After Tom dropped us off on the east side of the Susquehanna, we had a nice, scenic ride, and stopped under an old railroad bridge.
Not too far on the other side, however, was a very steep road with blind corners. We’d just started pushing when a guy with a pickup offered us a ride to the top. Since we’d already accepted a ride, were still sore from the previous day, and were weary of pushing bikes up steep roads with blind curves, we said yes. It was still tough to get our fully loaded bikes into the back of a truck!
After that, the ride through Cecil county Maryland was quite nice, and we made great time through farmlands, small towns, and rural residences. In early afternoon we reached North East and passed through, feeling great about our progress and looking forward to our camp site. In retrospect, we should have stopped to eat a real meal and rest, since getting into Elk Neck State Park was much more difficult and stressful than we anticipated.
Elk Neck State Park sits on a small peninsula that juts into the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay. I suppose we assumed that it would be flat-ish along the edge of the Chesapeake, but it is not flat there! The hills got steeper and steeper as we got further from North East, and by the time we had to start pushing our bikes, the shoulders disappeared too. And there was a surprising amount of traffic: cars and cars and trucks, campers, and tour buses. Actually, we do not recommend the experience of biking into the park, especially for anyone who has a loaded touring bike and is tired. We did like the park, though we were disappointed the camp store (and internet) were not available on Mondays or Tuesdays.
We did eventually make it and had rice, chili, and vegetables for dinner. Then we made a campfire and ate pastries and tea before crashing.
While taking pictures I met one of the few other campers, who quietly pointed out a woodpecker that she’d been watching. They offered us breakfast, but I regretfully declined, since we had hard boiled eggs to eat and needed to get a head start on the hills we had just tackled on the ride in.