We rode back into town again to grab breakfast at Beans in the Belfry, a cool coffee shop in an old church. Even with the detour, we still got an early-ish start to our planned 50-mile day.
I thought the resurfaced trail ended at Brunswick but it just kept going. I sure wasn’t going to complain about that. We stopped at the little deli at White’s Ferry for an early lunch and a trail volunteer there told us the resurfaced trail would go all the way to milepost 22.
Jon blew his rear tire tube again, which I think brings us up to 11 flats for the trip if we include the random person’s flat that they helped change. Still just one flat for me!
The weather was nice and cool again after yesterday’s storm, and the humidity had dropped too. We had a high wind warning for today, which the forecast promised would be “damaging” with trees blown down. We really couldn’t feel it for the most part on the trail since we were generally protected by trees on both sides. Little sticks did drop onto the trail a lot, and I heard or saw a few larger branches dropping in the woods nearby. I was really hoping for a tailwind to blow me all the way through the day, but sadly, that wasn’t to be. I was feeling a little sluggish and my knee was hurting more so frequent breaks were the order of the day.
The canal widened and we started seeing more wildlife on it, including three great blue herons! We stopped and watched each of them for several minutes, but none of them took off.
We found out that several of the lockhouses down here are available to rent for the night. I wish I knew that ahead of time, although they book up way in advance so that may not have made a difference. It would definitely be cool to stay in one sometime.
We came to Great Falls in the afternoon, a very touristy and busy park. We locked our bikes up to hike the quarter mile to the Great Falls Overlook and I was blown away by the falls on the Potomac River. So beautiful!
After that we had several more miles that were full of people to dodge, and one tree across the trail that probably came down in the wind that day. At one more open point, I finally got my hoped-for tailwind. I could feel it actually speeding me up as I stopped pedaling. Unfortunately, we rode back into the trees then and I had to propel myself again.
We made it to Bethesda after 50.8 miles. Jon’s friend lives conveniently just off a pedestrian bridge near one of the locks so we were there quickly. After showering and ordering Thai food for delivery, we all were ready for bed by 7:30. Only 5 miles left to go!