Entries Tagged as Maryland
I had hoped that a nice, sunny day and cool spring temperatures would combine to help make my first-ever bike overnight memorable. And, while my companions and I did get a remarkable trip up the C&O Canal Towpath from Washington, D.C., the weather we wanted wasn't what we got. It started raining the moment we left our starting point, the downtown D.C. building where I work. It rained as we cycled through trendy Georgetown, where we got a little lost and I almost got mowed down by a big delivery truck in rush hour traffic. And, it rained long past the time when we shivered ourselves to sleep.
Salisbury, Maryland, is known to many cyclists as the home of the Sea Gull Century. However, with at least five state park campgrounds within a 30-mile radius, it is also an ideal base for an overnight or other short tour. One of my most memorable trips was a night spent at Assateague State Park timed to coincide with a launch from the NASA Flight Center at Wallops Island, Virginia.
I wanted my nine-year-old son to enjoy our trip, and enjoy the ride, but not have it be so tough that we “mis-educate” him. In other words, ruin him for life on the thing we love most, touring on the bike. Our family cannot be described as sedentary, nor are we over-the-top workout fanatics (anymore). Well, maybe we are, but we’ve cut back a lot. We jokingly refer to our family, by the name of our favorite bull on the PBR circuit, “House of Pain.” But, that needs to stay a joke ... well, most of the time.
In 1843, Johann and Catherine Hagemeyer left their native Germany on a three-masted sailing ship in search of freedom and opportunity. After 45 days and one cyclone at sea, they and 180 other immigrants arrived in Baltimore. With two young children and three heavy trunks, Johann and Catherine boarded a small, steam-powered train for the first leg of a 25-day journey by rail and canal to the farmland of Ohio. Johann Hagemeyer was my great-great-grandfather. In researching his immigration, I made an unexpected discovery: The route of his train ride is now a scenic bike trail.
In the early hours of my overnight, I stopped to watch the family coming my way. The young woman was smiling with two sleepy toddlers sitting in child bicycle seats somehow attached behind the seat of her bicycle. Trailing behind was a large bicycle trailer that appeared to be filled with everything, maybe even the kitchen sink. We were on the C&O Canal Trail several miles west of Harpers Ferry.