I’d been looking forward to this day for a while. Easy mileage, beautiful scenery, a stop over in a town along the water, and a pool at the end.
There was virtually no one in the Susquehanna State Park while I was there. I’m sure part of this was due to the heat and humidity. It was warm, but especially sticky. There was absolutely breeze, so the air just covered everything like a warm, moist blanket. It took me awhile to get up and moving since it was so hot, and I was still trying to be a bit careful. Since I was shuttled to the campground, I really didn’t have a good feel for how my body was going to respond to another day of riding, however short.
Once I got up and going, I rolled out, taking Carl’s advice for the reroute. Departing the campground, I was faced with about a mile-long stair step climb. It was a 15% in several spots, and leveled out, then kicked again. I could hear Phil and Paul commenting in my head. But, after this somewhat rude awakening, it was mostly downhill all the way into Havre de Grace, thanks in part to the route adjustment from Carl.
My friend and fellow bike advocate, Jerry, docks his sailboat in HdG, so I took advantage of his offer to stop in at the marina. I used the restroom, plugged my Garmin in for a good charge, and headed out downtown on foot to explore. I found a great little restaurant on the water and sat down for a lllloooooonnnnng, delicious, air conditioned lunch break. After lunch I poked around a bit more, then reclaimed my bike and headed out.
At this point it was the heat of the day, but I only had about 20 miles left to ride. These were easy miles too, mostly, and I was feeling MUCH better. I made my way to the campground by about 3:00. This is pretty early, but there was a swimming pool beckoning.
I should note that part of the route this day is where I joined the East Coast Greenway. Several of my friends have shared the FB post about a 3000 mile bike trail on the Atlantic coast. This is it, and was a goal of this ride. A key component in this network is the crossing over the Susquehanna River. This has been a long fight, and in June the Route 40 bridge was outfitted with a special push button signal. Bikers are now permitted, and the lights flash to alert drivers to the presence of cyclists on the bridge. It worked!
In my experience, any campground labeled a “resort” with lots of amenities for RVs is not terribly bike or tent friendly. I was pleasantly surprised that Woodlands had full-shade sites away from the RVs, and even the big motor homes had plenty of tree cover. The pool was amazing, and the people were very friendly.
Life got a bit interesting about 9 pm, when the sun had gone down and a helicopter appeared overhead with a search light aiming down at the campground. Seriously. It was low and slow, obviously looking for someone or something. It made several passes, and since we were right on the edge of Elk Neck State Forest, I decided to call it a night, put out the fire, and hope that the boogie man wouldn’t come out of the woods and steal my oatmeal in the middle of the night!
I don’t know if they ever found him, or it, but I had a great nights sleep and woke up quite early, even a bit chilly. I decided to head out early. Plan A was 50 miles to Media, PA. Plan B was for Abbi to drive to Wilmington and pick me up after only 30 miles.
Day 4: Susquehanna State Park to Woodlads Camping Resort: 28 miles