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We had planned an overnight bike packing trip weeks in advance, there was nothing that was going to stop us. Not breaking spokes, losing spare parts, catching a flat, riding into the night, breaking a tent, packing far too little whiskey, or the realization that nothing is ever truly waterproof. Did we forget to mention that a major winter storm just dumped over 8 inches of snow the day prior? It made for a pretty demoralizing start to this trip. But once we finally had set up camp, using twine to mend the broken tent pole and helping ourselves to our limited whiskey, we finally felt as though the tides had turned on our luck. Sitting around the glowing campfire, with a clear night sky and the Potomac River as our backdrop, we enjoyed our bowlfuls of steaming hot rice and beans, and knew we made the right decision.

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Ballston, Va- Eric Baldwin, Academic Advisor  at Marymount University.

The water seeping though our ‘waterproof’ tent in the morning was the universe’s way to remind us that this adventure would be type 2 fun. The clear night sky had transformed overnight into sleet and snow. We got up, changed and packed, and were excited to get riding and warm up. We knew that the C & O Canal was probably impassable, but we followed a service vehicle’s tracks with wishful thinking. We only made about a half a mile before the tracks came to an abrupt end. The trail was now covered by over a foot of unplowed snow from the recent storm. We hedged our bets and decided to turn around and take the roads home, hoping to make it back without anymore issues.

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Ballston, Va- Eric Baldwin, Academic Advisor  at Marymount University.

Ballston, Va- Eric Baldwin, Academic Advisor  at Marymount University.

Ballston, Va- Eric Baldwin, Academic Advisor  at Marymount University.

Ballston, Va- Eric Baldwin, Academic Advisor  at Marymount University.

Ballston, Va- Eric Baldwin, Academic Advisor  at Marymount University.

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All in all, the ride home was smooth sailing. We only had to deal with the cold and sleet. Even with all of hassles, setbacks, and discomforts, in the end the journey was well worth it.

 

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