Seeing as I spend 99.9% of my time riding my bike in New York City, it was nice to see terrain like this for a change while riding on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal tow path.
Without multi-ton motor vehicles around me I submitted to the temptation one day of riding without a helmet. It proved not to be the wisest of choices however because there are always creative ways of falling. It seems each year for example that I hear of rider going down due to a crash with a wild animal. See this recent post on BikeCommuters.com for an example - it's about a rather harsh encounter with a 300 pound doe.
We saw several deer on our ride and I did spook a few of them and they could have easily collided with me and thrown me for a loop. I never did fall, but I ended up feeling kind of naked without my helmet.
We also saw frogs (one of which met it's demise in the spokes of a friend's bike - poor guy jumped right into the rapidly spinning wheel and came out lifeless), chipmunks, squirrels, turtles, Blue Heron, and even some Bald Eagles. Even if you think you are safe, I personally think it's always a good idea to wear a helmet, and I'm sure now that I've said this we will get comments on how studies show that wearing a helmet does not increase safety.
There were lots of picturesque scenes as we rode . . .
There were some caves along the path and some acted as shelters during Civil War battles.
Each night we were serenaded by thousands of cicadas. These are interesting little creatures. We noticed one morning that a tree on our campsite was covered with the discarded exoskeletons of the bugs. There were tons of the empty shells clinging to the bark of the tree like this one.
Cicadas literally crawl out of their shell and leave it behind. You can see this example with the back split down the middle.
This creature was also enamored with the Brooks Saddle on the bike of a friend. He or she stayed on the saddle for about 10 minutes.
One of the places we stopped had mobiles made out of old chain rings.
It was nice to get away from the urban jungle for a while and take in some different scenery. If you have awesome camping scenery you would like to share, feel free to send it to bikehacks.com[at]gmail.com.