Monday, May 11, 2009

Farnsworth Ghost Tour

The Farnsworth House in the middle of town stands as a bullet-strewn monument of the carnage that took place decades past. Standing right up against the red brick wall you can see the chips and cracks where the bullets left their mark. The tiny window way up close to the roof was a sniper's nest. Nowadays, the structure hosts visitors and diners. The cellar is decorated as a portrayal of a funeral, wherein a session of ghost storytelling is conducted by an able host. We attended the 11PM "adult" session. The age restriction allows nothing more than cuss words to fly out freely from the storytellers mouth as he recounted incidents of the supposedly supernatural, which mostly happened during previous sessions. They were probably just that, stories. Entertaining and not too far-fetched to be scoffed at, and well delivered by our storyteller that night.
The second half involved a walk through the woods, with a different storyteller. This second storyteller is garbed in a civil-war era messenger looking costume. Like the first storyteller, most of his stories were about incidents in previous sessions. The question in our minds the whole time was, before they accumulated all this stories about previous sessions, what stories did they tell? We kept this question to ourselves, out of courtesy. I got the impression that he was new to the job, not yet as comfortable or adept in his delivery as the first storyteller.
Still the other attendees seemed all too willing to believe. One young woman showed the storyteller a picture that she took with her digital camera. It showed some white globs that to us looked like reflections from the wet grass. The storyteller was all too willing to make a story out of it, claiming that it must be some ethereal energy. He is a storyteller after all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Short & Sweet

Our fourth and final day on the C&O Trail. We made this a short day, only 22 miles, so that we could start heading home before lunch.
Our favorite part of the trip was a detour that took us through the local countryside, beautiful area.

In total we rode 196 miles

The day of the ice cream

Day 3 on the C&O trail was hot. We stopped a few times to douse ourselves with cold water from the water pumps along the trail. Late in the afternoon we came upon Barons store and bought some ice cream.

Soon after the ice cream we reached our hiker-biker camp for the evening completing 54 miles for the day.
The tarp over our tent has been perfect. Our tent is very old, but small and light. The tarp is also very light, but has kept us, our bikes and gear dry through a number of rain storms.

Crowded & Hot

During our first evening on the C&O trail we were awakened by the a troop! We heard footsteps, laughter and the sound of voices happily chattering. As the sounds drew closer to our camp flashlights began to illuminate the area around us, soon finding our tent. Then we began to hear loud "SSSHHHHH" sounds. After everyone in this approaching group had a chance to hiss this sound through their teeth the peace of night could be heard again and we drifted off to sleep.When we awoke and crawled out of our tent were were surprised by the "town" that was at our doorstep. A boy scout troop had hiked their way in.

We packed up and rode to the next H/B site then pulled out our stove and made pancakes for breakfast.

Mid morning we ran into a battalion of walkers. Suddenly the trail dissapeared and there was only a sea of people ahead. It crossed our minds to go back, but decided it could not last too long. We yelled "On the left!" as we approached. It was repeated like dominos up the trail and the left hand side of the trail began to appear. We slowly pedaled past the walkers and the woods soon became quiet again.
We pedaled 62 miles before making camp the second night. There was plenty of time to relax, enjoy the breeze, listen to the birds, read a book, or just stare up into the trees.

Just after we set up our tent and crawled inside it began to rain. The wind grew very stong and then thunder cracked. We looked at each other excitedly. Thunder storms from a tent are awesome! After the first thunder crack however the rain stopped, the wind died down and the sky spoke no longer.

Long & Flat

For our first tour of 2009 we decided to take an easy flat trail. We began Friday morning and headed out with our loaded bikes onto the C&O Canal Trail.

A light rain shower started a few miles down the trail. Soon after we put on our rain coats it stopped and the weather was nice the rest of the tour. Many sections of the trail were lined with flowers.

Along the way we passed many of the old locks from the canal system.

By the end of the first day we had ridden 58 miles. A day without spreadsheets, phone calls or IM's. Lately we have been spending 10-14 hours at work each day. Although the trail was long and flat, the leisurely pedaling was a nice relaxing break from work. We stopped at this free hiker-biker campsite for the night. All of the hiker-biker sites along this trail have a water pump and porta-john