I had been looking forward to this day the whole trip for many reasons. First and foremost, my friend and teacher Eric Stark was going to meet me at Taylor’s Landing so we could tour Antietam together. Also, this day was a chance to get off the trail for a little bit, see some other sights, ride on pavement, and log relatively low miles after my 56, 73, and 65 mile days. I broke camp early, working hard to stay out of the way of my new friends from Phoenix Bikes. There were 17 of them total, 5 of them adults, and they had enough on their hands without me complicating their morning. So, I was back on the trail by about 8:30 or so, which was earlier than my typical day. As it turns out, this was perfect. There’s a small detour around the trail at Dam #4 that adds some miles. It’s beautiful countryside and the terrain is very gently rolling. With the added miles, I arrived at the boat ramp just a few minutes before Eric. Together we rode into Sharpsburg and on to Antietam. For the ride around the Battlefield I dropped my bags at the visitor center and pedaled with ease. I couldn’t believe how fast it was! The tour is very nice and emotionally stirring.
After our ride around the Battlefield we tried to get some lunch in Sharpsburg, without success. So, we ended up getting in the van and driving to Hagerstown for a meal, then Eric dropped me off back at the trail and I pedaled on. Here’s a pic, taken just before I departed down the trail after lunch.
So on I went, back into the woods and down the trail. I pushed for a bit longer than anticipated, and ended up with 57 miles on the day. My original goal had been to get within 50 miles of Georgetown today, and after reaching that point I still felt good, so I pushed on to the 38 mile post to camp.
It was a really great day, and I ended the ride even closer to the end than I had anticipated. I enjoyed my visit with Eric, a speedy and lightweight ride around Antietam, and a nice quiet campsite along the Potomac. One more day…I think I just might actually make it!