Wednesday, August 13, 2008

S24O - Gettysburg

After a good time in Ohio and an uneventful drive home to Maryland, I arrived with just a couple of days left in my vacation. One of those was spent entirely in house and yard tasks, but on the weekend I found the time for an S24O to Gettysburg with some friends.

Jon, Jason and Jay all started from Ellicott City, and after a bit of phone tag I joined them in Union Bridge.

We rolled the lovely rolling hills of central Maryland on our way to Emmittsburg, where we met the rest of our group.


Becky, Julie, Joe, Donna and Steve all came up from Frederick. We all met at Chubby's BBQ right off of Rt 15 and had a late lunch. I think my body is used to this as a signal that the riding is done, and after we got back on the road, I was very stiff and sluggish.

It didn't help to watch ourselves heading to where the clouds were darkest ahead. We stopped for a quick break at an interesting natural dam just over the Pennsylvania line, and then the heavens opened up.

The rain, not so bad, but I just don't like being out in the lightening . Scary. then it started to hail. Nice nickel sized pieces. I'd stopped to throw on a rain jacket and started again, to find my companions' bikes abandoned under a tree and them in a nearby barn. This seemed like a good idea, so I followed suit. We passed around a flask and waited for a lull. Soon we got a break and as soon as we we rolling we hit another band of heavy rain and lightening.

This time though we also found a better barn, one which we could ride into. Nice.

When this band had also passed we rode on the a gentle drizzle. Not so bad. I was really ready to get to the camp site though.

Our route took us though the Gettysburg National Battlefield and over little round top. The climbing certainly took a toll on my legs, and my normally sunny disposition was beginning to waver.

We rolled off the battlefield and to the campground. The rain has stopped completely for a while and set up went great. I couldn't decide if I should change into dry clothing then, or wait until we got the the evening's restaurant. I changed at the campground and so naturally it rained again on the way to the Appalachian Brewing Company. I was certainly grumpy then, but a beer and an order of fish and chips set me right pretty quickly. We closed the bar that night (not saying much, it closed at 11PM) and 9 slightly tipsy riders rolled back through G'burg to the campground. The lights and blinky parade was lovely from my natural position at the back of the pack. Once back at camp most of us turned in pretty soon.

Morning was there before I knew it, and I broke down my camp to let thigs dry on some nearby picnic tables. I borrowed a stove to heat water for tea and oatmeal. The day was bright, and cool. Perfect touring weather. The others had planned to ride into town for breakfast, but I wanted this to be a true sub 24 hour excursion, so I hit the road southwards.

It was a straight shot to Taneytown, where I just missed the breakfast time at the Scottish restaurant and had to settle on a lunch sandwich for my elevenses.

Then on through Union Bridge and back into Frederick County and home, arriving with about 5 minutes to spare in my 24 hour timetable.


Blogger Bone said...

Very nice. I've been meaning to do a day tour of Gettysburg.

What campground did you stay at?

12:34 PM  
Blogger Hjalti said...

We stayed at Artillery Ridge Campground.

Split 9 ways, the two sites cost about 10 bucks each. Several tents fit on each site.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Looks like you guys had a blast. Wish I could've made it!

7:01 PM  
Blogger Hjalti said...

Next time Kevin, next time.

7:07 AM  

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