Day 2 - Marble Quarry to Jordan Junction - 63.4 miles
We rolled out of camp a little later than expected, but the bullfrogs were loud during the night so it was a somewhat slow morning. Whenever I jump on my bike, I always feel like I'm missing something, perhaps that's because nothing is actually attached to my body. As we rolled out of camp, I was excited to begin exploring more of the trail.
It was a hot day and as we got closer to Harper's Ferry there were more people on the Potomac taking full advantage of the water for floating. I asked the group whose crazy idea it was to ride a bike instead of float! Once in Harper's Ferry territory, there is a brief section where the Appalachian Trail joins the C&O Canal before continuing across the bridge to West Virginia. A group of hikers that appeared to have all shopped at REI, with their matching backpack setup, formed a line on the trail as we rolled passed them.
At the footbridge, one rider departed and another one joined for the day. We started talking to one rider that was completing the trail from Pittsburgh to DC in 3 days, and he was on his last day and looking rather beat up from the trail. He told me there was a section of the trail that was treacherous ahead of me, I still have no idea what he found to be so dangerous. The 100+ mile days must have been getting to him!
A slow leak forced a stop at the Antietam Creek campsite for a tire change on one riders bike, and a refuel of food and liquids for me. The great thing about bikepacking along the trail is that you can stop for rests and enjoy the surroundings, because your only goal for the day is to bike from point to point.
The original campsite I had chosen was Potomac Forks, but when we arrived there it had no access to the river for cooling off and the mosquitoes were hungry for fresh blood. So our day rider volunteered to pedal down 6 miles to check out the next campsite. He radioed back that it seemed to have less flying vampires and reported that there was river access just a mile down the trail. It didn't take a lot of convincing to hope on the bike and ride 6 extra miles for a little swim and less mosquitoes. The muscles needed to cooling off in the water!