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Reply to Reservations for Camping Mid September

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Reply to Reservations for Camping Mid September
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KTG from Philly on 8/26/2020 4:50:32 PM:
My husband and I are planning a ride from DC to Pittsburgh Mid-September. We have a rough idea of where we'll end each day, but have not yet made any reservations. We would like to make reservations in the AM for that evening. What has been everyone's experience with this? We'll be using the hiker/biker camps, and the fee camps, obviously can't reserve the hiker/biker campgrounds... do they fill up fast this time of year? Thanks

John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 8/26/2020 5:57:35 PM:
Hiker/Bikers will be wide open. Even if you arrived at a packed camp, there’s always another one 5-7 miles away down the trail. Summer is peak season and fall much less so. But you’ll have no issues. Not sure about fee sites, I would just call to assure yourself you’ve got a spot but I don’t see them filling up either. John

LOA from Chevy Chase,MD on 8/27/2020 7:26:12 AM:
Concur. The fall will just require you to use more lights (and blankets), so either have a good charger or charge them up while you're at a restaurant. It will be a lovely trip that time of year. Have fun (and DC-to-Pitt is personally my favorite direction)!

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 8/27/2020 4:57:09 PM:
Just to add something about the fee sites....I would call in advance just to make sure there are no big events or festivals. I stayed in Meyersdale at the Maple Festival campground in June. Wide open then but if you came during the festival, I’m not sure if there would be room. Just speculating, I don’t know when it is. Of course with Covid, I bet this, and other, festivals get curtailed or cancelled. I would call anyways. With Covid, many things have closed or shorted hours. No idea what Ohiopyle is like either during September but you never know.

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 8/27/2020 5:03:41 PM:
LOA - My solar charger was a total failure on my last DC to Pitt trip! I stuck in on top of my rear rack and tried charging my power stick but with all the shade from the trees, it didn’t do much charging. By the time I got to camp, the sun was pretty much going down so that was it. The only thing that saved me was the restaurants and them allowing me to plug in. I think I need to upgrade my charger and bring extra power sticks just incase. I typically “unplug” during my GAP/C&O trips but do use my phone to communicate, make calls, or for navigation. John

LOA from Chevy Chase,MD on 8/28/2020 6:53:06 AM:
John - same here. I had the brightest of hopes for my folding solar charger, but it was as heavy as it was ineffective for the same reasons you articulated (I've resigned to only use it only for camping). Thankfully, my cycling buddy had several, small battery packs, which saved the day (as well as the wonderfully tolerant restaurants). And, as much as I'd like to use my phone for navigation, I went and bought a purpose-built GPS device...much less battery drain. It really comes in handy for those not-so-straightforward routes. For what it's worth, I also purchased a Light phone (reminiscent of the old candy bar phones, but with better design).

KTG from Philly on 8/28/2020 3:57:42 PM:
Thank you for your comments. We have a solar lantern, but also has USB charger. As well as flashlights, headlamps etc. Glad to hear the restaurants are OK with charging devices. That was our plan!

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 8/28/2020 6:18:15 PM:
The three I remember specially plugging into are Beans in the Belfry in Brunswick, MD, Tony’s Pizza in Williamsport, MD , and Cafe Mark in Cumberland , MD.

Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 8/31/2020 11:18:08 PM:
If you get really desparate for a charge, you'll often find outdoor receptacles on the exterior of buildings/facilities to charge your devices especially if you are forced to eat outside anyways due to the pandemic. Heck I found an outdoor panelboard with standard receptacles at the empty Brunswick train station to charge my phone a couple of days ago.