I spent my three week vacation in August 2010 on a car tour of scenic and natural areas in central and western Pennsylvania. This included a two night tour along the Allegheny River Trail, and what turned into a two night supported tour on the Great Allegheny Passage and C & O Canal to end the trip. However, the support wasn’t planned for originally. My riding partner JAGraham was taken ill and under doctor’s orders not to exert herself. So we scrapped a planned three days of backpacking and she gave up riding with me on the GAP aside from the downhill into Cumberland, Maryland. Still, we had fun. Including my supported tour on the last weekend in August.

Our plan for Friday was that I’d make my way to Cumberland, MD, store my car and excess gear there, and ride to Oldtown on the C & O, where JAGraham would pick me up and take me back to our campsite on Mount Davis, PA’s highest peak. Then on Saturday I’d start a two day ride of the ‘Western Maryland’ portion of the Great Allegheny Passage. I parked the car in the long term lot at Cumberland and headed south in the late afternoon.

Aside from the area around Harper’s Ferry and the final 30 some miles into DC, my favorite stretch of the C & O is Cumberland to Oldtown. It had a variety of terrain and landscape, and avoids the ‘green tunnel’ effect I find on much of the C & O. This is at Lock 75 on the canal.

I made descent progress on the hard, dry trail, save for my hands. Now that I’d improved my saddle by finding a sweeter spot, my hands had been going numb after a few miles of riding. Fortunately that’s a good excuse to take a photo. Unfortunately I want to get to the point I can ride and ride without stopping. Like these through tourists I met at Pigman’s Ferry.

Still, if I have to stop, it’s nice to stop in places like this:

JAGraham picked me up at Oldtown, we dined in Cumberland, and then went back up the mountain.