Day 2 - May 5 - Brunswick to Williamsport (Jordan Junction Campsite) - Two Old Guys Take On A Continent - CycleBlaze

May 5, 2023

Day 2 - May 5 - Brunswick to Williamsport (Jordan Junction Campsite)

Lotsa Locks

Ed’s story 

Today’s ride was back onto the C&O trail…but first we ate breakfast at Beans in the Belfry, a must visit, in Brunswick.

Breakfast, yum!
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Between the two of us we ate oatmeal, egg croissant, everything bagel with pb&j and coffee. Met Greg who was doing just the canal, staying in town and eating out. He packed much lighter than we did.

We took a surprise turn off the trail about mile 17 to visit the Antietam National Battlefield. As soon as we turned onto the road, the Wahoo said CLIMB! We did reaching a maximum 14% grade. Needless to say with my bike I did some cross training - I walked. After catching my breath we continued on.

Battlefield entrance
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Rebecca ChimahuskySo glad you stopped there! Such a beautiful area.
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9 months ago
Confederate soldier
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The big guns
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Steve Miller/GrampiesGood colour coordination.
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9 months ago

After we got back onto the trail, the conditions changed.

Trail alternated from paved concrete to muddy single track. The concrete walk was right over the river so you didn’t want to fall.
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Ronald WoodsThat’s cool!!! Closer to nature.
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9 months ago
Keith AdamsThat's a section that was destroyed by floods a while back. It took years for the new concrete to be installed. Much better than the old detour.
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9 months ago
The trail finally turned to double track with quite a few muddy spots.
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Today’s route:

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Ended the day with a beer at the C&O pub in Williamsport and camping at the Jordan Junction Hiker Biker campsite.

Happy Biking!

John’s Story

41 degrees this morning made it hard to crawl out of the sleeping bag and into cold clothes! To top it off it was foggy, and everything was wet, top and bottom, inside and out.

The sun was a welcome sight through the fog.
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 All was forgiven when I had my French press decaf coffee and breakfast croissant at Beans in the Belfry.

We’ve encountered all sorts of bikers the past couple days, even imaginary ones.
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We came across the crossing of the Appalachian Trail. Ben, I want to perform a scientific experiment. I buried a Twinkie 10 paces west of the trail marker.  When you come through next year you can determine if it is still edible. If so, we will have confirmed what we always knew about Twinkies and McD Happy Meals.  They are good survival food because they last forever.

A year and a half ago I hiked the entire width of the Appalachian Trail at Neel’s Gap in Georgia. Not the length, the width.
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Why did we not cross over to Harpers ferry West Virginia? Because there’s a Honkin big staircase we have had to climb with our loaded bikes. Wasn’t gonna happen. In the corner you see Sam, riding the path on a single speed bike. Come to think of it, I hardly ever changed gears the whole way.
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Lots of families and kids on field trips at the bridge to Harpers Ferry.
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Families of all kinds.
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This is us not going to Harpers Ferry.
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At least someone knows where I am. Or used to anyway.
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Ed was surprised to discover we were leaving the C&O to go by Antietam National Battlefield, even though he’s had all the information for months. Even I was surprised, however, when almost immediately after we left the towpath my GPS announced in the largest font it possibly could CLIMB! There ensued a climb that reached 14% grade. I thought about dropping into granny gear but instead just stopped and got off the bike, and walked the final 200 feet to the top. I’m not proud.

 

A sobering thought. Some things seem to never change.
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Oh, so this is where we’ve been riding
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We started seeing lots of walkers and hikers today on the path. We finally stopped to talk to some of them, and they turned out to be Scouts out on a three day hike. Here are their fearless leaders.
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 I have snow skied in areas and at times when the conditions were best described as “variable”. Those times and places can’t hold a candle to the tow path today. Maybe you’ve seen descriptions of how you can tell the difference between poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes by the order of the color bands on their skins. Now I know that you can do the same thing on the tow path by recording the series of variable conditions. For instance, gravel – concrete - mud - gravel – mud – concrete – mud – gravel means you’re at a certain place, if you know the code. Today we saw single track, double track, concrete, hardpacked crushed stone, mud, gravel, the occasional route or stump.

We found some more beer buddies at the C&O Grill and Pub. Jim and Chuck are biking from Pittsburgh to DC.
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Found an aqueduct along the canal that still has water in it with a river flowing underneath to the Potomac.
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Today's ride: 45 miles (72 km)
Total: 3,945 miles (6,349 km)

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Ben F.I shall keep a look out for it. The MD section of the AT is “normally” conducted as part of the “4-state” challenge. You begin at the VA/WV line, just southwest of Harper’s Ferry and then completes at the PA/MD border (Mason-Dixon line). It’s about 42 miles and you hike it in 24 hours. I’ll put a reminder in my GPS to stop and look for the Twinkie
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9 months ago