Things are shaping up nicely

Typical Lockhouse on the C&O Canal Trail

It’s been a productive week of trip planning. I assembled my packing list for the tour. I based it on some good touring web site lists and some touring books I have been reading. I’ve become a fan and regular on the touring board on There has been some good advice on what to pack in the forum.

With my list done, I began building the detailed packing lists for the panniers, racks and other bike bags. It’s been an interesting exercise to divide the load and weight to balance the bike. It is pretty obvious now that I need to have this done in the next few weeks and take a ride with the bike fully loaded. From what I have read, the load will need to be tweaked and adjusted to get the bike rolling without a shimmy.

This past Saturday Chuck and I went shopping for camping supplies. Appalachian Outfitters was having their annual 20% weekend sale. It was a good opportunity to pick up some freeze dried food and other specialized camping supplies. We opted to stop at Wal-Mart after to pick up more common items at a much reduced cost. I think I am just about all geared up with only a few items remaining to purchase.

We are continuing to evolve our schedule for the tour. We made what I think is a nice change in the schedule. We opted to skip the B&B in Harpers Ferry. We replaced it with a night in a canal lockhouse that is 12 miles down the trail from Harpers Ferry. The National Park Service runs a program called Canal Quarters where tourists can spend a night in a restored lockhouse. It will be a memorable part of our journey. It also puts us 12 miles closer to D.C. on our final day into the Capitol making that ride more manageable.

The tour is just a few days more than a month away. I am feeling really good about the trip. Things are shaping up nicely. The only problem I see right now is Chuck and I getting in some major cycling time in the next month. The weather has been so uncooperative. We really need two back-to-back days where we can cycle 30-35 miles each day with fully loaded bikes. It’s now looking like that may be as late as early June.

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