The Third Yockatomactrek
2001, A Trail Odyssey

Sunday, June 10
The Start of the Towpath -- Washington DC to Whites Ferry

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Most of the towpath visitors come to the 15 miles between Georgetown and Great Falls. The trail surface is good there, but there's a lot of traffic as well, especially on summer weekends. This is also the section of the towpath with the most to see, including over a quarter of the locks, Great Falls, Great Falls Tavern, and both canal boat rides. To make up for this start, the section of the towpath between Seneca and Whites Ferry can be the muddiest, most demoralizing section to ride. We lucked out -- three days without rain let this part dry out. I haven't seen it in better shape in several years. A trip that went through a week later was not so lucky -- they told me they voted it the hardest riding they've ever done.

 

 

We stayed at The Latham, half a block from the towpath. They stored the bikes locked at the back of the valet parking garage.

 

Georgetown features a restored canal boat, with rides.

The obligatory Milepost Zero picture, featuring Don, Anna, Jim, Dave, Tom, JoAnn, Rick, Susan, Steve, Gerry, Carol, Greg, Denny, Steve standing and Ed, Fran, Niki, Carole, Mary, Roy, Linda, and Jim kneeling. The missing include Duane, Jeanette, Bob, Ned, Marshall, Sharon, Katherine, Don, Larry and Martha. Photo by the artist.

 

 

The Milepost Zero picture was taken by an obliging artist -- at least, he offered to take the picture before he realized that 20 out of 22 of us were carrying cameras.

 

Jim, Dave, and Carole ride the good trail before Widewater 

 

 

Highway passing over lock. Imagine the discussions between the highway builders and the historical preservationists that must have preceded this

 

JoAnn and Susan ride the good trail before Widewater 

Widewater
Great Falls

 

It was a good day for Great Blue Herons. We saw about a dozen and a half

 

Lots of the herons were flying

 

 

It was also a turtle day. We always look forward to seeing small turtles lined up like sequins on a log, but this year the turtles were bigger than I've ever seen them.

 

Great Falls Tavern was hosting an organ grinder's festival

 

 

We rested a bit at Whites Ferry...

 

... before boarding the ferry ...

 

 

... and crossing to Virginia so we could ride to Leesburg (left: Fran, Niki, Jeanette; right: Steve, Greg, Roy, Denny)

 

 

At the end of the day we repaired bikes or watched bikes being repaired. Photos by Roy Weil

360-degree panorama at Widewater. Scroll right to see all of the image above.
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Photos by Mary Shaw, except as indicated. Copyright (c) 2001.

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