Hiking – AT NOBO – Washington Monument to Ensign Cowall Shelter (Wolfsville Road)

View from Black Rock - 04-03-2021

Distance: 12 miles

Hike Time: 5.75 hours

Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet

Summary

This may be the most challenging section in Maryland. That’s not saying much since Maryland is fairly flat. There are a few moderate climbs in this section, but the real challenge is the rocky terrain.

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Hiking – AT NOBO – Crampton Gap to Washington Monument

Washington Monument - 03-27-2021

Distance: 9.2 Miles

Hike Time: 4 hours

Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet

Starting off where we left off on our last Northbound hike of the AT, we continued toward the Washington Monument (not the one in Washington DC). The “original” Washington Monument was first built in 1827 and is located near Boonesboro, Maryland within Washington Monument State Park.

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Exploring – Green Ridge State Forest by truck

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.

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Shooting the GAP – biking the Great Allegheny Passage in two days (or less)

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.

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The C&O Canal Towpath – biking North in two days

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.

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It’s really good to have friends – day 2 on the bike tour

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?

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