Metro subway trains wear Vorkosigan livery; Amtrak wears Imperial Service colors. I just thought you might want to know what goes through my head while sitting at train stations. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who dresses their minions in orange and blue (MARC) or turquoise polka dots (Acela). Although if I ever have minions I'd be tempted to try that last. CSX freight trains are patchwork, of course, but the locomotives are all gold and navy (who wears gold and navy livery? I can't recall. And it's been ages and ages since I've spotted a car that still had Chessie on it, alas.)
I timed my walk from the station to the car today; it took me eight minutes to go the .45 miles to the car, which ends up about 3.5 mph, while carrying an 18lb pack. (Apparently, ten-year-old laptops are godawful heavy. Who knew? Add in the two textbooks I *usually* carry, and we're up to 25 lbs, which is already approaching the suggested backpacking weight for somebody my size.) Then I helped Mom mow the lawn, and then I grabbed my hiking stick and we took a walk down to the old WB&A bridge over Old Mill Road that got washed out by Agnes in '72. That was about 1/4 mile in 6 minutes, which is still 2.5 mph. So let's split the difference and say my average walking speed when not pushing myself is about 3 mph. Which is actually better than I thought it would be.
Which means I ought to be able to do 16.6 mi in not much more than 7 hours, barring disaster, even at my slower stop-and-smell-the-wildflowers pace. This is relevant because it's 16.6 miles to the first campsite on the C&O trail, which would be both the longest stretch and the longest day by far. (What, you thought I wouldn't keep talking about that? Hahaha. The thing is, it's so eminently *doable*, and I so want to do it, so why not? I just need three days free with clear weather, and I shall be off, I will, I will.)( Canals and trails, trains and hikes, maps and dreams, and oh yeah, I should be doing homework. )
Anybody want to join me some weekend in bushwhacking from my house down to Academy Junction on the old WB&A right-of-way, and find what's been built of the WB&A trail? If they ever, finally, get the wheels moving on finishing that trail, before I'm too old and creaky to enjoy it, which, fingers crossed, they may actually be doing at long last, it's concievable that I could go all the way from our front yard to my sister's place without leaving designated hiker/biker trails - and while I'm dreaming, then I could concievably just *keep going*, right past Mom's hometown, until I hit the Pacific Ocean
- and wouldn't *that* be cool? But baby steps, kid, baby steps.