5/2/24 Columbia to Mt Gretna, PA

I checked my tires this morning, I find this on my rear tire, only 2100 miles on it.

Erin made lunch for us so we all had a nice meal before I packed the van with my bike and gear. Erin also sent me on my way with a bowl of ice cream. We got to the start of the trail in Columbia and parked next to the Coffee and Cream. CK gets a dish of ice cream, I get a milkshake and blueberry pastry. We say our goodbyes and I ride off to Mt Gretna.

The first third is on a bike trail along the Susquehanna River. Very scenic and easy riding.

The second third is over back country roads to Elizabethtown, rolling with steep hills.

The last third is on a bike trail that brings me to Mt Gretna.

I am now with Nancy and the puppies. Nancy’s sister, Sue, is here. Her brother Jeff will get here tomorrow.


5/1/24 Local Trails

After breakfast I begin organizing. CK will drive me back to Columbia, PA where I will ride to Mt Gretna and connect with Nancy. CK gets home and we talk about the rest of the day and plan a route on the trails that will bring us to the Newark Reservoir.

We ride into the city for dinner at the Iron Hill Brewery. The food and beer is very good. I choose the Chili Burger and IPA. We walk our bikes up the sidewalk to get back onto the bike trail. It is dark by the time we get home.

We have Tillamook ice cream and talk about the ride. This is my final night here so this is a special day.


4/29/24 C&D Canal Trail

This morning CK and Erin went back to their jobs at the Universities. I tuned up my bike. When CK finished he was back home around noon. We loaded our bikes and set off to ride the trail to and back from Delaware City and then to and back from Chesapeake City. Today is hot and we stop in Delaware City for ice cream.

Then we head to Chesapeake City a the sun begins to set.

Another great day on the bikes riding the entire trail both ways.


4/28/24 local roads

We packed my bike and gear into the van and walked across the tracks to a coffee shop, Coffee and Cream, for lunch.

On our drive to Newark, DE. CK showed me many wonderful sites on the local roads.

Today I was given a tour of CK’s research lab at the University of Delaware. We then rode out of the city to spend the rest of the day riding around the local parks and back roads.

We are both tired but now full from the wonderful pasta meal prepared by Erin. We head out in the dark to build a fire and relax after this hard and wonderful ride. This was a great day.


4/27/24 York to Columbia,PA

After a wonderful stay I pack up to leave York for Columbia. Paul rides out with me to where I am outside and east of the busy city streets. Paul guides me to my route on nice less busy roads. This was complicated a bit because a section of the bike trail we were taking was being used for a race and the runners were coming toward us. Paul knew a good work-a-round which brought us to a city park that was donated by the Penn family. There is a lot of history here, on the park the Union Army had a hospital here during the Civil War.

When we got to the route Paul headed home. Thank you Paul for guiding me out of town.

I crossed the Susquehanna River and rode to the MW Lancaster County River Trail Visitor Center. Next door is a great coffee shop, I stop and get a Danish and fill my water bottle with coffee. I am now under the pavilion enjoying the coffee and Danish while I wait for CK to arrive. I will visit him for a few days.


4/26/24 York to Spring Grove and back

Paul had plans to load his bike onto a bus and go to Spring Grove for the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new section of a bike trail. I was invited to join him so I took my headlamp and front fender off my bike so that it would fit on the bus bike rack. We take some freshly made muffins with us for a picnic at the Trolley Trail. We get off the bus and I fill my water bottle with coffee and we ride to the trail head.

After the coffee and muffin we ride this trail into Sitting Grove and connect with the new trail to the ceremony. A guy rides up with a young rooster in a small cage on the handlebars Afterwards, we head to the park for the presentation lunch.

Now we ride the new section to the end and head back a ways to take back roads over the rolling countryside.

We go to the Heritage Rail Trail. Here is the train station that Abraham Lincoln stopped on his way to Gettysburg to give his address to the Nation at the end of the Civil War. Later his casket came through here on its way to his burial.

We are now on the trail that will bring us back to Paul’s house. On the way we stopped at a winery to have a taste of Pinot Noir. I bring the rest of the wine back to have with the dinner Jane has made for us.

Thank you Jane and Paul for the fond memories that I will take home and treasure.


4/24&25/24 Cascades, MD to York, PA

I relaxed a second day at my Warmshowers home. Greg and Rhona are exceptional hosts. We are going to a local bar for dinner in an hour so I sit on their porch with a beer until it’s time to leave.

The chicken quesadilla is an excellent choice and I get to see the charms of this small border town, half Maryland and Pennsylvania. I guy rides to the bar on his horse and hitches it to the porch railing.

Greg and Rhona have a bicycle touring and shuttle company. Greg needs to leave this morning at 7 AM, I get up and have coffee with him and then start getting myself ready to head to York. Greg suggests a different route for getting to Gettysburg. It’s a nice route that begins with a long downhill off the Appalachian Range.

I am now in York with Paul and Jane for two nights.


4/23/24 Cumberland Valley to Cascades, MD

Yesterday early evening I got ready to build a fire. I had just finished eating and a cyclist slowed and rode into the campsite. I introduced myself and he told me his brand is Chuck and he’s from Minnisota and riding the trail to Pittsburgh. I mentioned that I was preparing to build a fire. He said he’d be over after he set up camp. He later came over with some firewood. We sat and talked until dark. It was time for bed.

He was gone by the time I came out of my tent, he said he would get an early start and try not to wake me.

I have a five mile day to get back to Williamsport. I will meet up with my Warmshowers host at 12:30 so I take my time with breakfast and relax into the day with Elbow Room coffee and a cinnamon bun.

I arrive an hour early so I set up my chair and watch the activity. People are unloading their bikes to set off for a day of fun on the trail and some are fishing. Greg drives in and we load my bike and gear into his pickup and off we go to his house. I will be here two days.


4/22/24 Licking Creek Campsite to Cumberland Valley Campsite

This morning Jim and I are in no hurry to start our rides. Jim had a long day yesterday so today was a short ride for him. I have 16 miles to go to Williamsport. This is where I meet up with a Warmshowers host at noon tomorrow. My plan is to go into town and buy food for dinner and then ride six miles beyond to a campsite. This will make the morning easy.

Jim leaves first, I stay awhile and then head off to Williamsport. The C&O has come alive with flowers in bloom and full leaves on the trees.

I am now in camp relaxing. I am set up for the night and I’m sitting on the bank of the Potomac.


4/21/24 Paw Paw, WV to Licking Creek Campsite, MD

This morning Dan has breakfast ready when I get up. Homemade bread, an omelet with potatoes, and a slice of ham. And, orange juice and coffee to start the day. I am already packed. We have a nice visit and Dan gives me advice for good places to camp. Dan, not only a great host, is a volunteer for the C&O Trail with many years of service and knows the trail inside and out.

As soon as I get back on the trail I am at the Paw Paw Tunnel. I stop to put on my headlamp to see in this long unlit tunnel. A group of about eight touring cyclists come along. They are a family of three generations that started in Pittsburgh and finishing in Washington D.C.

We ride at about the same pace and join together multiple times. I give them my contact information and blog and YouTube link for my movies of the previous tours.

I get ahead while they stop for lunch, I continue to Hancock to buy food for dinner.

I stop at Licking Creek Campsite. I set up camp and cook dinner now I am relaxing to the sounds of birds.