Lockhouse C&O Canal bike trip
June 17th, 2013
“Nature spontaneously keeps us well. Do not resist her!” ~Thoreau
*Dang! All these pictures uploaded in reverse order — I am too lazy to fix that — so enjoy our trip from end to start*
We did another lockhouse bike trip tour this past weekend, similar to our 2012 trip, but this time we stayed at different lockhouses, and also it was just the two of us. I have been spending the majority of my weekday hours (like 80+) in front of my computer, busy as ever, so getting out of the city by bike on a Friday afternoon, with a weekend of good weather ahead, was the best remedy I could have imagined for the past two days. Thankfully, bike-butt is a slightly different (and much more welcome) kind of pain than office-chair-butt.
I picked up a copy of The C&O Canal Companion the first night from the lockhouse bookshelf, and I started reading about the history of the canal construction, the Civil War, battles with the railroad lines, the floods, and the lockhouse life for the familes that lived and worked there. I don’t usually get into historical reads like that, but it was all so fascinating. Apparently in the 50s, many years after the canal went out of use, there were plans to turn it into a parkway for cars. We have Supreme Court Justice William O. Justice to thank for spearheading a movement to keep the canal system preserved as a park. He and 8 other people actually hiked the entire 184 miles of it to bring awareness to the situation. That is seriously awesome.
Anyways, the ol’ brain wheels are a-turning now about biking the whole thing all the way to Pittsburgh. I haven’t checked the elevation map for the trail after Cumberland, but I’m pretty sure that will help change my mind…
campfire! Matt split the logs. It was amazing.
watching the sun go down over the water
omg this place. It didn’t look like much. in fact, when we first opened the door and I saw the inside, I quickly shut the door again and asked Matt if we should go somewhere else. So glad we didn’t. Best random sushi and pu pu platter ever. Like, great enough to pose out front of this place with a thumbs up. Also look how cute our bikes are, flanking the entryway.
wiiiide open spaces
venturing off the canal towpath and into Poolesville for dinner = fields and farms as far as you can see
we played Checkers at the second lockhouse. it had been so long since we played that we had to look up the rules of how to play. Matt won, I am still sore about that.
we watched a bit of a kayak lesson from the bridge above. note to self: go kayaking soon
thank goodness Matt has the longest arms ever to fully capture ourselves in all our sweaty glory.
secret: my Camelbak is filled with gin&tonic
ready to roll on Saturday morning
our humble lockhouse abode for the evening
Lock #6. The greeness in the water is just an unreal color, I love it. Nature is so vibrant.
heading out on the C&O Canal on a beautiful Friday evening in June
June 11th, 2013
So we have never taken Bowser on a boat before but decided to take him canoeing/camping with us this weekend. His only previous experience with water was disastrous — last summer we took him to the beach. He went buck wild, swimming into the waves like a crazy man, and loving the water, a surprisingly good swimmer for his small size. Unfortunately, Bowser’s mouth opens to like 3 times the size of normal when he swims and he ends up swallowing ALL. THE. WATER. And he got really sick. But he loved it so so much, we wanted to give him another swimming chance. So, we got him a little doggie life vest (omg it’s so cute on him) and thought that it would keep his head above water enough, and that maybe fresh water would be safer for him to swim, in case he swallowed as much as he did before. Also, he was a little less than happy to be wearing a giant flotation device, so we thought it would slow his roll enough to make him more manageable around the water. We were wrong. He was in that thing for about 0.3 seconds before he took off, swimming straight out into the river with all his little might. Mouth wide open. We hadn’t even put our canoes in the water yet when he was halfway out into the water, as you can see clearly in the above photo of his little head sticking up behind Matt. He was making no signs of coming back to shore, rather was heading down river without us, so luckily Matt bravely jumped into the water to bring him back. As soon as Bowser saw his father jump in after him, I think he realized he was in trouble and started turning back. He spent the rest of the day safely inside the canoe, probably wishing he hadn’t blown all his swimming chances in one defiant act first thing in the morning. How do you train your dog to close his mouth? He was floating all right thanks to the vest, but man his jaw just was hanging wide open in excitement. We gotta work on that somehow…
Here is Bowser, post rescue. Me and Zoe looking on like “what the hell just happened??” and Matt does not look happy to be soaking wet before we even started the day. Thank you to Alex for capturing these moments.
We camped under this train trestle. Pretty cool spot. Also loud.
twisted fire starter
our new tent!! we got it up in the dark with almost no arguing. thank you LL Bean!!
best camping friends
Mike’s amazing pants/shorts
eeee!! so cute. Bowser and Lloyd making friends.
The rest of the trip was relaxing and uneventful — sipping beers in the sunshine, floating downriver, campfire fajitas for dinner, napping in the tent, playing with the doggies. And, no bug bites. Great success!!
then there are these
June 6th, 2013
Matt had the great idea to play with the iPhone panorama function… and here’s what we got — really, you have to click to enlarge these — random arrays of body parts, Bowsers galore (he likes to run and chase after you if you start frolicking around in a field). Weird? yes. Creepy? yes.
swim bike run etc
June 3rd, 2013
We spent the weekend in Rock Hall, MD with family — on Saturday we checked out the farmers market and shops in Chestertown, walked around by the water, listened to a concert in the park, and had a lovely dinner out. Sunday morning was our sprint triathlon. It had been awhile since we’d done one — but it felt pretty good and the course was awesome!!
best. boat. ever. (also, Instagram really brings out my freckles)
Matt helping a snapping turtle across the road with a car scraper. he was feisty about it (the turtle).
Amos, ready to roll on race morning
race markings — still 29!!!! for another month anyways
waiting to start in the transition area
swim! Val and I are in there somewhere
Matt and Val. ‘Merica!
zombie girl, Matt, me, port-a-potties
May 31st, 2013
When we got home last week, our first CSA box (from Karl’s Farm) was awaiting us!! YAY greens! It was a much needed and welcome dietary change after 4 days of fried conch and rum drinks. We had salads almost all week, and I discovered that I realy
like love raw radishes with salt and pepper on them. This is going to be so great, I can’t wait for the next deliveries, it’s going to be like Christmas on the doorstep every Friday.