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Homestead to Washington, D.C. via Bike

Scout Troop 139 tackles the 350 miles to Washington, D.C. on bikes.

It took eight days and seven nights for 10 scouts (from Troop 139) and 11 adults to pedal 350 miles tenting all the way.

Some of their campsites were primitive and some had amenities a like flush toilets and a swimming pool. Each biker had his/her own tent to set up each night. They did have a truck and a van that traveled with them carrying emergency supplies and their food. Linda Barnes and Tom Kastellic were the cooks for the trip.

The group (which contained the three generation MeDermott family –70, 40, 12) started in Homestead and followed the Great Allegheny Passage to Cumberland, MD where they picked up the C&O Canal and continued to Georgetown. The first two days were up a 5% grade to the Eastern Continental Divide. The next 6 miles were thankfully all downhill. Then it leveled out and was fairly flat.

The first night several bikers passed the campsite resulting in an extra 10 miles to their day's trek. The goal for each day was 50 miles.

Along the way they saw the Paw Paw Tunnel, and Town Creek Aqueduct, Fort Frederick Historical site, and Harper's Ferry .

Friday night (17 miles outside of Georgetown) was the memorable night, in one of the primitive campsites, with rain, wind, and a possible microburst. One leader's tent was picked up by the wind and moved several feet. The next day the scouts found trees which had just missed their tents, trees beside the cook truck and van. They had to spend several hours clearing trees just to get the motor vehicles out and clear paths for their bikes. (Seems these trees were wrapped in poison ivy!) Note the pictures illustrating how they had to proceed through the downed trees along the trail.

Finally they arrived in Georgetown – somewhat late so did not have the luxury of sightseeing in Washington, D.C. They had to hurry to the CSX train station which was another adventure.

The train trip that was to be an experience for the group ended up extending from four hours to 12 because train personnel had to stop and clear the tracks of debris from the storm.

Scouts making the trip were: Ben Barnes, Shane Baskin, Calvin Hogate, Jessie Hong, John Hong, John Houston, Matthew Houston, Sam Kastellic, Matt Kegges, and Skyler Smith.

Adults joining scoutmaster Chris Sparacino were: Linda Barnes, Chuck Baskin, Mike Forbeck, Heather Hogate, Tom Hong, Chris Hong, Tom Kastellic, Pat McDermott, John Hackett, and Dave Testa.

All arrived home safe, sound, and possibly a little itchy with memories to tell. Congratulations to all!

If any scout have pictures they would like to share, please add them to this blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Heather July 09, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Wow, good for them!
knf35 July 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I'm impressed too, especially for the adults. I'm not sure, well yes I am, that I could make it. Must include lots of training and riding. Troop 139 also recently did a land and water event....biking and canoeing. Must be fit young men.
Heidi Dezayas July 09, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Quite an amazing feat for these guys!

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