Tornado Alley…Between Mile Markers 142 & 141

This was one of the first piles of twisted trees that we had to come through. At this point we had to come through it, because going into the canal bed wasn't an option

On Sunday, June 12th we encountered quite a sight between mile markers 142 and 141. For approximately .5 miles, trees of all shapes and sizes were downed both on the towpath and in the canal itself. It took approximately 45 minutes to pass through the mess, and in places we had to hoist the bikes five feet into the air to cross over the fallen limbs. The debris was close enough to civilization that we feared Bill’s Place would be roof-less or worse. Fortunately, the path of destruction was relatively small–well, unless your part of the NPS’s maintenance crew. There was plenty to clean up.

Looking Back...

I love this picture now, but at the time there was nothing fun about it! We don't know how much our bikes weighed fully loaded, but it was hard work getting them up, over, and around the mess!

In Harpers Ferry, a group of riders informed us that a tornado had touched down on June 10th near Little Orleans, Md. I can’t confirm this 100% authority, but having seen the damage that the usual high winds can cause, this was far worse. We’ve since heard that the trees have been cleared from the towpath, and the remains are stacked along the side of the trail.

This was a tough one to get through!

This happened on Day #1 of our Through-Ride….click here to read more about our trip. Oh yeah, there are lots of pictures to look at as well!
Day 1, Day 2, & Day 3.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Shh don’t tell anyone because I’m away, but not away and everyone things I’m really away!! Okay if you understand that you’re both fantastic.

    Tornado’s do the funniest things. I mean take the one that hit us. It didn’t touch the ground but stayed suspended in the air, still it did a lot of damage, if it had been on the ground boy we’d not had a home.

    That sure was a pile of twisted trees. Glad you could get around it to finish your trip.


  2. Posted by thomasaitken01 on July 9, 2011 at 1:14 am


    I’ve never been in a tornado, and the piles of trees we went through are about as close as I’s like to get. I keep calling the path of destruction a half-mile, while Candee calls it a quarter-mile. I’m not sure which of us is correct, but it seemed like a long way. As tornadoes (assuming it was one) go, this one was small, but in the wrong place it could have been devastating. I love the C&O, but thank God it hit in the middle of nowhere.


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