28 August 2006

A very long walk

Last Saturday I went on a solo 25 km (15.6 mile) walk on the towpath that goes along the C&O Canal & the Potomac River. Instead of going on a continuous course, I did 2 out-and-back hikes, returning to my starting spot in between. That way, I didn't have to carry my lunch and carried less water than I would have otherwise.

I started at 9:35 from Lock 21, also known as Swains Lock.

lock21
Lock 21

Walking due west, I arrived at Lock 23 (Violette's Lock) at 11:20. My total walking time, excluding brief stops to take pictures, was 102 min. The distance between Locks 21 and 23 was about 5.3 miles. My average speed was, therefore, about 3 miles/h (4.8 km/h).

lock23
Lock 23

I arrived back at Lock 21 at 13:15, taking once again almost exactly 102 minutes. After a 30-min lunch break, I started walking due South and arrived at Lock 18 at 14:34. The distance between Locks 21 and 18 was about 2.5 miles. And my average speed, despite the fact that my legs were now tired and sore, was still about 3 miles/h.

lock23b
Another view of Lock 23

After a very brief rest, I started my return trip and I arrived back at Lock 21 at 15:30. Again, my average speed remained the same at 3 miles/h. The temperature during the day had been predicted to go up to about 31 °C (88 °F) and it was humid, but I felt comfortable throughout the walk. Afterwards, the soreness in my legs quickly went away.

lock18
Lock 18

There is an annual series of 50 km, 80 km, 100 km hikes along the C&O Canal from Washington, DC to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I may attempt one of them next spring.

2 comments:

John said...

There are some beautiful stretches in that area. I would have a hard time covering it all because I would constantly be stopping to look at things.

clare said...

Very interesting pictures. US locks look a little bit different from locks in the UK - though can't really think exactly how. I think they may actually be a bit bigger - which is odd because it is usually the other way round.