Part of the fun of having a large collection of photos on my computer, and having many of them loaded as my screensaver, is that now and then I'm treated to an unexpected trip down memory lane!
Take the picture to the left for example. This was taken on the morning of my first full day on my first end-to-end C&O Canal tour. If you click on the image to see it full size, you'll see that my bike and pretty much everything else is covered in frost. The irony is that only a week earlier it had been 70 degrees... and my first night it dipped well into the teens! I still had a wonderful time though. Gorgeous scenery, and the peace and quiet was lovely, especially since work had been hectic up to that point. The biggest challenge on the ride was actually hours of daylight... it was early November and the days were shorter than I had anticipated, so I got in fewer miles per day than I hoped. This ended up putting me over 80 miles from my destination on the last morning, so I had to just plow on through, arriving in DC well after dark. Not the most fun day I've spent on a bike, but the trip was on the whole still wonderful. That was in fall of 2004, and I've since done it again, with Annie, in fall of 2005, in October. Big difference in daylight then, and it helped make the whole trip smoother.
One memory particular to this picture and the campsite where it was taken... in addition to being REALLY cold at night, I discovered that I had camped next to a cow pasture. Not only did I have to watch my step in the campsite, but at about 11:00pm I learned just when it is that those particular cows come home! I was awoken from a none-too-sound sleep by the bellowing and hoofsteps of a very large herd of cattle just yards from my tent! And they made an encore appearance in the morning as well. I have to admit, it's funnier now than it was at the time... but I think I still managed a chuckle at the time.