We awoke to the sound of a cyclist pedaling by in the dark. But we slept in another hour or two, and headed further along the canal path. The ride was easy and scenic. Here are some pictures of the morning.
We went very slowly at the beginning, trying to get pictures of the turtles sunning themselves on every piece of wood that stuck out of the water. When they heard us approaching, they’d dive in. Or, they’d watch us pass, and slip into the water the moment we stopped. We also saw a heron.
We arrived at Harper’s Ferry on the opposite bank. Our directions had us taking the same footbridge that the Appalachian Trail uses to cross the river. It is truly a footbridge and not a pedestrian and cyclist bridge, since you can only access it with stairs on the Virginia side. As a result, we had to carry our loaded bikes up the staircase, which was quite a haul. We’ve heard there are plans to eventually put a ramp up on that side, and we really hope they do. It would be a great feature for both the C&O trail and for the town.
Once we crossed over, we promptly bought frozen custard, stopped into the outfitter, and then pushed our bikes up the hill to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Elizabeth got to look up the polaroid of her, taken on her through-hike in 2002, as well as chat with “Poptart”, who hiked the trail the same year.
We were staying with Pete and Darlene, friends of Elizabeth’s from when she lived in Fredrick, MD. Sadly, Darlene was away giving a presentation on her archaeological findings, but Pete was a great host, and made us tacos for dinner. We ate a lot and watched the season finale of Project Runway.
We stayed around an extra day in Harper’s Ferry, since Elizabeth’s parents drove down to meet us. We walked around the town, spending time reading the historical markers about the US armory, John Brown’s raid, and the town’s changing fortunes during the Civil War.
We also stopped at a candy shop that featured historical developments and innovations in candy-making. Elizabeth and Henry really appreaciated this shop.
Henry and Linda then took us out to dinner in Shepherdstown, where we got to sleep in a hotel.