Pennsylvania Dutch Prologue and Day 1

Welcome to our latest 2011 adventure! We are headed to Amish country in Pennsylvania via minivan, which is a long haul for us, but we decided not to fly so that we didn’t have the airport hassles with the bike on this trip, and no assembly is required. It’s around 750 miles to our destination, which we split into two days of driving. Friday night we get just north of Charlotte, and Saturday takes us to Hagerstown, MD for Day 1 of riding, which is where we start this blog.

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Before we start the ride talk, it would be wrong of me to not mention the incredible German meal we had at the Schmenkrl Shtube restaurant. I know I spelled it wrong, but if you are ever near Hagerstown, this is a must-eat location.

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Now on to the riding. Sunday’s route takes us south towards the Antietam National Park. The roads are smooth and the shoulders are wide as we leave under 72-degree temps and no humidity. This is so much better than last summer’s Vermont ride, which featured horrible roads and grumpy drivers.

20110718-074232.jpgWe get shade and some curvy, twisty downhills on our way to the Potomac River and the C & O canal path, a 185-mile trail that goes all the way to Washington DC. We opt to ride on the road that parallels the trail as our bike is not suited for the loose gravel surface on the trail.

We make a short side trip into West Virginia (I love crossing state lines on our bike!) and then head to the battlefield. We take advantage of some photo opportunities inside of the national park and then head back to our car, enjoying a rare tailwind to finish off our ride. We clck in at about 48 miles. Maybe it was the schnitzel from last night’s dinner, but I am not tired at all.

After a quick shower, we lunch in Hagerstown and hit the road and drive 45 miles to Gettysburg, PA, where we will ride for the next two days. Stay tuned as our tandem adventure continues…

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