The journey continued. Most of my day was spent on the canal towpath. I did take a one hour shortcut to get to Williamsport, but my other five hours of riding were all along the trail.
As monotonous as five hours of riding on the same path may sound, there was always something to keep my mind engaged. A giant bridge spanning the river, an abandoned 19th century building, a light dusting of snow. At every turn I was pleasantly surprised.
Even more impressive than the sceneries were the animals. A fat racoon waddled away as I approached. A couple of deer sprinted across the trail. An owl observed me from its perch. A blue herron elegantly glided across a pond.
None of these sightings could compare to one, however. As I head up the towpath I saw a decommissioned bridge spanning the river. The bridge was gone but the support pillars were still in place. I spotted a large brown bird perched atop one of the supports. Upon further inspection of its brown feathers and white head I realized that this must be a bald eagle. I was star struck. I quickly dismounted my bicycle to grab my camera. I felt like I was playing Pokémon Snap (if you don't know what Pokémon Snap is it's because you were not hardcore like me in high school). The eagle, whose vision is surely better than mine, easily spotted me in my bright orange jacket. It had no interest in being photographed. It spread its wings and soared off. Watching this beautiful creature cut through the wind was plenty of consolation for the missed pic.
I ultimately arrived in Hancock. It is a quaint, charming little town off the towpath. The bike store here, C&O Bike, was clutch. It had a spoke repair kit, which was the last piece of equipment I desperately wanted to obtain. As night fell I wandered to the Potomac River Grill. I can't recommend this place enough! For seven bucks I devoured the largest turkey sandwich dinner I'd ever seen in my life. It was recommended by Steven, their friendly waiter and my first friend on Instagram (I broke down and downloaded it during dinner, check out ctownorocklin).
After dinner I walked home, but not before stopping at a movie rental store. Remember those things that were everywhere in the 1990s? This place still had one, and it was awesome. I was expecting to go on a trip bit I wasn't expecting to also be transported back in time. Pretty cool!
Man, I really enjoyed the simple little town of Hancock. I guess it came down to the fact that I was treated really nicely by every single person I met. As I left the Super 8 in Hancock, I got to talking with the woman working there. She was impressed by the details of my upcoming journey. She said, "You want some bottled water? I'm gonna get you a bottle of water." She retrieved the bottle from the back. While handing it to me, she said, "I ain't gonna charge you two dollars for a bottle of water when you're riding your bike across the country." All I can say to that is God Bless America.