Day 6 began with rain early, so we slept an extra hour until all the rain drops had moved out of the area. Packing up began around 8:30 am with a freeze-dried “Breakfast Skillet” meal and a cup of tea. This was the first morning of our trip that we had to put away a wet tent. But by the time we climbed onto our bikes for the day, the sun had come out and the temperature had warmed up, making another great fall day for riding a bike. On this particular day Dear Husband commented that we were riding in “leaf rain.” For most of the morning we rode through a magical shower of multi-colored leaves.
One thing to keep in mind when taking this trip in October is the limited amount of daylight riding time available. The earlier sunset time along with cool nights after warm days causing a lot of moisture that needs to be dried before packing up in the morning limits the amount of pedaling time. We averaged about 4 1/2 hours of pedaling and around 45 miles traveled per day. With more hours of daylight a rider could spend a little more time exploring other things along the trail or cover more distance each day. We tried to keep a balance of miles covered and joy in the journey. We both agree that we could do the trip again and take a little more time exploring a few of the historic and scenic towns and parks that we pedaled by on this trip.
All of our time today was spent on the trail, so our meals were all from our stash of food we brought along. At lunch we stopped at one of the camping areas to use the picnic table and enjoyed some smoked salmon, tortillas, trail mix, candy bar, and potato sticks. While we were eating a man and woman bicycled by with packs attached and both pulling trailers. In the woman’s trailer was one dog and in the man’s were two dogs. The dogs appeared to be Shelties and were all standing excitedly at the edge of their trailers taking in the smells that raced past them. It made me a little homesick for our dog. He loves to be outdoors with both Dear Husband and I, but as much as I love him, I don’t know if I would be willing to pull the weight of a cart, his 30 pounds, and the food he would need for the journey….?! Guarding the home front is the better place for him and me!
At mile marker 85.6 is Big Slackwater and Dam #4 this, “2.7 miles of the towpath were renovated in 2012 and eliminated the need for the long standing detour. The $19 million restoration project included drilling into bedrock and erecting a concrete pathway along the river.” Trail Book 11th Edition
One of the few towns we passed by today was Williamsport, MD.
“General Ortho Holland Williams, the town’s namesake, gained renown due to his skillful leadership in the Revolutionary War and upon return laid out the formal township of Williams Port in 1787, with its distinctive wide streets. George Washington frequented the town and even considered it for the location of the new nation’s capital.” Trail Book 11 Edition
This day’s travels were once again filled with breath-taking beauty.
We stopped for the night at Killiansburg Cave camping area at mile marker 75.2. After setting up the tent, we fixed a supper of Pasta Primavera for me and Chili Mac and Beef for Dear Husband. It was a pleasant evening and we had easy access to the edge of the Potomac River. After testing the water temperature, Dear Husband decided a quick river bath would feel refreshing. I have a picture as testimony to his bathing in the Potomac, but will refrain from sharing it with the world.
Not nobody, not nohow! Wizard’s Guard
Dorothy: Do you suppose we’ll meet any wild animals?
Tin Man: We might.
Another night came to a close on our amazing journey.
261.72 miles traveled
27.52 hours of pedaling