Monday, September 30, 2019

GAP / C&O Adventure Day 8: Fort Fredrick to Shepherdstown

We woke up to no rain, had a quick breakfast and packed up our gear...the rain started almost immediately.

We had put on our rain jackets, but it didn't seem like it was that bad, so did not put on rain pants. That was a big mistake.

Lockhouse and dam

Two hours later, we found ourselves in Williamsport, Maryland — very wet and pretty cold. So we grabbed some snacks from a nearby Sheetz convenience store and made our way to the local park where are we took over one of the picnic shelters. We pulled a Flash Dance and changed from our wet biking clothes into our dry street clothes, hung out all of our wet items, made ourselves some hot drinks, and waited for the rain to stop.

In the meantime we realized that we were situated right behind the public library, so took advantage of their Wi-Fi and restrooms. You can always count on public libraries to meet your basic needs. They are wonderful places.

Fun in Williamsport
We eventually came upon the part of the towpath known as the "Big Slackwater." The path has been reconstructed and there was a bit of smooth pavement riding for a bit as well as some wonderful views along the river.

By this time, we had decided that we would not be camping that night, as all of the little campgrounds were pretty wet. This meant that we had to ride quite a bit farther than we had planned. But as we rode up to the hotel in Shepherdstown, it all made it worthwhile! Hot showers, a load of laundry and camp dinner in our room. Ahhhhh.

Lodging: Clarion

Total mileage for the day: 44.6 miles

Tip: The Clarion was about a mile and a half off the trail, but fairly easy to get to, and had a washer/dryer.

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