It was nice to sleep in a bed again. I slept for over ten hours! We didn’t have much to do to get ready and Jon wanted to be in DC early to catch his train home so we were on the way early again.
They must have both been eager to finish the trail because they were riding fast. Normally, I’d just let them get ahead of me, but there were lots of people out again and it’s easier to pass in a group so I rode hard enough to keep up.
Once we rode into Washington DC, we did lose the trail at one point because we missed the bridge where it crossed to the other side of the canal. It wasn’t long before we realized that though, so it was easy to backtrack.
Milepost 0 is behind a boathouse, and it was hopping when we got there. Lots of crew teams were out walking around, carrying giants oars and such. Thankfully, I had read a description of how to find the last marker or we may not have happened upon it.
It was 5.9 miles to finish the trail, then another few miles to get to our hotel. We split off from Jon early so he could head to Union Station without worrying about all of us staying together through the crowds out on a beautiful Saturday morning. Luckily, we were able to check in early to our hotel so we didn’t have to walk the bikes around while sightseeing.
Jeremiah had never been to DC before so we walked around the National Mall to see all the monuments. It was tiring, and my camp shoes are not made for walking that far. After seven miles walking, we went back to the hotel and grabbed our bikes to ride another seven miles to see the other end of the mall.
We couldn’t escape the canal even on the Mall; the lockhouse that was originally at the eastern terminus of the canal had been moved there.
Tomorrow morning, we will pick up the one-way minivan rental to drive home.
I have to say, this trip was way better than the Erie Canalway Trail. Barely any road, plentiful camping, and very bike-friendly towns. I only wish there were more trails of this length and quality. Let me know if you know of any!