Dear Friends and Family,
I have not written because the cell service in the campground is weak, and then when Labor Day weekend filled this campground it was non-existent. Keith said he suspected the band width for the small town of Tionesta was built for normal usage. A holiday weekend, when the population spikes, fills up the available bandwidth. That makes sense.
I was thrilled to receive a book I ordered to be sent to General Delivery in Tionesta!
I am so happy, Joan is going to arrive a day early so we can leave a day early and have an extra day to do the ride at a more leisurely pace! I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up with the distances, now I am much relieved.
I am going to need to learn more about damage that was done to the C&O Trail from all the rain that hit there when Hurricane/storm Ida went through. I looked on the Gaptrail.org web site and I hear that they keep their posts current so we will know if there are any areas we need to detour around. So far it looks good.
We start riding sometime around 9/20/21.
I last wrote to you when I was near the Cuyahoga National Park in NE Ohio. I finished writing, hit publish, and immediately began preparing Lilac for travel. When I hooked up, my van was right behind a big root on a tree. It took extra gas to pull up a bit so I could get the boards I had put under the driver's side wheel. When I stepped out I saw I had forgotten to remove the chocks (wedges to keep the wheels from rolling) on the curb side of the trailer. The front chock was busted. Oh well, they are easy to replace. If I am going to make a mistake, (which I know is inevitable on a six-month journey) that was an easy one to fix.
So where am I? Tionesta is a small town nestled between the hills. We are in the Tionesta Corp of Engineers campground below a big earthen dam on Tionesta Creek.
I am a couple sites over from my friends and Florida neighbors, Keith May and Jean Hawks. They have been here many times and ridden the rail trails that run along and out from the Allegheny River. None of the trails are within biking distance of us, but this campground is roomy, full-service with showers and flush toilets, and only $20 a night with our National Senior Pass.
If you want to open a campground somewhere, along the trails here would be a great spot. They need campgrounds along the trails. The trails have bicyclist camping areas that are rustic (no water, electric, or toilets even).
The town of Tionesta has a block with miniature shops that sell crafts, gifts, and BBQ and fudge.
Our first day we drove a whole 40 minutes to Emlenton. That is one of the towns along the network of trails in the Oil Region of Pennsylvania. We drove there to meet up with Ann and Fred to ride.
What a delight to see them! I may have told you that Ann had fractured her hip in April and she has worked this summer to get her riding miles back up. Last I heard she had done 44 miles in one day! She is around 78 years old. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by active and positive people.
The part of the trail we rode was lovely. The big river was on our left and often there would be cliffs on our right with lovely little streams of water tumbling down the rocks.
Our ride was 24 miles. Jean had a knee replacement in the spring shortly after I visited her in Mississippi this trip. She is still working herself up to longer rides and 24 miles was a record breaker for her. It was a perfect ride followed by a perfect lunch on the patio at Allegheny Grille in Titusville.
Keith said they worked very hard to clean the oil out of Oil Creek. He said he thought they had to divert the water and steam clean the rock to get the oil out. The water runs clear now.
I stopped standing under the trees at that point and began watching where I was walking!