C & O Canal 6/28-7/1/13

DAY 1 — by Tayleigh,

I enjoyed the first day of biking very much. The whole group biked at a steady pace with Peyton in the lead at eleven miles an hour. Towards the end of the day Peyton decided to bike faster with Tommy. The rest of us stayed at our regular pace to relish the air and the sights and smells. Later in the day we found our first cave it was spacious and dark. Farther up the trail we saw a group of cavers passing us so we knew that a cave was discovered large enough to explore.  It had many different crawls and spaces that we did not explore. After we left the cave we biked over a smooth white bike breezeway on the side of a cliff hanging over the water way. It was mid-day and still sunny. Unlike other waterways that are that are being destroyed by pollution and filled with soot, this canal glistened.

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After the beautiful bike ride we set up camp and swam in the canal to clean up. The water had a rock bottom with fresh water snails crunching beneath our fee but was clean and fresh. That canal was the closest thing to a shower that most of us took for the whole trip. After that we ate ravioli played cards and slept.

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Other excitement that occurred the 1st 10 mi. into the trip was that I, Mrs. Trussell wrecked the right front bumper of the “support van”  into a ditch with a hidden tree stump.  Fortunately, a mechanic I acquired cleared the van for the continuing of the trip.  But the drama was not over…Vishal, visiting from Fort Wayne IN falls over an 8 foot bridge on his bike!  Thank goodness only a broken pedal.

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DAY 2   —   by Peyton,

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I liked the second day because we went to Antietam. I was glad to encountered tough hills on our way to the battle field the second day, because the whole first day did not challenge me as much as I had expected. When we got there we toured a part of the museum that shared a time line of the Antietam battle. My favorite part of that section was the bayonets displayed there. Then we watched a film that explained the battle in greater detail. Every one enjoyed the air conditioning and gained a greater perspective on the importance of this battle. After the film a man shed light on how the battle influenced not only the soldiers and the farm folk in the nearby area but the people from all over the states coming to help the 23,000 casualties. After the presentation the girl youth took a much needed nap on the hot benches. Then the whole crew went to Nutter’s ice cream shop.                  by Peyton,

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Day 3:  —  by Tommy  C&O website pics-20

Day three was remarkable only in its length: we bicycled over 40 miles that day.  We also visited Great Falls, a waterfall nearby the city of Washington, D.C.  There was also a thunderstorm that evening, with copious amounts of rain falling on the tents and campfire. Tommy

Day 4:  — by Tommy,

Day four was the shortest leg and last day of the trip at 11.5 mi., where we bicycled through mud to Washington, D.C.  After dealing with the mud as best we could – C&O website pics-02 C&O website pics-05,C&O  Website pic-06

we made our way to the end of the C&O canal trail, finishing our 110+ mile bicycle trip.  After all of this, we visited the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space and that of Natural History .  In order to avoid any more surprise rainstorms, we all left D.C. that evening and made our way back home.

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C & O Recap by Brennan,

C&O stands for Chesapeake and Ohio. There was once a canal that ran from Cumberland Maryland to Washington DC. It has served its time and being killed by the railroad it was converted into a scenic 200 mile trail. Our Crew traveled 100 of those miles from Williamsburg into downtown DC. We rode in a fleet of bikes in four days.

On the first day we launched fresh and well rested from home. We made our way into a cave, wreck our car and broke the air conditioning, and Vishal fell off a bridge. At camp we swam and played cards into the night. The tents were dry and the beds were [a little to] warm.

The second day we rode up hills in the scorching light of an unblocked sun. By midafternoon we had managed to make no forward progress whatsoever. We kept going though, flooded with morale knowing the road would be flat and the sun blocked by trees. We met a traveler at our camp that night who told us of some of his trekking adventures throughout the states and listen to the railroad cars running through the night.

On day three we went the farthest we had yet traveled in a day. It was relaxed and we had all grown accustom to the bikes. We visited massive falls and an island they sheltered. While trying to play cards at night the sky started to drizzle. Sitting around the camp fire it started to pour.  Electric crackling and pelting rain did not push us to the tents.  Only when bucket came and water was rising up our ankles did we retreat.  The tents were no longer dry. They were still warm though.

The morning of day four we decided that it would not be worth it to go on another night soaked. We packed up camp and headed for DC. It was very muddy. Our bikes got muddy, and we got muddy. We found a water pump and cleaned off (a little) and then finished the trip to DC. We visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Air and Space Museum, an art museum before leaving. We enjoyed our last meal of Red Robin before we returned home around 11:30 pm on our fourth day.

By Brennan

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