Date: 1/28/18 4:19 pm
From: JAMES SPEICHER <jugornought...>
Subject: [MDBirding] C & O COUNT...PERHAPS A TEACHABLE MOMENT FOR NEWBIES
On 1/28/18, Eugene wrote:
> J D and I birded from Seneca (mi 23) to above Sycamore Landing (28) yesterday.

> 13025 Rileys Lock Rd, Poolesville US-MD (39.0688,-77.3408)
> Jan 27, 2018
> 9:35 AM
> Traveling
> 7.14 miles
> 287 Minutes

Hi Gene

Wondering...had you done the C & O count before? It may be that I've
assumed knowledge that not everyone shares.

The way the count works is to keep separate tallies for each mile on
the canal towpath. If your initial access point was Seneca the
mileage at the intersection of the lot and the canal is 22.8 according
to the Park Service [find the publication roughly titled C & O Canal
Park Planner 2014final2 pdf; which includes on page one a
"Recreational Guide by Milepost"]. Walking upriver as you did, my
approach would have been to not count until reaching milepost 23,
which actually begins towpath mile 24. Then keeping your first tally
you would travel mile 24 ending the tally at milepost 25; a new tally
begins there for mile 25 ending at milepost 26; a new tally begins
there for mile 26 ending at milepost 27. Sycamore Landing is given as
mile 27.2 by NPS, but maybe you went on to milepost 28. If you then
walked back to your car at Seneca, you would NOT have counted. Total
miles then would seem to be 4 if you reach milepost 28, not 7.14 as
indicated in the report.

Each mile would then be entered as a separate eBird report, noting the
mile tallied in the remarks section. There may be a C & O Canal
HOTSPOT that may be used/useful for the entire 184 miles, but I don't
know if that's so...someone else...???

How to reconcile mileposts with canal towpath miles is to do a mind
experiment & begin at the beginning. From the canal's beginning to
milepost 1 delineates towpath mile 1. Milepost 1 marks the beginning
of towpath mile 2. So in your case the first milepost encountered 23,
actually begins towpath mile 24.

It's perfectly fine to travel in the reverse direction. In that
instance in your situation, if you began by parking at Sycamore
Landing at mile 27.2 you'd walk downriver until encountering milepost
27 where you would begin surveying mile 27 on the towpath ending at
milepost 26, which begins mile 26, etc.

Jim S

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