Shutdown Diaries: Leesburg Loop via the C&O
To help manage my shutdown anxiety I have spent the last couple of days away from the television, the computer, and the depressing barricaded and closed areas of downtown.
I’m also trying to get in some exercise. After all, I want my work clothes to still fit when this $%&! is over.
Today I took a little bike trip on the Leesburg Loop: the C&O out to White’s Ferry; over the Potomac via a ferry ride; roads to Leesburg; W&OD Trail; Custis Trail; and home.
I picked up groceries in the last few miles so I could say I did one productive thing. The total mileage for the Leesburg Loop is about 85, give or take your starting point.
The C&O is officially closed so if you tell anyone about this post I will deny it ever happened. In fact, this post will disappear from your browser 3 seconds after you finish reading it.
C&O Towpath Status: The bathrooms are closed and the levers on all of the water pumps have been removed. The Great Falls Overlook is completely barricaded.
The White’s Ferry Store was open when I stopped there in the early afternoon. The store is just past the 35 mile marker. I don’t know the hours of the store. It offers drinks and snack-type items so… minimal provisions. The ferry is also running. Two bucks gets you from one side to the other.
Traffic is light on the C&O right now. Primarily I encountered GAP-C&O and C&O riders on their way into D.C. Regulars are out walking their dogs and there are a few visitors/touristy types. Mostly it’s quiet.
It’s difficult to stay in a bad mood on the C&O, except for the bumpy parts in the first 15 miles. Those can make for some surprising and uncomfortable moments.
The C&O surface evens out after passing Great Falls, traffic is nill (even more nill now than normal) and it’s a meditative place to spend some miles.
I love riding alongside the Potomac River under a canopy of tall trees and away from the cars. Leaves are falling onto the towpath and their gentle rustle entices. There is a sense of separation from the city and yet, the District remains so close.
I left the towpath at White’s Ferry, looping into Leesburg (this is the Leesburg Loop, after all) and back toward home. On the ferry I intersected with Bill, a D.C. Randonneur who was out doing a populaire.
The W&OD Trail was not too crazy and I even met Tony, a #FridayCoffeeClub attendee and person who I frequently have encountered going the opposite direction on my commute. He was also taking advantage of a shutdown day.
This ride might have been one I should not have done, according to the government shutdown rule book. However, the benefits I received from being on the C&O today were many, and I was reminded yet again of the beauty on this earth, some of it just beyond my front door.
More photos from the Leesburg Loop here.