The Blog

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cooper's Rock to Brunswick

Last night, our campground neighbors rolled in just as we were eating.  They were a couple of "working guys" who looked like they had spent the day on the job.  After an awkward moment or two when they confessed their trepidation about being camped next to some "eco-groovies",  we got into a very interesting conversation.  They are building a coal fired power plant in the area and are very aware of the green movements dislike of the stuff.  As we talked, we were able to dissolve some of our prejudices and by the end of the conversation, we were talking about large scale solar, how coal plants can't get financing, how important coal is for jobs and how the politics around energy production is shifting away from unquestioning support of dirty fossil fuels and beginning to favor renewables as the financial system loses interest in fossil fuels and is also beginning to favor renewables.
It was a conversation I would never have imagined had I just seen the two "working guys" on the street.  

Our ride today started with a huge downhill run off of Cooper's Rock and then we got into some beautiful riding into Pennsylvania and then into Maryland.  Catherine started the day and rode for a couple of hours before giving her bike to Albin.  He was pretty sad to have missed some fine riding but within a half an hour he was very happy as the riding got even better.  Big rollers with downhills so steep that he got to go over 50 mph!
At lunch time, we rolled into  Frostburg where we jumped on the old railroad line trail that took us to Cumberland.  For some reason we got lucky again and had 15 miles of downhill on a perfectly even grade with a tailwind.  We basically sat on our bikes and watched the scenery go by.
I got my taste of coal when I was passed by the coal powered steam engine, that runs tourists around, just before it went into a tunnel.  I rode into the tunnel, thinking I could hold my breath and get through but the tunnel was plugged up with coal smoke and I couldn't see a thing.  I had to move at a crawl getting through the tunnel and came out coughing and sputtering from the irritation caused by the coal smoke.
Very disgusting.

In Cumberland, we made the decision to portage down the C&O trail and arrive in DC a day early so that we could be tourists for a day.  Finding a campsite was a huge ordeal but we finally found a pretty spot along the Potomac where we were able to swim and enjoy a great firefly show.

3 states in one day!
A big day for mileage milestones as well
So happy
Liza wanted to ride 100 miles today but only got 78
Coal demon
On the Potomac
Balancing tent poles - Zen and the art of setting up a tent
Our last dinner before DC

1 comment:

  1. Nice train. Remindes me of the old times in my country. Good times.