I am about 280 miles into the trip and overall is has been a pretty good hike. I am near Hancock MD. now and even though I want to get into WV just to be into the next part of the journey I decided to take a couple of days to rest and recover and use a laundry mat, yay.
Even though I have had a couple of "interesting" encounters with people so far let me say that those encounters have been the exception on the trip not the rule. By and large nearly everyone I have run across has been really very friendly. I have stopped and spoke with many people on the trail, pet their dogs and left with a handshake day after day rather than getting away from wacko's or thieves. Those stories aren't always as memorable to write about in the time I get something out but is personally much more fulfilling. In general the friendliness of people on the trail has lifted my hope for people rather than brought it down.
The C&O Towpath trail is also well maintained and the surroundings nice to look at. After a large thunderstorm yes there are sections that are pretty well waterlogged but that is to be expected the trail does sit between a river and a canal. There have even been some pretty big branches or tree parts across the trail. Those again are more the exception I get the impression that trees that are knocked down don't stay laying across the trail for long. It really is a very nice trail and would be a great hike for someone looking to do a smaller scale hike. 180 miles or less.
I had been hearing splashing noises in the canal day after day as I have been walking but couldn't get a glimpse of what was making the noise. I finally saw what has to be causing at least some of it, turtles. I was hiking along some spots where the canal didn't have as many trees growing in it and I finally saw the little buggers. They were on logs and would drop off and make the splash when I gt near. I had been wondering if it was frogs or fish but turtles never crossed my mind. I think there might be more than one type in the canal some had red stripes others it didn't look like it. I suppose the difference could be between male or female also.
I also saw some kind of rodent looking thing maybe a muskrat, just a guess. It was about beaver sized but without the beaver tail so I know it wasn't a beaver. Funny little thing, it watched me as a I was hiking up and then when I got closer he shot into a hole in a rock wall. I saw also saw small trees that have been chewed on by a beaver both very recent and old but I haven't spotted a beaver or a beaver dam in the canal.