Day 1: our ride across America

Steve Botts and I are riding 3,800 miles along the Great American Rail Trail from Washington D.C. to Seattle Washington. We are starting at the Washington Monument. (See our route on the map below).

A middle school history teacher at the Washington Monument saw our fully loaded bikes and asked where we were going. When he heard “Seattle”, he yelled out to his class “these guys are riding all the way to Seattle, let’s give them a big cheer!”. What a great send-off!

We rode past the Lincoln memorial and Kennedy Center and found the beginning of the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) towpath. Ellen, a jogger gave a short inspiring speech and wished us well.

The peaceful canal was a welcome change of pace from the bustle of the big city. Dozens of riders passed going in the opposite direction to their finish in D.C. We saw lots of turtles, egrets, and a few deer as we pedaled up the canal next to the Potomac river.

We stopped in Great Falls for lunch and eventually White’s Ferry for dinner. We camped for the night at Marble Quarry on the canal.

We rode 45 miles today.

Our Start at Washington Monument
The slow pace of turtles on a log in the canal
Smooth riding on mile 25 of the C&O canal path
Great Falls on the canal
Bird doesn’t care about the murky water in the canal
Burgers for dinner at White’s Ferry

15 Replies to “Day 1: our ride across America”

  1. Mike and Steve are at it again! And what an ambitious ride, holy cow!! I’d love to buy you guys dinner when you arrive in Seattle. Looking forward to your pictures and stories along the way.

  2. Wonderful! At 50 miles a day, that is at least a couple of months, right? Good thing it is all flat, right? And, no wind, right? JUST kidding. First day looks glorious. Post some food porn photos! Best riding!!!!

  3. “The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
    ? Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

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