
Blogger boberin said...

The time I have spent down there has been fishing and I'm here to tell you that some mighty funky looking fish live in that stream. Literally all of the water in it is discharged from one of 14 sewage treatment plants that line it's banks along the way.
Wish it wasn't so

August 16, 2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

I've spent quite a bit of time fishing the Wissahickon too, and I'm here to tell you it's much better now than I remember it being in bygone years. Anyway (in theory at least), treated sewage=H²O.

FWIW, I was riding my bike along there the weekend before last...

Oh, and lest I forget; ELEVENTEEN!!!

August 16, 2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger boberin said...

Don't get me wrong, a lovely spot, many a happy hour passed there. I'm often fishing for carp (just for sport/fight) and I know what they are supposed to look like and out of there, they don't look even close to right.
The scenery and serenity are wonderful though.

August 16, 2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger hooey said...

Teh cnal leads to Wasington, DC? Yhy wuold U want 2 go whree Shrub is?


Just wanted to stop in and letcha know I'm still around. Been busy with other projects, but I expect to start posting again.

August 16, 2006 7:56 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Well, I haven't gone fishing there since the mid-90's, but when I was a teenager (in prehistoric times) the fish caught below a certain point sure tasted funny.

I was wondering if anyone would figure that out...and also where you had gone.

August 16, 2006 8:15 PM  
Blogger Libby Gone™ said...

Neat pic! Love the Cheasapeake and Ohio RAILROAD as they had tracks through my Mitch Chee Gon. My coffee cup has a picture of "Chessie" the kitten. I will make a point someday to check out the trail.

August 18, 2006 12:17 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Libby Gone™:
I like that picture because it shows where I'm starting (in a few hours) and is also representative of the trail. Some spots are quite isolated, and very scenic...

August 19, 2006 1:25 AM  

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