Overnight bike adventure out of DC – Day 2

Yesterday, June 16, Lexi and I cycled out of DC through the evening light to camp at Horsepen Campsite, along the C & O Canal, on our first bike tour together.

After a fun night camping beside the river, we were shaken from our slumber at 6 this morning by the unexpected sound of a truck rumbling into camp – the last thing I expected when we’re far into the woods with no road access. Turns out it was a trail crew coming in to empty out the port-a-loo (toilet) at camp. Following an inevitable snooze it was time to strike camp and return to DC. I’d been eaten alive by mosquitos the previous evening – I stopped counting at 30 bites.

The same slow puncture that caused problems yesterday evening persisted all the way home, so every couple of miles I had to stop to pump up the rear tyre, a rather frustrating process when repeated over and over. So it was that we returned home, stopping at various locks and sights along the way, taking photos, enjoying the woods and the river. It always amazes me that even on the shortest of tours, on familiar terrain, one always sees new things, enjoys new experiences or meets wonderful people. We saw plenty of wildlife, including herons, turtles, turkey vultures, northern cardinals, snakes, toads and fireflies. We met some fellow cyclists who had travelled all the way from Pittsburgh on the full C&O/GAP tour – an 8 or 9 day itinerary that is on our list.

We rolled into DC around lunchtime, having been out for less than 24 hours. In that time we’d cycled 60 miles and spent a night out in the woods. Pretty good for a Sunday evening.

Some photos from the day:

Lexi drawing up water from the well

Lexi drawing up water from the well

Idyllic conditions on the trail

Idyllic conditions on the trail

Heron fishing

Heron fishing

Resting outside one of the historic lock houses

Resting outside one of the historic lock houses

At Great Falls

At Great Falls

Getting close to Georgetown

Nearly home – getting close to Georgetown

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