Monday, November 07, 2011

Cycling along the C&O

This Sunday, T. and I ventured over to the Maryland side of Great Falls and biked along the C&O Canal for an hour or so.

We had no time constraint (other than the setting sun) and took our time pedaling north and enjoying the post-peak scenery.

We found a camping area at Lock 21 and took a few photos of the Potomac, the waterfall of the lock, and the waterfall of the spillway down to the Potomac. On the way back south, I spotted a Great Blue Heron squatting on a stump across the canal.

We also spotted some mallards paddling about the canal. The three drakes' heads were brilliant green. The one hen in their company was drab, of course. It constantly amuses me that the female of our species is the more flamboyant sex, aside from drag queens.

After passing the information building, we pedaled south a bit further and found a boardwalk leading to an observation deck. I figured that boardwalk would dump us right onto the deck like on the Virginia side of the falls. Nope. It was about a half-mile hike (okay, not exactly a hike since the boardwalk was fairly flat and easily navigable) and I snapped lots of photos of small falls and gorges and rocks. And my own shadow.

And the views from the observation deck? Totally worth the walk. Not quite as spectacular as the Virginia side, but still pretty darn cool.

About this time, I remembered that we had left our bikes unlocked and, even worse, I'd left my pannier (containing car keys and WALLET) the rack. I had horrific visions of my poor Rose being snatched, or even worse, the pannier being grabbed. I practically ran back to the bikes and, to my great relief, found them and my pannier completely unmolested. In fact, several other unlocked bikes had joined our happy little trust corner. Phew!

T. eventually finished taking photos and joined me for a very short jaunt further south. The path was choked with pedestrians and I didn't feel safe (for myself or them) riding through them. T. was starting to tire out and the sun was getting lower and lower in the trees. Time to head back to the parking lot and pack up for the trip home.

Scott and I will have to go up and explore the trail on our bikes. He's never taken the northern route and I'd like to go further afield and find out what lies ahead. I'd also like to go south when there are less people to dodge.

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