I should have taken the towpath (or things you can’t see from the WMRT)

Round Top Cement Mill Remains

We’re planning on doing another Cumberland to Georgetown bike trip in June, but we generally do most of our (ahem) training on the Western Maryland Rail Trail.  The main reason is that I’m trying to get maximum mileage out of last year’s tune-up at the bike shop.  Hitting the towpath too hard and too soon generally makes for a dirty chain and clogged gears, plus a few shakes and rattles in the other components of our aging bicycles.  On a recent trek on the WMRT from Hancock to Pearre Station, I was reminded that I haven’t seen one of my favorite stretches of the C&O in quite a while.  Of course, I’m referring to some of the unique scenery close to mile marker 127.  The Round Top Cement Mill was built in the late 1830s, and the cement was used to help build the western end of the canal (1850).  Afterward, the mill remained open for another sixty years or so.  The remains are pretty desolate these days, but they do attest to the heyday of this bustling endeavor.

The ominous Devil's Eyebrow

The Devil’s Eyebrow is a frightening piece of Mother Nature’s handiwork that sits about two-tenths of a mile downstream from the cement mill.  It’s a neat combination of anticline/shallow cave that looks like an empty eye socket, and the “eyebrow” portion is arched in such a manner that it replicates the sneer of old Beelzebub himself (or perhaps Dudley Do-Right’s arch-nemesis Snidely Whiplash).  Don’t get me wrong: I do have lots of love for the Western Maryland Rail Trail, but there’s a time to get off of the pavement and see the sights of the C&O.  Plus, I had a couple of old images that I wasn’t doing anything with, and, well, you get the picture.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Hey!!! WTG on the bike training. I forgot y’all are getting close to the ride. How is the training going for you and Candee?

    I wont get to walk the weight watchers 5K this year. :( I just told David I want a bike maybe I can start biking my huge apartment complex!!!

    Let me know how the training goes. Keep me up to date. I have to live through you and Candee this year!


  2. Posted by LevelWalker on May 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    The training is going slower than usual, but we have plans on doing at least one up-and-back on the WMRT. If you can do 45 miles, you can do 65–at least that’s always been the case. The past goal has been to get a total of 200 miles in before the big ride (195 miles in three days, counting side trips). I’m at 126 so far.


  3. Posted by BikerChick on May 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I’ve had a very busy year and I’ve put on a lot of weight since last summer. Tom has really had to push me to get ready for our ride this year. In addition to my weight, the weather and scheduling issues really haven’t been in our favor either. I’m looking forward to the big ride, but I know it’s going to be a challenge this time. I hope all is going well with you!


  4. Candee, I know you can do it. You and Tom have been doing this for a time. I’m so disappointed with myself as I’ve put on weight due surgery and non exercise. I’m determined to get back in the swing of things though. I”ll use you and Tom as my inspiration.


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