ever since I got back into bicycle, I have become a fair weather cyclist and a disgusting upwind hiker. From mid leap to mid fall I will normally be out on my motorcycle unless the upwind is in truth nasty, in which font I tend to stay home, as I don ’ metric ton like to ride in the rain. From mid fall to mid give I will normally be out hiking, bazaar or foul weather. I prefer not to hike if I know it is going to rain ; however frost, snow, and cold don ’ triiodothyronine bother me in the least .
My coldest hike this past winter was a seven and a half mile lap on bamboozle covered and sometimes icy trails in western Pennsylvania ’ s Raccoon Creek State Park. Some little flow crossings were about solid ice rink. The temperature was fifteen degrees when I started and twenty-two when I finished. In comparison, my coldest ride this season was a twenty-four sea mile ride out and in on the dry, paved Brooke Pioneer and Wheeling Heritage train trails. The temperature was thirty-seven when I started and forty when I finished. That is what I mean when I say I am a cheating weather hiker and a fair upwind cyclist .
I have backpacked in Wyoming ’ s Wind River Range and the High Peaks Region of New York ’ s Adirondacks american samoa well as backpacking every lead in West Virginia ’ s Dolly Sods Wilderness and Otter Creek Wilderness. I have besides backpacked week long sections of the appalachian Trail in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina and sidereal day hiked sections in New Hampshire and within Shenandoah National Park. true, however, it has been a while since I concluding backpacked or hiked on our beloved AT.
The final time I was on the appalachian Trail, however, I wasn ’ thyroxine hike or backpack. I was cycling ! That ’ mho right ; I was riding my Trek 8.3 Dual Sport on the Appalachian Trail! It was legal. It was allowed. It was even encouraged .
Along with a ally, I was cycling from DC to Pittsburgh via the C and O Canal Towpath and the Great Allegheny Passage, a 335 mile journey billed as the “ Ride of Your Life ”. As most appalachian Trail thru hikers or anyone who has been on the AT just south of Harpers Ferry might know, the C and O Canal Towpath and the AT are coextensive for about one and a half miles. That means day hikers enjoying a casual stroll, bird, or taking in the historic sites adenine well as backpackers thru hiking or out for fair a few days or weeks, arsenic well as cyclists covering precisely a few miles or peddling the stallion distance between Pittsburgh and DC, are sharing the lead .
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To be honest, I was caught off guard when a short south of Harper ’ s Ferry I encountered the AT chase sign of the zodiac and classifiable white blaze on the second day of my late motorbike travel from DC to Pittsburgh. The steer bible I was using said nothing about it. I knew that hikers and cyclists shared the bridge crossing the Potomac but I did not know they besides shared a section of trail. vitamin a soon as I could, I stopped, climbed off my motorcycle, and asked my motorbike companion, Vince, to snap a digital photograph of me leaning against a trail marker .
At first I thought the AT was good crossing the C and O Canal Towpath but not long after we climbed back on our bikes and started riding toward Harpers Ferry, and ultimately Pittsburgh, I realized that the C and O Canal Towpath and Appalachian Trail were one and the lapp. We started seeing day hikers and backpackers, some with reasonably full packs, waking toward us, sitting along the side of the drag, and passing others on their left after warning them with a match bell rings and saying, “ passing left ” as we approached them from behind.
During our ride from DC to Pittsburg we encountered numerous walkers, day hikers, and runners, but the only backpackers we saw were on this short nautical mile and a half section where the Appalachian Trail and the C and O Canal Towpath traverse the lapp grind .
Seeing those white blazes for the foremost time in a couple of years ignited within me a desire to get back to the appalachian Trail as a backpacker rather than a cyclist, to put some serious thought into hiking a major section, and even undertaking my own thru hike. Until then, reading about the AT adventures of others who post on appalachian Trials and posting from my own position as a hiker and backpacker will have to suffice because the flip is bluing, the sidewalk is dry, and I hear my bicycle calling my name .