C&O Day 2: Brunswick to Williamsport

I've been waking up at 4 AM for the last two days and it looks like the best time for me to write my blog posts is in the early morning rather than at night due to fatigue from riding all day.

Yesterday morning in Brunswick, MD, Crispin and I went to Beans in the Belfry for breakfast at 8 AM. This cafe is inside a church. The first cafe I've ever been to that's like that.

Beans in the Belfry

After return to our AirBnb from breakfast, we packed up our things and loaded the bikes. We left Brunswick at 9 AM and got on the C&O trail once again. Such was our schedule even during our 2018 rides. We would wake up early and find a breakfast place to fill our stomachs before we start the ride.

We passed by Harper's Ferry, but didn't go over the bridge into town because we didn't feel like carrying our bikes up the stairs. The hassle wasn't worth it to us.

Beautiful day on the trail

The gravel path made for easy riding, like the day before. At 11 AM, we reached the path that would take us to Shepherdstown, WV. It would be another 27 miles to reach our tentative destination of Williamsport, MD. Crispin and I agreed to ride up the switchback hill, go across the bridge into West Virginia, and have an early lunch in Shepherdstown.

I went to the visitor center to inquire about restaurants. The woman there was very nice and made some recommendations. Crispin and I ended up eating at Betty's Restaurant. Shepherdstown has a university there and the town seemed very picturesque. While in the restaurant it rained briefly, but stopped once we finished with our meals.

Downtown Shepherdstown

We rode our bikes through the university to avoid riding on the main roads to get back to the trail.

I'm surprised that there are very few benches along the trail. There are some campsites, but very primitive with maybe a water pump, some picnic benches, and perhaps a portable restroom. The most important thing for me is a place to shower, which none of the campsites had.

Sometime during our ride, I noticed some noises coming from my bike. Upon inspection, it was small rocks and leaves that got stuck on my tire treads. They would hit the fender. I think it was a small rock that hit the bottom of my left eye while riding even though I wore my sunglasses the entire time.

As we were riding along the bank of the Potomac River, we came upon a detour. After pushing our bikes up the dirt hill, we rode about five miles on the paved road. It was a nice change of pace, but there were about three hills we had to ride up. I disliked all of them.

Riding along the bank

Detour time!

Once we got back on the C&O trail again, we rode toward Williamsport. I finished my two bottles of water and had to get more water out using a pump. The sign stated that the water is treated with iodine and if you have any allergic reactions then don't use it. I'm not certain if I've ever taken iodine, I decided to drink the water anyway.

The trail changed from the nice gravel to a more bumpy one with puddles of water and mud. The last five miles were difficult because we were tired. I'm glad we didn't decide on going the extra 25 miles to Hancock even though that would have saved us half day of riding on Friday, which a rainy day is forecasted.

We arrived at Williamsport at 4:20 PM. I joked with Crispin that we should smoke some joints to celebrate. We aren't big on marijuana use, but I wondered what would it be like to be high and ride a bicycle.

Two minutes riding into downtown, we found a place for dinner called Lotus Moon Cafe. I had the biggest salad ever, along with a smoothie. I definitely needed the nutrients since I've been eating a lot of meat for protein and not enough vegetables.

The biggest salad of my life

After dinner, Crispin and I rode farther out of town to Red Roof Inn, where we checked in, showered, rested, and slept. We rode about 50 miles that day. I'm surprised that I didn't get any serious aches, having done 61 miles the first day and 50 the second.

This morning, we had breakfast at Waffle House that's right by the hotel. We will get out of town when the sun rises and head toward Paw Paw. Crispin booked a cabin there. We will not be able to reach Cumberland today and will have to ride in the rain tomorrow for half a day or so. The good news is that today will be sunny.