Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not rain, nor cold, nor mud, but maybe a long, spooky tunnel...

I think my brain has a leg up on the iPod shuffle. Talk about random. Like today: my mental playlist ran from Cindi Lauper to Nirvana to the soundtrack from The Wizard of Oz to CCR (in that order). I may have to rethink my decision to leave the mp3 player at home. Especially on days like yesterday when I could not get Whitney Houston out of my head. (I don't even think I SAW "The Bodyguard" -- why is that song in my head??) Not sure the Blind Melon currently on repeat is much better, but at least it's a change. I'm hoping for a little Paul Simon tomorrow.

So, yes, day 4. Things have been going well so far. I'm seeing all kinds of flora and fauna and just today I was noticing that it smells distinctly of wild onions when it rains. I've had plenty of time to confirm this as it's been raining since last night. Good thing Ollie and I kicked it into high gear and logged 55 miles yesterday when it was clear and sunny (not bad, eh?). Today was much less ambitious -- only about 30 miles -- partly because the muddy paths made for slower progress, partly because the colder temperature made me feel a bit stiff (really, I am too young for this body creaking nonsense). And there was the Paw Paw Tunnel.

Any of you who have hiked or biked the C&O know what I'm talking about. It's a tunnel a bit under 4,000 feet long that you could IN THEORY bike through. You know, if it weren't narrow and damp and bumpy and of course PITCH DARK. And there's nothing creepy about it if you haven't seen the movie "It" or that scene with the giant spider in "Lord of the Rings." Anyway, Ollie and I opted to test our mental strength and also wanted to get out of the rain for a spell, so we tried it.

Holy heck, anyone who makes it more than 20 feet in there on a bike (with or without a headlamp) must have icewater in their veins. Ollie and I walked the whole thing. We set up camp a few miles later, pitching the tent during an opportune lull in the precipitation and also whipped up some macaroni on the beer can stove (aren't you proud of me, Jim?). The rain's picking up again now as I'm snuggled up inside a wool sweater and sleeping bag typing away under the rain fly.

My battery's getting low so I need to sign off. But I realize that I have yet to thank all of you guys who came to Sunday's "Mile Marker Zero to Great Falls" ride and picnic. Thank you!!! I can't wait to see the pictures once I get to Cumberland (and a regular computer)!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. That IS really scary-looking! Good for you for even attempting to go in. I would have steered clear, mostly because I'm a coward.

  2. That is awesome! Good job going 55 miles! Here's wishing you some Paul Simon.


  3. you have no choice but to go through the tunnel!

  4. Hi Ibti, your blog is the top Google match when you type in "A Bikeable Feast"!


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti