Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday - Cumberland, MD

Today we set out for the National Road and began our journey westward. This road was built in the early 1800's to facilitate westward expansion, running from Baltimore to St Louis on the frontier. Today an Interstate highway follows much the same route, although you can travel almost all of the 800+ miles on an older route. MUCH older, in some cases, as we hope to prove tomorrow.

We sped to the outskirts of Baltimore and picked up the trail in Catonsville, then meandered the old road through a dozen "pike towns" and into the Appalachains, where we rest tonight just outside Cumberland. On the way, we stopped to check out a stone bridge built in 1819 for the original road, a monument to an even older bridge, and an unplanned visit to a Harley dealership in Hagerstown. Fortunately, it was only a burned-out headlight, and we were far enough ahead of schedule that we still arrived when we expected. Hopefully, that was our "bike trouble" for the week, and now it's behind us. The weather today was perfect.

For the record, there are 9 bikes and 12 people total along for the ride. Tomorrow we are heading for Columbus, Ohio and planning on a lot of sightseeing along the way.

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