Posts Tagged ‘Western Maryland Rail Trail’

One of our favorite places to go bike riding is in Washington County in western Maryland. Western Maryland is very beautiful and very unlike central Maryland. It can get pretty wild looking where we go, which we like, and the people can also get pretty wild looking as you approach the western end of the trail (and beyond). They are always very friendly, though, saying “Hey” and smiling.

Yesterday, we rode approximately 24 miles, and we saw a lot of wildlife. We saw lots of squirrels, even more deer, two wild turkeys, two copperhead snakes, a red-tailed hawk, and a lowly grasshopper. We weren’t quick enough with our cameras and so we have no pictures of the turkeys or hawk.

Luckily, one of the snakes didn’t bite Dink when he almost ran over it before recognizing it as a snake. Copperheads are one of the most common venomous snakes in our area, but usually their bites are not too serious. One of the snakes did get ready to strike when we got a little too close, so we decided to back up and leave it alone.

Then our dad told us about a man he knew who got bitten by a rattlesnake on his boot. Since he was wearing boots, he didn’t think anything of it. Long story short, the snake’s venom got through the boot, through his socks, and into a small cut in the man’s foot. It took the doctor a while to figure out what was wrong with him since the man didn’t mention the snake at first. So if you ever get bitten on your shoe by a venomous snake, know that you can still be in trouble.

As we were coming back from our ride, we heard and then saw and man flying a parawing. We have seen him flying in the area before and it was so nice yesterday, I guess he wanted to be up and about.

Today, Monday, was the beginning of another week after a nice Thanksgiving break, but my dad, upon seeing how warm and sunny it was today, thought it would be nice to go bike riding at the Western Maryland Rail Trail. We all agreed, because it was about 60 degrees early in the day, the trail is very nice, and we haven’t been in a while. We glanced at the forecast and saw the rain predicted, but thought, “Oh well, if it’s that warm, we won’t mind too much. Besides, it’s only supposed to shower and it’ll feel nice while we ride.”

So off we went, and as we went, we noted that the sky became more and more ominous looking. Eventually, when we arrived at our destination, it was drizzling a little, and when we opened the car doors, we noted that it had grown quite a bit chillier. In fact, we felt that it was probably at least ten degrees colder. We were there though, and there was no turning back, so we plunged ahead. Thankfully, as we rode, it did stop raining, but it was still quite chilly.

Then, after riding about 10 miles, it starting really raining – it was no shower, but a semi-hardy rain. The end of the trail was only 2 miles away though and since we all felt compelled to complete the trail, we forged ahead even though we only had one pair of gloves between four people, and Dink and I had shorts on.

Upon reaching the end, we took shelter hoping that the rain would stop, but we grimly realized that if we didn’t start back, we’d be riding in the dark. So with hats firmly in place and hoods on, we started riding the 12 miles back to Hancock. The ride was a little easier as the wind was behind us, but still, by the time we had finished, we were pretty drenched and for the first time, I shivered and my teeth chattered uncontrollably. Quite an interesting sensation, but in addition, I had also lost a lot of control over my limbs from cold.

When we got to the car, we shakily dismounted, got in the car, and turned the heat up as high as it could go. Thus concluded our “warm” bike ride. On the way back, we noticed the Blue Goose Market, which reminded us of a gift we just received. Our neighbor, the one with the animals, asked us to watch his animals over Thanksgiving, and as usual, he gave us something to compensate for our troubles.

This time, he brought us an apple caramel nut pie from the Blue Goose Market. Personally, I like home made pies better, but it was still good. It was a little overly sweet because of the caramel but other than that I liked it. There are mixed reviews from our family members; some think there were too many nuts, other didn’t like the apples to have texture. But I think we can all agree that it’s the thought that counts 🙂

Anyway, if you live close to Hancock, you probably have been on the bike trail, but just in case you haven’t…. this is a place you should definitely consider visiting.

Yesterday we went to the Western Maryland Rail Trail in Hancock, MD, to ride bikes because it was warm yesterday (43˚F). Unfortunately, the path was covered with snow and ice so we couldn’t ride bikes. We went on for a while, but when it became clear that it wasn’t going to work, we decided to just walk instead. After a short while, we came to a bridge that was covered with about 9″ of snow. The bridge ran over a creek and because we can never resist throwing things in water like sticks, rocks, and in this case snow, we started throwing in snowballs. They started out small enough, but soon we were tossing huge chunks of snow over the fence on the bridge. When we all threw in a big piece at the same time, the sound was like fireworks. For some reason, this activity seemed really fun so we stayed on that bridge for a really long time. We made a snowman and set him up in the middle of the bridge. When we finally decided to go home, we could see the snowman from highway US 70.  He looked very stately, if not a little lonely. He’s probably destroyed by now. We also came to the realization that people could see us throwing snow off the bridge. Oh well.

We filmed a couple of snowballs being thrown off the bride (and I mean really, really BIG snowballs). Even on the camera, it sounds pretty cool. Believe me, we threw a lot more than this, but we were all throwing at the time, so we couldn’t film.

by Dink

Yesterday we went on a bike ride at the Western Maryland Rail Trail, another bike trail that we love. Since the drive to the Western Maryland Rail Trail is about an hour and a half long, we don’t go there very often. On the ride there, we got stuck in a traffic jam because of an accident. A car had apparently careened off the road, smashed through two fences, flipped over, and crashed into a building. The car must have been going pretty darn fast to have done all that! I tried to snap a picture as were passing, but there were a bunch of cops in the way and by the time my camera was ready to take another picture, we were already past the accident. I’ll load on the picture anyway so that you can get an idea of what happened.

We drove until we reached a small town called Hancock. The trail starts about ten miles before Hancock, but we usually drive to Hancock because we like to go to the end of the trail. If we started from the beginning, it would be pretty hard to go all the way to the end and back because the trail is pretty long.

We got onto the trail and rode to the end and back to Hancock. There are a lot of interesting things to see on both sides of the trail. The scenery is very nice and there are also some old deserted houses beside the trail. The houses look old and wrecked up, but if they got fixed, then I would love to live in one of them. You can also see the C&O canal path at certain points because the Western Maryland Rail Trail goes beside the C&O for a while.

At one point, there are cliffs on the side of the trail because the trail also goes by a mountain. Near the middle of the trail, there is a stand with food, water, a bike to buy, and a sign that says “Trips back to Hancock etc. $10.00 per way,”. There are also signs that say Hancock 5 miles with an arrow pointing to Hancock. I guess the stand is for people who get hungry and tired and want to get back to civilization. Everything is pretty expensive. You can look at the pictures to see what everything costs. I know one thing, if I was stuck out there with a broken bike and it was getting dark, I still wouldn’t get a ride home because I never bring any money on bike rides.

Oh yeah, that reminds me. Today my inner tube on my bike popped while John and I were riding our bikes. I’m really glad it didn’t pop yesterday at the end of the trail. That would have been bad!

There is a farm on the side of the path. They have a big garden and a lake on their land. Usually, their dog barks at us, but this time we didn’t see him.

At the end of the trail, there is a big parking lot with a bathroom in one corner. There are never any cars there and it is very peaceful. We always rest there for a while, eat and drink, and then ride back. The total distance from Hancock to the end of the trail is about 12 miles, so whenever we do that bike ride from Hancock to the end and back we’re riding 24 miles. Anyway, we hope you like the pictures that we got.

by Dink