June 27, 1997

New Germany, MD to Paw Paw, WV
57 miles

"Oh." [woman from the National Park Service who had told us we could bike the entire C&O Canal trail, upon hearing that we had road bikes (skinny tires)]
"Blair must die." [Mark Bazerman, during a particularly rough section of the C&O Canal trail]
"Get off of me, you freakin' gnat!!!" [Sandra White, in the park where most of the group camped]

The above quotes sound way more negative than the day really was, but they were memorable.

We first rode back out to highway 40, and then took that (actually 40 Alternate) through some rolling hills to Frostburg and eventually to Cumberland. Along the way we recorded probably the highest speeds of the trip (over 51mph for one or two people, vs. only 45.7mph for me). We also had perfect temperatures, a light breeze, and things were good. Frostburg was the late morning stop, and Mark Bazerman and I stayed there for an early lunch. After that we continued on to Cumberland, where most people ate lunch, and then we started riding along the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal towpath.

The C&O Canal towpath varies greatly in its composition over the 28 miles of it that we covered. Some parts are fairly smooth, other parts (generally short) are muddy, and the worst parts have gravel of various sizes. These bad parts reminded me of some of the road construction we encountered in Montana and other states, only there was no real relief for many miles. It would have been a great ride on a mountain bike, because it was basically a mild off-road type of ride.

Amazingly, there are only two more days of riding before we are all done. Thoughts of what it will be like to go back to our "normal" lives are starting to be quite frequent.

Here is a scene along the road out of New Germany State Park, before we got back out to highway 40:
Outside New Germany

This sign was at the top of a long downhill grade into Frostburg and Cumberland:
All trucks stop

Here is one view from the same general spot:
Summit view #1

And another:
Summit view #2

Someone before us wrote this on the pavement:
It's all downhill

This is the Tombstone Cafe (the sign also says "A unique undertaking"), where Mark Bazerman (pictured) and I ate lunch. It is also the former site of a tombstone manufacturer:
Tombstone Cafe

This is just as we started to enter Cumberland:
Entering Cumberland

The start of the C&O Canal towpath:
C&O path begins

Mark Bazerman on the C&O Canal towpath:
Mark on the C&O path

This shot, from the C&O Canal towpath, shows the hilly terrain we rode in earlier in the day and most of the past few days:
Hilly bits

This farm was next to the C&O Canal towpath:
Farm next to C&O path

A few of us are staying tonight at the Paw Paw Patch Bed & Breakfast, shown here with the hosts Kay and Bill Miller, and their dog Popcorn:
Paw Paw Patch B&B

[Today's and the previous two days pictures and text uploaded thanks to the Paw Paw Patch Bed & Breakfast in Paw Paw, WV 304/947-7496.]