Not much happened after lunch. There were only a few minor incidents worth telling you about.
First, curse whoever posted that they were glad that there were no snakes! Ten minutes after I looked at it, I accidentally ran over a snake lying in the road. In my defense, it looked an awful lot like a stick and I’m about 70% sure that it didn’t die (yet).
Paul’s tire also broke. After we passed the horses, he noticed that his tire was making a weird sound. Upon further inspection, we found a piece of glass in his inner tube so we had to change it.
For most of the ride after lunch, there was a detour due to repairs further up the towpath.
The good news: it was all paved and much smoother than the rough and rocky trail.
The bad news: it consisted of giant hill after giant hill. For those that saw my picture of “a great view of the country side”, that was while we took a break after one of the giant hills.
Tonight we are camped on an open field (not great for shade) where part of the Confederate army supposedly stayed while being driven back by Union troops (they got to stay in town [Williamsport] so they probably got actual beds).
While one may get very hot in an open field in the sun (the nearby bridge is now shading us), there is a very convenient boat landing (dock, inlet, DZ? It essentially is the road slowly sloping into the Potomac so boats can float off of their trailer things). Earlier this evening (aka as soon as I got in to the campsite) I was able to change into my bathing suit and have a dip. While it was extremely rocky and littered with broken up bricks, it was very refreshing.
After terrorizing the local schools of fish, I went to take a shower (first in three days so felt pretty good) and wonder where the rest of my group had gone [they had gone into town for geocaching and ice cream without me :(]. It was just my luck that, as I was going to return my towel, they started serving dinner. I jumped in line and was one of the first to be served a feast of steak fajita with onions and peppers, boiled carrots, and a light salad.
After dinner and a while spent at the Comfy Campers tent (basically the room service of camping), I went over to hear a speech from a local National Park Service employee about the history of the canal. She told us everything from how it got started to its key role in the civil war to daily life for a “canaler”.
They then wanted a group picture across the field after the speech, so everyone slowly made their way over. Paul and I got there quickly and, while waiting for the others, joked around with some more quick-footed sojourners about how it looked like a horde of zombies was coming towards us.
You may be laughing and asking “how the heck does a bunch of people walking look like zombies?” You weren’t there. First, as an unfortunate clarification, a lot of people on this trip are, to put it nicely, past their prime. A lot of them walk with a bit of a limp or just some kind of awkward motion in their step. Also, the sun was silhouetting them so for all you knew, they could be a half rotted corpse or a superstar. We then went on to identify all the different types of zombies (slow with arms raised and a constant groan or running, arms dangling behind and shrieking at the top of their half-rotted lungs) and proper procedures for a zombie apocalypse. For those that didn’t know, it’s find an obviously zombie-clear yacht or island that is only accessible by boat or swimming (it is well known that zombies can’t swim). Proceed to stock this stronghold with enough food and ammo to, well, get you through the apocalypse and wait by the door with a shotgun or sharpened weapon (or just lock the door with something zombie-proof and don’t let anyone in).
Now I’m watching the sun set while writing this post. Beautiful.