Sunday, May 15, 2011
A History of Almost in Williamsport
May 9: Swagman and I awoke at the crack of dawn on the 9th of May with a long day ahead of us. I decided to start the day right with an experiment I had picked up the day before, a Metr-x chocolate chip cookie dough meal replacement bar. Please choose A)Good idea B) Bad Idea.
If you chose A you have clearly never consumed the product. I peeled open the wrapper, revealing something that looked like a frozen dog turd. The taste of the bar bore out the original impression. I chucked the rest of the crapstick into the woods, likely drawing a cruelty to animals charge when some unfortunate creature stumbles upon the remains.
Our goal for the day was Williamsport, Maryland, 16 miles away. We first had to leave the towpath thanks to a dam detour. Dam #4 has been under repair for ten years and, according to locals, will be finished in time for the 25th millennium. The detour was steep at first and windy with little shoulder. We accepted a ride up the last mile of the most dangerous road. After two hours we returned to the towpath and made steady progress towards Williamsport, which we finally reached around two. Right before entering, with no sewage treatment plant to distract me, I finally saw a groundhog. I was reminded of the Bill Murray movie and how I had been annoyed for almost two consecutive hours, with a brief intermission when the lead character kills himself repeatedly. The rest was not funny. I have to admit finding only the suicide scenes hilarious may point towards serious problem with me rather than with the movie.
Back to Williamsport, which had a less exciting Civil War history than our previous two stops. A brief takeover by the Confederates before Gettysburg is the only story the town has to tell. Earlier on in American History, the town had just fell short of fame when George Washington had the area surveyed during his search for a permanent capital, but chose the current location lower on the Potomac instead.
Although not hosting a gaggle of dirty politicians, the town did have a Sheetz, where I stocked up on groceries, and a Chinese restaurant, where I ate my serving of vegetables for the week (just wanted to let you know I am eating healthy Mom :).
We also hit the Third Base Tavern where I noted this particularly Williamsport also failed to host the Little League World Series. Despite another almost, the establishment was kind enough to supply a shot of unknown liquor to trail virgins of the C&O who are then allowed to write their name on the ceiling before passing out and going to sleep on the bar.
We limped into our campsite two miles beyond Williamsport an hour before sundown to find we had company for the first time, a young couple from Pittsburgh biking the canal. We stayed up to chat with them a while, but the long day took its toll and once the sun went down so did we. We had gone from mile 83 to mile 101 of the towpath. 67 miles remain before I turn left and head into West Virginia.
Bad News Bears: Williamsport recently had a problem bear. The police lured him out of town using donuts. You can't make this stuff up.
18 miles/208 total miles