The day has finally come to finish this journey! I had a very restful final night last night, listening to the bullfrogs chat with each other across the canal basin as I drifted off to sleep. Pushing the extra miles yesterday allowed me to have a very leisurely morning today. I even had enough time to build a little fire to keep me company as I ate breakfast. I only had about 38 miles of trail to ride today, plus the push through the city into D.C. proper. It was great watching the miles tick by as I got closer and closer to the city, and I was eased back into civilization by inbound jets following the Potomac on their final approach to Reagan and traffic on nearby roads gradually increasing. It was actually a pretty nice transition, and much less abrupt than I feared.
I had hoped that the trial conditions might improve as I got closer to the city, but that was certainly not the case. While the surface became even more hardpacked, it was also much more well-used, so their were some ruts, lots of rocks sticking out, and more pedestrian traffic. One of the highlights today was riding by and stopping to see Great Falls. I had no idea there were so many majestic rocky cliffs along the Potomac, and Great Falls is really spectacular. This little snapshot can hardly do it any justice.
I pushed on after snapping some pictures and eventually ended up in Georgetown around 1:00 p.m. It was rather anticlimactic, I must say, as I casually finished the trail and headed up into town. I was hungry, and had one meal left, so I fired up my stove in a shady spot near the Patagonia store and ate my beef stew. Belly full and bottles topped off, I rode into Washington and pedaled down the mall a bit, enjoying the fantastic sights of our nation’s capital.
Eric picked me up not far from the mall and drove me to his place, where I enjoyed a long hot shower, a shave, and clean dry clothes.
I will do an entry with lots of equipment notes and such, but I would like to mention that I made this trip without any flats, broken spokes, or other mechanical issues. To answer the question of whether a Trek hybrid can function as a loaded touring bike, the answer is most definitely yes, but with some qualifications that I’ll add later.
So that’s it…338.7 miles in six days. It was a great adventure. More updates coming soon…