Friday, September 17, 2021

Connecting on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP)

 Woohoo!  I made it!

Pulling out of my campsite at Bear Ridge campground I was having my doubts... more on that later.

I had to grind up a huge incline to get here. Fortunately I was behind a big truck going 20 miles per hour up the hill.  No rush... "I think I can, I think I can."

I arrived in Ohiopyle State Park.  I can't believe no one corrected me when I was constantly spelling it "Ohiophyle" and pronouncing it OHIO-FILE.  The GPS lady pronounced it OHIO-PI'-LEE.  I will ask someone the correct pronunciation. 

The GAP trail goes right through this park, but it is quite a long steep downhill to get to it from the campground.  I will drive if I decide to ride a bit.

I posted on Facebook about my soon-to-be ride on the GAP and C&O and someone, Ad Carson a Milwaukee recumbent rider, said I should connect with Chere (with an accent on the last e) who is spending the summer in Cumberland, PA.

I have met Chere before when riding, though I don't remember where or when.  She might and can remind me.  We have now connected and agreed to ride together from Cumberland on Saturday!  We are starting our ride in the afternoon because I am meeting someone else in Cumberland in the evening!

I am going to be meeting with Bill Metzger Saturday evening.  He is the author and illustrator of the book I am reading right now about the history along the Great Allegheny.  I am in awe of the research he has done and the amount of work put into the beautiful layout of the book.  He drew the colorful and informative maps included in the book.  He is hoping to get some tips from me on promotion.  Ha ha.  I haven't been dedicated enough to learn that part of it much.

I have been too busy exploring life and writing to you!

On Sunday evening Joan Grey (my GAP adventure partner) arrives. 


Skidding on the Ridge

The day before I left Bear Ridge Campground I decided to move to a different campsite.  The site I was in was on a hill on damp ground and grass and I had spun the wheels on the van trying to park the camper.  A thunderstorm was predicted, so I decided to hook up the trailer and move to a flatter site.

Moving early was a good idea.  I spun on the way out and couldn't get out.  I tried putting stuff under my van's front wheels but I just couldn't get traction. 

I stopped the only other campers I have seen in the campground as they walked by and asked for advice.  They guided me but it didn't help.  We decided I should back up a bit to try and I almost hit an electric box.  I am distracted and not as careful when others are around watching me.  

I ended up calling the office and a guy brought up his small tractor and pulled me over to a flatter gravel site.  They weren't getting any new campers in for two more nights, so I was safe taking a different site.

All said, I loved my stay at this campground.  The vistas and sun rises were awesome, there were places to walk and places to swing.

And it was only seven miles to the trail.  The only thing bad was the cell service and the wavy road to get there.

I felt bad about not getting to ride the Red Bank Trail nearby.  But after moving my trailer, I just wanted to take care of chores and relax.

I did.  I found a swing I could lay on and look up at the tree tops.  Lovely.  I made a video to share the experience, but Melody said she would prefer seeing me on the swing instead of what I was seeing.  If you fast forward to the end you will see me... briefly.

Now if you are a camper and going to add this campground to your list, know that it is an ATV campground and I imagine weekends and during the high season it is a noisy bustling place.  It appeared I was the only non-seasonal camper there during my stay, and the seasonal areas were like ghost towns.  I only saw one other camper, and it turned out they were reverse snowbirds from Florida.


On my drive to my current campground, I stopped at an Anytime Fitness and then checked out the area where we are going to park our vehicles during our ride.  I notified the area's security of our plans and left vehicle descriptions and our contact info.  It feels secure and I was pleased because I had been worrying about leaving Lilac.  As I sat making the calls to security I observed several bicyclists stopping and chatting.  I was sitting on the GAP trail!


Ohiopyle is in a lovely area and I know that Joan and I will be too busy riding to go hiking and explore the waterfalls.  So I am going to do that today.

I send out a couple emails today too, I feel like I need to email each of you to let you know I am thinking of you!  Oh! And that reminds me, I learned that one of my fellow Withlacoochee bicyclist had passed and I have yet to call his spouse!  I better do that before I pack up my back pack and start walking.


Kathi told me the snake and toad struggle video I thought I posted was just a picture.  You can click here to see the struggle between the snake and the toad, I put it up on YouTube.


I may be posting a few pictures and a story at a time while riding the GAP and C&O.  That means if you are on the email list you will get only one email and may miss some posts.

If that is the case when you get to this blog site you will be able to see all the postings listed for September on the right side of the page. Click on September if you don't see a list.  Then you can click each of the posts to read them and see the pictures.


  1. We are very happy that you are meeting Bill Metzger. He is such an important person in the successful construction of the GAP - and a tireless booster for it.
    You will enjoy your GAP ride even more because you have read his book and met the man with the vision!


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