3-day tour in DC, MD, VA - Includes Martha's longest day of riding yet!
We had a great time, riding a hair over 100 miles in three days, including Martha's longest day of riding yet - 48 miles on the second day.
Martha and her bike in the DC Metro, on the way to the trailhead in Dunn-Loring/ Merrifield, VA
Martha on the Washington and Old Dominion rail trail in Virginia
We stayed overnight at a hotel in Leesburg (there are no campsites on the W&OD). In the morning, we got back on the trail and rode to Purcellville.
W&OD in Virginia
We crossed about 12 miles of Virginia on the roads, towards Brunswick, MD and the Chesapeake & Ohio trail.
Storm damage on the C&O is, on the whole fairly light, with a few rough spots.
We picked up some water about 10 miles south of Brunswick, at a local convenience store. We should have gotten more than we did!
An hour later, we were again low on water, and the water pumps on the trail were turned off - the park does this when the water quality is unacceptable. We went off the trail for about 5 or 6 miles, seeking water, unsuccessfully. After a 48-mile day, we set up camp at the Chisel Branch campsite, near the Goose Creek River Lock on the C&O.
Cooking dinner with rationed water
We were able to get water about 15 miles later, from some friendly car campers who had brought a lot of it with them.
Snapping turtle (ID'd by a trail volunteer) on the C&O
At the Great Falls on the Potomac River
After leaving the Falls (which are spectacular!), Martha started feeling unsteady and was getting heat rash on her forearms. (She's very pale to begin with, and goes through a lot of sunscreen.) Martha didn't feel capable of riding any more, so she phoned her Father for a pickup (her folks live only a few miles away) and we called it a day 3 miles from mile zero of the C&O. Finding an access point by car took him a few hours; I had to ride to him, and then we found an access point where I could ride to Martha and then escort her back to the car, slowly.