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The start. Cape Henlopen, DE to Washington DC

The first hundred miles or so from the coast through rural Delaware and Maryland to DC.

Stu and Dave at the start of the trail - the beach at Cape Henlopen, Delaware - about to leave the Atlantic coast to head West to the Pacific.Susan Butch Henley who is the Executive Director of the American Discovery Trail (and formerly of the American Hiking Society) walked Coast to Coast on a very similar route with a team in the 80s. She very kindly gave us a lift to the start of the trail. We learned a lot on the way.Dave and Butch at the start of the trail, Cape Henlopen, Delaware.Stuart and Butch at the start of the trrail, Cape Henlopen, Delaware.Our first meal on the trail at Cape Henlopen. It felt good to have the start of the trail in sight.The road from Cape Henlopen to Lewes, DE.Lewes, DE. the first town on the trail.Rural Delaware - very quiet farm roads.Rural Delaware - we passed through mostly arable farmland and woods.Delaware byways.
After 50-odd miles we came to our first hill. A terrifying sight. (If my stylist is watching, please be assured that I have lost the hat.)The terrain soon took its toll.Dave fulfills one of his life-long ambitions in meeting the Baltimore Senior Ladies Cycling team, amongst whom we met our second Coast to Coast Walk veteran.Tom made our first night by giving us a lift to the store to grab some beers as we camped rough outside Lewes DE. We shared the back of his pickup with his dogs.Arlin Mast was one of the first people we met as we crossed into Maryland. He invited us to camp in his back garden and we shared a few beers. Dave and Arlin are pictured here in the cold store in Arlins backyard butchery.The tents set up in Arlins back garden, Delaware.In Denton MD we camped at the Mardela Campgrounds. Our hosts Ken and Gita showed us many kindnesses including lending us bicycles so that we could rest our blisters and ride round town flouting traffic laws.Near Starr, MD we camped in one of Victor Woods fields shortly after Stuart pitched his tent a huge electrical storm opened up on us.The morning after - Starr, MD. The tents had stood up successfully to a huge amount of rain - thankyou MSR.Before the storm hit we had spent some time doing publicity shots for our sponsors. We are expecting Craft to use this shot as the front cover for their Autumn 06 catologue.
Dumped car nr. Georgetown MD.A cookup. We bought a disposable BBQ to treat ourselves to some NASCAR sausages.We obtianed further huge quantities of meat at Jeffs Taproom, Milton DE. Self-proclaimed "finest burgers in Delmarva." We have so far not found evidence to the contrary but we are looking hard.About 80 miles in my achilles tendons started playing up and I discovered that, along with immense pain, I lost the ability to walk down hill. Here is one such hill, this is about three-quarters of the way (or 3 hours) to the bottom.Stu liberally applied moleskin and essence of banana to his blisters to aid the healing process.I would like a lift.We refuelled on fantastic sandwiches at Carolyns tea rooms in Queenstown MD. We retreated to the garden so as to not frighten her other customers with our 3-day funk. Here Carolyn leans in dangerously close to the Toolan armpit for a photo.We passed some huge grain houses but were often left disappointed in our quest for wheat.Maryland Grain silo. Plenty of these.Stu on the road to Bowie.
Delaware. Near the state line. Stu marching on.The trail has presented some huge challenges some of which we were at first unsure we could overcome. Fortunately the months of survival training with Ray Mears saw us right.In Annapolis MD we had the good fortune to be invited to stay with Siri Harding who had previously hosted a number of other ADT travellers. Annapolis is a great town, we got the tour.Staying with Siri meant that we had a chance to cook up in style. We treated ourselves to an evening in the kitchen with Aretha Franklin and plenty of Corona and then treated Siri to a risotto.Crossing the Severn Bridge. Staying with Siri also meant that we got the opportunity to slackpack for a day.From Annapolis to DC things turned noticably more urban. We still demanded new floors to walk on from all our hosts.Bowie MD.Madison St Washington. We had a very relaxing couple of days staying with David and his dogs Ellie and Alice.Back at Stephs appartment in DC I picked up my new wide-angle lens which immediately came in useful for documenting the incredible amount of shambles that our presence creates...and for making Stu look really wierd.

E-mail: stu@walkingthestates.com and dave@walkingthestates.com | Phone: (00 1) 301 538 0308