Just south of the much touted Oldtown Low Water Toll Bridge, we found this little community park with a much welcome covered pavilion. This little town unexpectedly had all the amenities we could want to wait out the passing rain.
Dry, covered bike parking, picnic tables for lunch, bathrooms, and cell reception that allowed us to plan our next moves and kill some time. The radar showed that if we waited it out, we could ride in the dry, but if we kept riding, we’d follow the rain cloud east.
Kevin’s Alpinestars Toucan boots have been worth every penny (seriously, great kit), but Kevin is determined to get all the life he can out of them and more. After many years of use and one wreck, he discovered this trip that they are no longer water proof, and spent the entire trip trying to keep his feet dry. As of this writing, a new pair is on order.
After setting out, we were reminded why low water bridges are so rare. Instead of the charming experience of riding across the old bridge and paying the $0.25 toll into a little tin cup at a cute toll house, we found this:
*sigh* It was not to be. The toll house was gone, and the bridge would not be passable that day. (If you can’t see, its covered in a mighty pile of debris).
We had a friendly chat for a bit with three guys standing around watching the excavator clear the bridge (maybe they were working?). They knew about the MABDR, and gave an earnest but laughably convoluted description of how to route around the bridge and get to the next river crossing. Without google maps, there is no way I could have followed the way that man was trying to tell us to go.
They also told fun stories on each other, including the fact that one of the guys who lives there won’t use that bridge. He lives just on the other side, but drives an hour out of his way not to use the low water bridge. He claims “its a real pretty drive,” (which it turns out it is), but I think that’s just southern speak for “that bridge is sketchy and I’m not going to cross it.”
Despite being fairly clear on how to connect back up with the route, the GPS sometimes does goofy things with auto-routing, which led us astray for awhile. Between waiting out the rain for 2.5 hours, and routing around the bridge, we made very little forward progress this afternoon. The timing probably worked out for the best. We landed near Antietam that night, which meant we could start our day with a tour of the historic site.
I can’t say I recommend the camping experience at the Antietam Creek Campground, its right on a somewhat well traveled through road.
One benefit of visiting so close to Memorial Day is that the local 5th graders were putting out flags at the cemetery:
We made our way to Harpers Ferry in WV for lunch. We didn’t spend much time in Harpers Ferry, which is a place I’d like to come back to. One morning poking around historic sites was enough, and it was time to ride.
The northern half of section 5 leaves the population centers and pavement behind and goes back into the woods.