Day 15 – Trap Pond State Park DE to Tuckahoe State Park MD

On Thursday, we got up relatively early (for us) and were on the road early, since we knew the ride would be over 40 miles. We had heard from many cyclists that the first 10 days of long distance pedaling are the most difficult, but on the 10th day, your endurance and strength becomes noticeably better. This seemed true for us too–everything about the 10th day of riding felt better than it had in the past.

Though the areas around the state parks were quiet and scenic, we spend much of our ride on highways including DE-13 and DE/MD-404. Although it is not as relaxing to ride with traffic, if the shoulders are wide, we can put many miles behind us and find plenty of places to stop, use a restroom, and eat on benches.

The google map biking directions were not great for this ride.

First, we missed our initial turn onto 404, since the directions weren’t correct, the ALT/BUS connector wasn’t well marked, or I wasn’t paying enough attention, and I’m still not sure which it was. After we stopped for lunch, we caught 16, which was much calmer and more scenic, and although it did add a few miles, we felt the detour was worth it.

SAM_0168

A word of caution for anyone using physical maps or google navigation to get to state park campgrounds: the bicycle directions into and out of parks are often inaccurate and circuitous, and lead you past the park office, which may be miles away from the campground. And back road entrances to the parks do not have the same helpful signs (if there are signs at all) that you find when you come from major roadways. Park roads also seldom appear on Maryland state maps.

However, and unbeknownst to me, the directions had us take another “short cut” to the park that turned out to include a left turn onto a road that was not a road at all, but rather an overgrown railroad. To the right, it looked like the track may have been removed been converted to a horse path. But to the left, it was overgrown and unsuitable for biking the almost two miles we were supposed to ride on it. We rode ahead and took the next left, but when we reached the next intersections, we had gone too far and the directions no longer made sense. To try to find our route again, we biked a few blocks one direction, then turned around, then biked a mile another direction, and then turned around before we stopped at a gas station to ask the locals. Unfortunately, they were only somewhat helpful, thinking in terms of motorists, and their advice put us on a route that was quite a bit longer. In the end, from the time we attempted the turn off, we added at least 8 miles by zigzagging toward the park at the time of day when we were the most tired and hungry, cross from being lost, and about the time the wind picked up and we had to ride straight into it.

So, what should have been a 46 mile day turned into a 56 mile day. On the other hand, like I wrote at the beginning, this is about the 10th day of cycling, and we still made it before dark and not quite as sore and exhausted as we would have been even a few days earlier.

Tuckahoe State Park Bicycle Camping in MD

Also, getting to campsites in April means plenty of firewood is easy to scavenge, so we made a fire and cooked our pasta dish again, this time with an olive oil sauce and vegetables, rather than a red sauce. Since we’ve become more obsessed with food, we also had chocolate cake donuts that Elizabeth had picked up on the way.

Overnight, we heard barred owls calling to one another. We also woke up when we heard some tiny animal (or large insect) walking around our tent or rustling around in the leaves near us. We never did figure out what it was. However, in the morning, we did discover a large black snake that lived under the sinks in the women’s bathroom (we stayed at the non-electric loop usually reserved for youth groups. We didn’t mind sharing the space, but I can’t imagine how it might go for the group of teenage girls that next discover a snake warming itself at their vanity).

black snake

Here is the snake climbing back into its home under and behind the sinks:
headed home

Overall, we thought the park was very nice with nice showers, but Elizabeth was sour to discover the vending machine would not take her quarters for a Coke. The area around the park is also quite pretty.

near Tuckahoe

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3 thoughts on “Day 15 – Trap Pond State Park DE to Tuckahoe State Park MD

  1. The country certainly is pretty. Look at the spring green! We’re still waiting here in Northcentral PA. Snow was flying today…I’m glad you’re getting your cycling legs and enjoying your ride.

  2. I am looking enviously at the green also. It’s that lovely spring green. So bight and cheerful. Maybe you could add some veggie burgers or double veggie cheese and bacon burgers (for Liz) to your diet? With chips and malted milk and a blueberry cheesecake for desert? It looks like you survive on so little for ones expending so much energy.I know I am begin a pain telling you do this and that, But I am just suggesting. šŸ™‚ Love you both and worry.

  3. At the house I grew up in (which my Wife and I now own,though it burned in June of ’11),there was a black snake that spent it’s life living underneath the bridge my Dad and I had built to cross the creek for our driveway,and I’m sure that tradition lasted a few generations of them. I remember when I wa syoung (5-6) Dad showing it to me as it munched on a field mouse,it wasn’t very big then,but a few years later I saw it (when I was 12 or 13 maybe) and it seemed 6’+ long,LOL! It never,not once ever bothered any of us,or our pets (outside dogs running pretty much free). Thanks for that memory šŸ™‚

    As always,great photos,my friend and thanks for the campsite with bike pics,those always interest me,pics of tents and bikes,LOL! IDK why they do,but they do šŸ˜› I hope y’all are having a great weekend so far šŸ˜€

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