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Finding Directions to the End of C&O

Today we finished the C&O towpath, making it to Cumberland, MD. I had always heard about the Cumberland Gap; it was very visible as we bike into town after a 60-mile bike trip. I thought I was done, then I looked at the hotel reservation. It was another 4 miles up a hill. Yet, the town of Cumberland looked inviting, so we took a taxi back into town to walk around and have dinner at a place called “Uncle Jack’s.”

Most the day was very pleasant. The high was around 80, and we were mostly in the shade biking on a gravel path with less than a 1% grade. The Potomac was on left, and the abandoned canal on our right. Saw deer, rabbits and one heron. The only misdirection happened when we had to take a detour for the Paw Paw tunnel. It is closed to deal with potential rockslides on one side. So, we had to push our bike up and over the hill. At the top, we met another tandem pair Bellingham. But, we missed the turn to go back down to the towpath. Instead, we ended up on a road, that brought us to busy highway 51. After four miles with little shoulder and big trucks, we were glad to be back on the towpath.

As we came to the path, we were double checking directions and distance. An elderly lady named Fran, offered us directions. She then asked if we knew Jesus. Followed by, “So, you are born again.” When we said “yes,” she said it was good to meet other Christians on the bike path. She then patted her fanny pack saying, “If you didn’t know Jesus, I would have something for you. After asking where we had come from and where we were going, she offered a prayer for us. What a wonderful witness to the faith.

We came to a small town that the school had been closed. A local had bought it to have a place to store and restore his old cars. The kitchen had been turned into a restaurant. It was fun to have a bite looking at high school graduation pictures.

Tomorrow, we pedal up a hill to reach the eastern continental divide on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). Then, bike downhill for a few days to get to Pittsburgh.


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