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To The Town Inn in Harpers Ferry, Virginia: Midnight stalkers, a cell phone reunion and Beans In The Belfry

To The Town Inn in Harpers Ferry, Virginia: Midnight stalkers, a cell phone reunion and Beans In The Belfry

32 miles (51 km) – Total so far: 68 miles (109 km)

We had a bit of a scare late last night when we heard someone walking in the woods outside our tent. Craig got up and stood outside the tent watching as someone with a flashlight wandered around in the woods on the other side of the trail. Looking for a good place to bury a body perhaps? Craig watched as he walked over to the picnic table and started rummaging through the trashbag we had left there. Then he sat at the picnic table for a long time talking to himself for a disturbing 15 to 20 minutes or so before he finally started setting up a tent. We figured he wasn’t there to rob us if he was setting up a tent for the night so we went to sleep.

Except for our intruder, it was a good night. We slept well. Our mystery neighbor was still in his tent when we packed up and left in the morning so his story will forever remain unknown to us.

Our first two miles were muddy but after that the trail was in pretty good condition. Much of today’s trail was rather remote and we saw very few people. Just woods, locks, lockhouses and the ever present canal to our right. We continue to miss the rain and even saw the sun periodically throughout the day. The temperature has been in the high 50s/low 60s the past two days. We haven’t been able to take off our jackets. But it is supposed to get warmer with no rain predicted for the next week.

Late this morning as we were riding along, Craig noticed a blackberry cellphone lying in the middle of the trail. He picked it up and looked through the contacts before deciding to call the one called ‘Dad.’ Dad said it belonged to his daughter and he would try to contact her (maybe someone else with her had a phone?) and call us back. So we kept riding.

Several miles later we ran across three teenagers, a girl and two guys, fishing on the canal. We asked them if they lost a cellphone and one grateful teen was reunited with her phone. A happy ending to one of our little stories of the day.

We had lunch at Beans in the Belfry Café in the neat little town of Brunswick, the only town we found along the trail today. After some delicious sandwiches, chocolate milkshakes and hot spiced apple cider we cycled the last four miles to the historic town of Harpers Ferry where we had a reserved room at The Town Inn.

The last few miles to Harpers Ferry is magnificent. The trail runs high above the Potomac which is quite wide here and white-crested as the water rushes around the huge rock formations. It has a decided New England feel to it. The C&O here joins with the Appalachian Trail for a short while and we noticed the Appalachian Trail markers. We hope to hike some of the AT some day. Future adventure!

A metal spiral staircase is the only way up to the bridge crossing the Potomac River to Harpers Ferry. Craig and I took all of our bags off the bikes and I stayed with the bags while Craig carried the unloaded bikes up to the top of the bridge. While I was waiting there several bicycles rode up and offered to help carry our bags up. Really nice guys!

The entire town of Harpers Ferry is on the historic register and it is fascinating. Not much is open during the week but we enjoyed walking around town looking at the old buildings and had a tasty dinner in the restaurant on the bottom floor of our B&B. The Town Inn, where we are staying tonight was built in the 1800s and currently is a mix between a B&B and a hostel. We reserved one of the private rooms and are enjoying a luxurious night in a bed. Tomorrow night it is back to camping!

We are looking at our itinerary and considering taking an extra day and lowering our planned daily mileage. Today we only covered 30 miles and we are exhausted. The bumpy, rooty, muddy C&O is difficult terrain and really beats up your body. So far the entire trail is like the worst sections of the Katy Trail. It is impossible to go very fast and takes a long time to cover any distance. We are having a good time but boy are my legs SORE!!!

WILDLIFE SO FAR:

White tail doe – she stood in the middle of the trail waiting for us, then turned around, lifted her fluffy white tail in the air and pranced away.

HUGE owl – he was sitting on a branch above us just staring at us. Not sure what kind as he didn’t have the tufts of a great horned owl but was way too big for a barn owl.

Wild turkeys

Peregrine falcon – beautiful! It was in the grass next to the trail and waited until Craig was nearly next to him before flying away.

This was about the worst mud we encountered on the trail today. We saw a lot of these during the first two miles but not many after that.

This was about the worst mud we encountered on the trail today. We saw a lot of these during the first two miles but not many after that.

Breakfast at the Turtle Run hiker/biker campground. Very good water from the pump there.

Breakfast at the Turtle Run hiker/biker campground. Very good water from the pump there.

For breakfast: Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Andy's Dandys Granola Mix and hot chai tea. YUM!

For breakfast: Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Andy’s Dandys Granola Mix and hot chai tea. YUM!

My batteries putzed out in my camera so all my pics are from my iPhone today...

My batteries putzed out in my camera so all my pics are from my iPhone today…

Nature trail pic

Nature trail pic

Craig found this little lost cellphone on the trail today.

Craig found this little lost cellphone on the trail today.

A happy reunion!

A happy reunion!

My beautiful bike just hanging out on the bridge.

My beautiful bike just hanging out on the bridge.

C & O Canal Path

C & O Canal Path

The Monocacy Aqueduct

The Monocacy Aqueduct

Our Surlys taking a break by the river

Our Surlys taking a break by the river

Along the trail...

Along the trail…

One of the funniest cases of helmet head I've ever seen!

One of the funniest cases of helmet head I’ve ever seen!

This lockhouse was fancy; it had a front porch.

This lockhouse was fancy; it had a front porch.

The beautiful Potomac River

The beautiful Potomac River

No Motor Vehicles

No Motor Vehicles

Break time

Break Time

Waiting on the train to cross the tracks into Brunswick.

Waiting on the train to cross the tracks into Brunswick.

Had a wonderful lunch at Bean in the Belfry Cafe in Brunswick, MD. Neat place. It is an old church building that has been converted into a coffee house.

Had a wonderful lunch at Bean in the Belfry Cafe in Brunswick, MD. Neat place. It is an old church building that has been converted into a coffee house.

Once again it is my super-strong amazing husband, Craig, to the rescue as he totes our bikes up the bridge to get into Harpers Ferry.

Once again it is my super-strong amazing husband, Craig, to the rescue as he totes our bikes up the bridge to get into Harpers Ferry.

Reassembling the bikes at the top of the bridge.

Reassembling the bikes at the top of the bridge.

Looking down the bridge to Harpers Ferry.

Looking down the bridge to Harpers Ferry.

The historic town of Harpers Ferry, Virginia

The historic town of Harpers Ferry, Virginia

This is one half of the Town Inn where we spent the night. This half is the hostel with Ms. Rose's Psychic Readings on the bottom floor. Interesting. Ms. Rose wasn't in. I think she only works on the weekends.

This is one half of the Town Inn where we spent the night. This half is the hostel with Ms. Rose’s Psychic Readings on the bottom floor. Interesting. Ms. Rose wasn’t in. I think she only works on the weekends.

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Does the sign by the door look familiar to my St. Louis friends? This was a Lewis & Clark museum. They are well known in these parts too.

Does the sign by the door look familiar to my St. Louis friends? This was a Lewis & Clark museum. They are well known in these parts too.

Jefferson Rock

Jefferson Rock

What a pretty place.

What a pretty place.

This is the other side of the The Town Inn where we stayed. Our bedroom and sitting room was on the top floor. The bottom floor is a restaurant.

This is the other side of the The Town Inn where we stayed. Our bedroom and sitting room was on the top floor. The bottom floor is a restaurant.

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