It appears that winter is already over. In fact it seems like it’s been over for a month. It’s been unseasonably warm with temperatures in the 70s on multiple days in Maryland. I suppose I didn’t take my own advice all that much this winter to go outside in the cold, but we wrapped up the winter with a great trip to Western Maryland.
A hike at one of my favorite places on the Appalachian Trail. A 10 mile thru-hike around Smithsburg, MD to the Mason-Dixon Line.
Hiking at Gunpowder Falls (Hereford Area) and Prettyboy Reservoir in Baltimore County, MD. Our trip was cut short due to bad weather, but we made the most of our trip.
Once you have completed the C&O canal from DC to Cumberland, you can continue directly onto the Great Allegheny Passage, or GAP for short. The GAP has a much better reputation among cyclists. The surface is crushed stone which is very tightly packed. It is also meticulously maintained. I saw crews in multiple locations either chopping up downed trees or regrading some muddy sections. They were smoothing out surfaces that were not half as bad as large stretches of the C&O.
The C&O Towpath (trail) is 184.5 miles long and runs parallel to the Potomac River and the partially-completed Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. It runs from Washington DC to Cumberland MD (it never made it to the Ohio River). I have a history with this trail. On two occasions I have attempted to complete the entire trail from start to finish. Both times I failed due to poor preparation. I was overly prepared this time around.
Ideally I have started today’s ride at 9, but 10 at the latest. I was able to get myself out of bed at 7:30, so I had a shot to start earlyish. I stayed up at my friend Allen’s place playing some bizarre video games until 11pm the night before. Probably should have gone to bed earlier, but when is the next time I will be able to play video games with a friend?
So the plan was to start early; no later than 9. However I didn’t sleep well the previous two nights so I allowed myself to catch up on sleep. So I wound up getting up at 9 and not leaving until about 11:30. I think it was worth it. I didn’t want to start the trip tired.