Every day since our time with the Fellowship has been a blur. Once we got our pushcart squared away and rolling, we went from covering 10-15 miles per day to crushing 20-25. That, America, is totally awesome.
The C&O Towpath trail has been quite an experience. It is full of history and charm, and the less-traveled areas are filled with wildlife. While it does get a bit repetitive (river on your left, canal on your right, trees and such in between) we have been lucky enough to watch Spring begin to bloom as we moved up the trail.
Every morning, Grace would sit and watch the Potomac flow by.
As we approached Hancock, MD, mom called ahead and helped us set up a couple of Pet Therapy visits. We rested up in a motel, took showers and did sink laundry, and spiffed up the dogs in anticipation of therapeutic cuddles.
The next morning, we met with members of the Hancock Community Center’s Seniors group. These lovely ladies were meeting to quilt and work puzzles, and our visit was a delight. Over coffee, they asked us question after question while the dogs did their work.
Next, we walked over to meet with a preschool group. We did the tried and true “how to meet a strange dog” speech, and then let the dogs make their rounds. I have to say, these were some of the best-behaved preschoolers I have ever met.
With our therapy visits accomplished, we headed to the Sav-a-lot for some more ramen and tuna fish, and grabbed lunch at the Sheetz gas station (they got them fancy computer screens what you order on by touching!) Suddenly, Kait spotted this guy across the parking lot:
“Where are you going?” she yelled.
“Seattle!” he replied. “And you?”
And just like that, we met Ben. Loaded down with 90 pounds of gear and provisions, Ben is biking from Boston to Seattle. From there, he plans to head south to Guatemala and on into South America. AWESOME.
We chatted and shared stories for awhile before hitting the trail again. Not long after parting ways, Ben gave us a call and we decided to share a campsite for the night. It turns out that it was Ben’s 28th birthday, and we were happy to share in the festivities of cheesy rice and canned beef stew. Ben is a very inspiring person, full of drive and a desire to see the world and meet the people. His motto is “Live simply – live free.” He is a smart man. He also told us that we were the least crazy and least smelly people he had met on the trail so far.
Ben rode off the next morning, disappearing down the trail ahead. We trudged along at what seemed like a glacial pace, heading toward Oldtown – our final destination on the towpath.
You can follow Ben’s journey on his site: