Day 6: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Brunswick, MD to Washington, DC

It was Bike to Work Day!!!!! Even better, we weren’t at work. Suck it work. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a Brunswick Bike to Work Day pit stop to be found.
The night before stayed at the Brunswick Family Camp Ground knowing full well it could be very loud due to the freight train switching yard just a few hundred feet away. It didn’t not disappoint. This is the location where CSX switches freight cars between various trains headed for various locations across the country. When they switch one car over to another train on a parallel train it is rammed into the correct train to connect it. Bang!!!!! However, this motion forces all the other cars, or most depending on the length of train, in that line to make a similar noises because the car couplings are not particularly tight fitting. BANG!!!! BANG!!!! (Stir and repeat about 50 times). Imagine that the train cars are dominos. Needless to say, I took a sleeping pill. It was mostly successful. The camp was great but loud. However, the clean showers for glorious after two full riding days without showering.
#NoWrongPlan woke up early to Bike to Work Day except we weren’t working. Suck it work. After to loud night next to the railroad tracks, we all needed coffee in the worst way. When in Brunswick there is only one solution to this problem: Beans in the Belfry. Unfortunately, they didn’t know we were coming because they don’t open until 9. I repeat, the coffee shop doesn’t open until 9 AM [shaking my head]. An adequate solution was to coast down the hill to Railroaders Tea and Coffee which was perfectly acceptable. Although Rootchopper was sad about the lack of fritters.
After forcefully injecting coffee and pastries into our pie hole, #NoWrongPlan left Brunswick and hit the trail. Having ridden this section of the C&O between Brunswick and DC before it felting comforting to know the trail and its waypoints. We made steady progress throughout the morning discussing when we though we might run into our first #bikedc escort into town. It was a beautiful day to be out on a bike. The wildlife were out in force with four or five deer crossing in front of us and numerous birds. We saw a large crane along the trail which took off and flew parallel to us for awhile above the canal. It was amazing to watch the grace of such a large bird.
The trail was also starting to smooth out. In the early section of the C&O the trail can surprise you with rocks and tree roots. In the best case scenario, this surprise makes you thankfully for holding onto the bars strongly. In the worst case, a flat, rim damage, or a crash occurs. In other words, on the C&O you need to stay alert. The last 30 or 40 miles of the C&O approaching DC seems to smooth out for whatever reason. Maybe the increased use over time has help make this portion of the trail smoother. Upon reaching White’s Ferry I bought a seriously over-priced snack of ice cream sandwich and Gatorade at the little store next to the ferry. $7 please. But at that moment I didn’t care. Best 7 bucks I ever spent.
The end was near. Around Mile Marker 29 we ran into Ryan Heitz who took to day off to meet us and ride up to Brunswick on Bike to Work Day. SUCK IT WORK!!! We talked and took pictures, then Ryan continued on his way, enjoying his “work” day.
Ryan came out to meet us and get in his own C&O ride on this terrific day. Photo by The DCyclist

Ryan came out to meet us and get in his own C&O ride on this terrific day. Photo by The DCyclist

I could really feel the end coming and my mood was riding high. This is the victory lap portion of #NoWrongPlan. We knew there might be a group waiting to escort us into town. We weren’t wrong. Once reached the Great Falls Tavern we spotted Rudi on his mountain bike. At Great Falls, the trail smoothes a lot with tiny gravel with a consistent surface. Between the smoothness and a sensing of the end, I turned up the pace about 3-4 mph and the rest of #NoWrongPlan followed suit. After filling his water bottles Rudi finally caught up to us. I don’t think he was expecting us to move that quickly on weighted touring bikes. We were like Mark Cavendish in the Tour de France. Really? Ok, maybe not. Rudi floated throughout our tiny group chatting about the trip and what we missed around #bikedc as we ride into town. Once we intercepted the Capital Cresent Trail we dropped down to pavement. Oh how I had missed the smooth ride of pavement. Just a few miles later we intercepted Mary who took an hour off work to come and escort us. Thanks Mary. It was a great surprise seeing you.
Mary took so time off work to escort us back into DC. Thanks Mary!!!! Photo by The DCyclist

Mary took so time off work to escort us back into DC. Thanks Mary!!!! Photo by The DCyclist

Finally we arrived in Georgetown. Mission Complete. Victory has arrived!!!!! Of course, we had to take a photo of the moment and the Georgetown waterfront provided the perfect backdrop.
#NoWrongPlan did it!!!! Photo by Mary

#NoWrongPlan did it!!!! Photo by Mary Gersemalina

We all, except for Mary who returned to work, rode to Glen’s Market to celebrate with beers and friends. Afterwards, #nowrongplan shook hands and congratulated each other before we rode off into the sunset.
This was my first multi-day tour. I didn’t know if I was up to it physically or mentally. The whole thing was sort of a leap of faith. In the end, it was one of the best vacations I have ever had. Since then, I have done other tours with more planned in the future. The bikepacking itch has definitely struck.
I want to thank Kevin and John for helping throw this trip together on relatively short notice. It was an honor riding with both of you. In addition, I want to thank Meth Man where ever you are. You provided more entertainment and humor than you could ever know.

One thought on “Day 6: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Brunswick, MD to Washington, DC

  1. Pingback: Day 5: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, North Mountain Campsite to Brunswick, MD | The DCyclist

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