Bill and Laurie Foot’s 1997 bike/hike on the ADT – Chapter 10

March 31, Monday
We took the day off at the Paw Paw Patch Bed & Breakfast and slept in until 7:30 am. Bill & Kay, the owners, took great care of us. We walked to the city hall where we typed our journal into a disk but no Internet access was available. We had planned to wash the bikes, but the day was too cold — snow flurries and windy. Bill spent most of the day in bed feeling pretty sick. Laurie did laundry and later we asked the town librarian to open the library for us but her computer was not set up to send email.

Tuesday, April 1, April Fool’s Day
The weather was greatly improved with winds down to 10 to 15 mph and a high of 50 was predicted. As we got ready to leave the B&B, we had to fix a flat on Laurie’s bike. We finished the C&O Canal towpath in 10 miles and retrieved a maildrop of our West Virginia maps at the Oldtown, Maryland post office. Next we stopped at the Oldtown school and sent our journal entries to Pete for posting. This school building houses grades K-12 and has about 310 students, which is the smallest K-12 school in Maryland. We crossed over the Potomac on a private toll bridge which is open even though the sign said the road was closed. No toll taker was around either. As we headed into West Virginia, we were delighted by the views of meadows, farmland, and mountains but the hilly roads seemed to go on and upward forever. At Fort Ashby, we saw the last remaining fort of a string of 69 that were built under George Washington’s command to protect the Virginia frontier. While eating lunch at a tavern in Fort Ashby, a lot of the customers seemed interested in our trip and we were drilled with questions. We camped in someone’s backyard near Antioch. And, much to our surprise, while we were cooking dinner, they brought heaping plates of food out for both of us, which we readily gobbled up.

48.4 miles, 9.0 mph, 5 hours 19 minutes

April 2, Wednesday
This was Laurie’s favorite day so far. The weather was in the 60’s without a cloud in the sky and little wind. The views were beautiful and all the farm animals stopped to look at us as we rode past. We responded by ringing our bells or imitating their call. The roads were mostly paved and our pace was slower because we had made arrangements for a shuttle around the section of Dolly Sods and Canaan Valley that we had hiked over New Years weekend. Our meeting time was 2 pm and even with frequent stops, we arrived by 1 pm. Unfortunately, our contact did not show up and after 1 1/2 hours past due, we made other arrangements. After our shuttle, we rode into Hendricks and then got on an abandoned rail line that has not been made into a trail yet. It was rough and muddy in places but a real blast to ride. We felt we were pioneering a new route for the ADT. We arrived in Parsons and stayed at the Tucker Country Inn Motel.

Our favorite snack food while riding is chocolate milk and we each buy a pint at practically every small store we come to. Bill has become very proficient at origami map folding to try to get the ADT route shown on the county maps to fit into the see through map case on the handlebar bag.

38.6 miles, 9.3 mph, 4 hours 7 min

April 3, Thursday
The temp was 24 degrees when we left the motel at 7:10. That wasn’t a problem when we climbed the huge hill, but when we coasted down the other side, the wind chill was below zero. This was followed by a long but gradual uphill and then a long descent into Nestorville. The hills then began to lessen as we rode through Moatsville and along the wild and scenic Tygart River to Arden. One waterfall was particularly outstanding. As we neared the Pleasant Creek Public Hunting Area, we took a wrong turn because none of the roads are marked with road signs. This resulted in our riding two additional miles as we had to backtrack to correct our error. A major uphill and downhill on gravel road in Pleasant Creek called upon our skills from our former lives of racing motorcycles to negotiate the steep and rough terrain. Next, we stopped at the Anna Jarvis house, the birthplace of the woman who convinced Woodrow Wilson to establish Mother’s Day. This is just one of the 10,000 scenic, historic, or cultural points of interest which the ADT passes near. At the end of the day, we decided to try for an alleged public campground west of Grafton. The road we took turned out to be a dead end even though the map showed it went through. Stopping to ask our way at the last house on the road, we were invited in for the night. Stan has been a great host and it is a great end to another exhausting day.

50 miles, 9.1 mph, 5 hrs 24 min, 467 total miles biked since Delaware

We would like to say a few words about our bikes. The Trek 7000 aluminum frame bikes with RockShox have been outstanding with not even so much as a missed shift so far. Aside from two flat tires, we have had no mechanical problems whatever. We did spend some time last night on preventive maintenance by truing a couple of the wheels. The White Lightning chain lube seems to work well and lasts a long time. Bill is carrying about 53 pounds of gear, 10 each in 2 front panniers, 12 each in two rear panniers, plus sleeping bags of 5 pounds. Laurie has 8.5 pounds in all four panniers plus tent poles, thermarest pads, and a spare tire weighing an extra 5 pounds, for a total of 39 pounds. We each carry two water bottles which we usually consume by lunchtime and need to fill again. We both have handlebar bags with map cases. These are handy for quick access to essentials. The Trek panniers seem very well made and they are easy to put on and take off. They have built in rain covers when needed.

© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.
The Happy Feet

Index — Next Chapter