People told us we would like the GAP much better than the C&O. They were right. As the very diplomatic man at the Canal Place Visitors Center put it, it is a newer trail with a more modern surface.
He was also very diplomatic in his estimate of how long it would take us to get to the continental divide. It took us two hours to get to the Frostburg information kiosk at milepost 15. Frostburg is a daunting looking hill UP from the trail, with a special switchback trail for pedestrians and cyclists. It took us 20 minutes in debating and riding time to get to the closest restaurant to the trail. From there we saw STEPS up to the main business district. Needless to say, we did not see the town, although the guidebook says it is worth the climb. After a leisurely hour-long lunch, we still had another hour to the high point on the trail.
There we met a man from Vienna, Virginia, biking with his brothers who live in St. Louis and Seattle. They were heading to DC, doing the GAP in two days, then on to the C&O.
What's interesting about the GAP is all the little towns, more frequently spaced, and the railroad infrastructure. We passed through several tunnels and over a couple of long viaducts today. We also saw our first wind turbines of the trip.
Maybe it's the marginally better weather, but there seem to be a lot more people on this trail. When Roy and I stopped to put on our rain gear, a Boy Scout from a troop pausing along the trail came racing up to make sure we were alright. Good deed done, he turned around and raced back.