The most perfect day - My C&O and GAP Pandemic Tour - CycleBlaze

October 5, 2020

The most perfect day

Cycling from Washington D.C. to Harpers Ferry

Ted's Bulletin is an excellent place for breakfast
Heart 0 Comment 0

It was an early wake-up and out the door before 7:00 am. I cycled through normally busy streets to meet my touring companions at their hotel 5 minutes away. They had scoped out a breakfast spot near Dupont Circle, Teds Bulletin. It was a delicious start for the day.

The group set out on now busy morning traffic towards Georgetown. The city's bike infrastructure is pretty good. Bike lanes along 14th Street, M Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and 29th Street deposited us at milepost 0 of the C&O.

Milepost 0 and the C&O in Georgetown
Heart 2 Comment 0

A commemorative photo at the milepost is the traditional start of this ride to Pittsburgh. The milepost is hidden behind Thompson's Boathouse on the Georgetown Potomac waterfront. Tour formalities done, I set off on the C&O through historic Georgetown. It's a rough ride on a trail barely more than a footpath. Georgetown was soon behind me and the trail widened. 

The lock at Lockhouse 6
Heart 0 Comment 0

The lower towpath miles took me from urban Washington D.C. into a quieter serene setting. The Potomac flowed to my left and the stagnant canal waters to my right. I entered the 335-mile tunnel of green. Lockhouse 6 was soon on the horizon and a short ride after, the spectacular Great Falls on the Potomac 

Great Falls on the Potomac
Heart 1 Comment 0

The falls is a collection of rapids and waterfalls that drop 76 feet in less than a mile. The river narrows from nearly 1, 000 feet above the falls to a narrow 60-100 feet wide torrent as it rushes towards the Chesapeake Bay. This is one of the great displays of nature on this trail.

A burger with a view of the Potomac and White's Ferry
Heart 0 Comment 0

White's Ferry at milepost 36 is bit of history worth a visit. This is the last cable ferry across the Potomac. The ferry travels on demand transporting vehicles, bikes, and people across the river to nearby Leesburg. It is the sole river crossing between the D.C. outerbelt and Point of Rocks. The deli at the ferry building was open. It was time time for a burger lunch overlooking the ferry.

The beautiful Monacacy Aqueduct
Heart 2 Comment 1
Al BurnardThat beautiful sky tells the story of your day! Wow!
Reply to this comment
3 years ago

The Monocacy viaduct at milepost 42 is an expertly restored aqueduct that carried the canal over a waterway. Cyclists pedal through the aqueduct. It's definitely a photo-op. 

It was soon time to dismount and walk the fully loaded bike down a steep temporary trail low water crossing near Brunswick. A storm had washed away an aqueduct carrying the trail across a creek a few years back. The National Park Service built a temporary crossing that was welcome. In 2018, I had to shuttle through this area since the no water crossing was in place.

Steep metal stairs up to the railroad bridge crossing into Harpers Ferry
Heart 0 Comment 0

Seven miles later I was climbing the stairs on the railroad bridge to cross the Potomac into Harpers Ferry, my home for the night. It's a chore but part of the journey. Harper's Ferry is a crown Jewel on this tour. I pedaled thorough the historic district and up the hill to the hotel. It was an excellent day on the bike. Tomorrow is a shorter day heading to Williamsport. 

The sun was setting as I pedaled into Harpers Ferry
Heart 2 Comment 0

Today's tour

Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's CO and GAP Trivia:

Harpers Ferry is a popular tourist destination with the Appalachian Trail passing through the city that sits at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac River. It is famous for John Brown's raid on the federal armory in 1859. John Brown, an abolitionist, was seeking to start a slave revolt in the southern states.

Today's ride: 66 miles (106 km)
Total: 72 miles (116 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 0