Sunday, October 18, 2009

Confluence Pa to Frostburg Md 5

This part of the USA is different than any I have seen so far. It is softer than the Montana-Dakota west and a little harder than the Iowa-Illinois midwestThis scene was at a place where the C & O path crosses a local road . While it is not super spectacular in itself it is part of an overall comfortable ambiance.

For some reason I forgot that I would be crossing the Eastern Continental Divide so when it popped up it was a pleasant surprise. I could not help thinking about the difference from the Western divide which I had to cross 3 different times after hellacious climbs . When I would finally get to the western divide I was usually so sweaty and breathing so hard I felt a kind of combo accomplishment/survival thing. I could also look forward to a 10 to 20 mile down hill ride that would take little peddaling. Lolo Pass at the Mt/Id line was 20+ miles of climbing and probably 25 miles of mostly coasting downhill afterwards. Also, I never saw another person/rider at the western divides--it was empty country and no big deal.

Yes, there is a steady 100 mile climb to the Eastern Divide but it is hardly noticable because it follows a railroad track so the maximum grade is 1-1.5%. After you get used to it you forget about it.

What was interesting at the Eastern Divide was that after seeing hardly any other riders all morning there were at least 10 under that bridge, and all were involved in taking pics and feeling good. It was fun to be around them and listen to them talk and celebrate . Good folks.
It was no problem finding somebody to snap a pic of me and the Continental Divide underpass. That is me with the white tshirt stripehanging out at my waste.

This is the other side of the divide.

As I rode away to the east it was cool to look back on the divide. The path does noticably go downhill for several miles until ithits the C&O section in Cumberland.
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