The credit for the ridiculas acronym goes to my friend Mike Capron. Or as we like to call him, The Ninja (66k)
Gump FART started when my roomate John Romano (26k) and I decided to bike the C&O Canal over three days. That first trip was quite an adventure. We had such a great time just the two of us (32k) that we decided to do it every year.
The next year the only other taker we had was my Mom.(32k)
My Mom by the way, is a biking, running, racquetball playing, hiking, CAM riding animal. She also does a pretty good impersonation of
Beavis (16k) on a sugar high.
Well in '94 we convinced 13 other suckers to join us. All of us met at Great Falls MD (37k)(Mile 14) to Catch a ride to the beginning of the trail at Cumberland MD (48k). We started (76k) together the next day on the 184 (11k) mile marker.
We got an early start the first day so we wouldn't get behind (25k), enjoying the beautiful fall foliage at its peak. Fall 1 (184k) Fall 2 (189k) Kathy Capron and Mom were all smiles by the time they had made it to the 113 (29k) mile marker. Everyone caught up again ready to enter the Paw Paw tunnel. (82k) At about 1400 ft it is a good idea to bring a flashlight. (6k) Once on the other side there is a prime oppourtunity for a group shot on top of the exit (55k). Probably one of my all time favorite pictures is from the first FART when John and I came through the tunnel and because it had been raining all day I snapped a great shot (83k). About 10 miles from Hancock (our destination for day one) people were starting to get tired. (68k) Mister Energy himself, Tom Wiederman (28k) and I made a detour to a local feature called the Devils Eye (63k). Once we made it to the hotel we were ready for a feast (15k).
My determined but slightly nervous wife Michelle (16k) joined us on the second day. After her ride left I think see was having second thoughts (32k) about biking 75 miles in one day. She made it none the worse for wear. It is amazing how slow those mile markers can creep by. 85 down only 99 (12k) to go. Mark got a crash course (67k) on riding a mountain bike. After crossing the trestle (75k) into Harpers Ferry and climbing a steep uphill (41k) to the hotel. Michelle gets a well deserved rubdown (28k). For dinner we headed for only place in Harpers Ferry that serves cheap food after 6pm, Kings Pizza. It took so long to get our food that by the time it was ready Eileen was overcome with hunger induced giddieness. (7k)
The last day all the girls (38k) and guys (21k) were ready for the final push. While John (8k) and Martha Smith (7k) joined the others in stopping and soaking on the sights at Great Falls (57k) , Dave Mumford, myself, and even Mohan (20k) just had to go all the way to the finish. After passing 184 mile markers over three days we finally made it to the ultimate. The Mile Zero Marker! (24k)
So ends the story of Gump FART 94. We had a blast. I would suggest a C&O Canal trip to anyone wanting to relax, have fun, and unwind. Here is a parting shot (115k) with the full group. (Except for John Romano)
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