Sunday, January 17, 2016

C&O Canal Towpath Run - January 17

Another installment on my quest to run the full length of the C&O Canal Towpath (185 miles) from DC to Cumberland, MD.

Today I picked up where I stopped last the Seneca Creek Aqueduct at mile marker 22.7.  It was nice to be able to park right at my stopping point last week, that makes the math easy for my turnaround point.   Access to the towpath is sporadic, so I'm usually backtracking from my next parking spot to where my last run stopped, and then making progress toward my next parking spot...but this week it all lined up.

The weather today was pretty good, around 32 degrees with no wind, and the path was DRY (unlike the mud bath last week).  I'm really happy about that, because getting wet when it's freezing I would imagine would not be pleasant.

Mile markers covered today:  22.7 to 17.0, for a run of 11.4 miles.

Total mile markers covered so far:  17 to 69 (52 miles covered)

Total mile markers still to go:  133 

Today's run was really nice...good weather...and dry trail.  The star of this section was the Potomac River.  I ran past a spot with some white water (not really rapids, but more like rocks in the river) that made for a relaxing background noise that made the miles fly by.  At this point, the tow path is very close to the river, so the sights were great as well.

Nobody would describe me as a "tree hugger", but today's run really lifted my spirits and put me in a great mood.  The softer surface was good on my slightly fatigued legs this week.

What I saw this run:
  • More people were out today, I think probably because of the nicer weather and I ran past a couple places with parking right next to the path - that always draws more folks out for a walk.
  • Lock 22, with a Lock House.
    • This was the first lock I've seen that is actually working.  The lock doors were in place and closed.
    • It was pretty cool to see how it works and the higher level of the canal upstream of the lock.....the canal also gets a lot wider upstream of course since the lock is stopping the water.  
  • Other runners today:   3
This is a Lock with the "doors" closed.  First time I've seen that.  The water on the other side of those doors is about 12-15 feet higher.

Plaque at Lock House 22 with a pic of what it looked like when in working order.

Lock House 22 today.  That white sign right of the door says you can stay in this house overnight.  You get No water, NO electricity, No nothing.  But there are porta John's not far away, and only $100 a night.  Some of the houses say to bring your ear plugs too, because the train tracks are not far away.  But at this point of the path I think the train tracks are pretty far away.  Between Point of Rocks and Harper's Ferry, the train is RIGHT there...and LOUD.

This is the path just upstream from the Lock.  On the right is the canal, on the left the Potomac.
I think my next run will be in the other direction, towards Shepardstown, MD, covering miles 69-75.

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