Sunday, September 26, 2021

Bicycle Touring is Time Consuming

After dinner Joan wanted to visit the historic hotel.  While I pulled out my phone and tried to search, Joan zipped into a pet store and returned with answers much quicker than my internet search.

I am learning a lot from her.  She just lights up when on a good tour day.  She meets lots of people on the trail and makes friends easily.





Below is my letter to you.  But above it are some pictures out of place.  Sorry, iPhone editing issues.

The first pictures below are supposed to be inserted where I talk about the Continental Divide.  See how the ride for Joan anI took a downhill turn a few miles before we arrived in Frostburg.




Below I am looking down I one of the switchbacks I just rode up.




 Dear Friends and Family,

We have ridden by some lovely sites and arrived at campgrounds with wonderful surprises.  

Ohiopyle to Frostburg was a long ride of 57 miles.  Though the sites were amazing I was pretty tired.

The Great Allegheny Passage Rail Trail, GAP, in that area was a very gradual climb over the great divide.  When building the railroad they mad deep cuts into the cliffs so as I road I was exposed to interesting rock formations and waterfalls on my right, down to my left as the Youghiogheny river sometimes calm and sometimes flowing swiftly sending sounds of rushing waters to us on the trail.  On the opposite side of the river was an active railroad.  The trains seemed to roar and whistle by every half hour.  Sometimes when they approached if I were in the right part of the bend in the river valley, it sounded like the train was coming fast right behind me.  Though my logical mind kept telling me there was no track on this side of the river, my emotional mind really wanted to turn around and make sure.  

Here are some pictures from that day.

Celebrating our progress,  we started at 150 mile marker in Pittsburgh.
Two times downed trees blocked the trail.  Both times I made a ramp to roll my bike over.  It worked!

We met Patrick and Jeremy at our lodging in Ohiopyle.  They are neighbors and they were riding from Pittsburgh to Cumberland.  They weren’t camping though so their packs were much lighter.  Joan had fun riding with them and joking around.  Patrick lives near DC and may come and ride with us when we arrive. 



I was tired of riding and was looking forward to the continental divide where I would get to start riding downhill.


I stopped at a museum in Meyersville and my travel partner was in the guestbook right in front of me.  Only by the end of this long 57 mile ride she was way in front of me in the trail.


The trail had a bridge over several busy tracks.  I enjoyed stopping to experience the roar and whistle while standing over the train.
The downhill was sweet!  The countryside upended up in places with great vistas over hilly farms and towns.




There is no cell service most of the time on the trail, so I was glad when I got a text from Joan.  It meant I was getting close to Frostburg, a college town and our next stop.  She wanted to let me know we had an option of getting a bed in the bunk house.

Hmmm, was I going to go another night without sleep because there were strangers all around me?

Frostburg is up on the hill.  They have built a serpentine trail and decorated it with metal art to make our ascent easier.  

When I arrived at the inn and campground, there was a several story ramp to ascend to where Joan was standing on a deck with a big smile on her face.  She then showed me the three more stories of ramp plus more we couldn’t see to get to the campground part of this place.  She opened the door and told me the owner had promised no other persons would be coming that night.  We had the bunkhouse to ourselves!

Beds, firm beds and lovely pillows.  Warm showers and clean facilities for $30 each.  Sold!  We were both happy.  The night in Ohiopyle The bed was so soft and I just tried sleeping on my camping mattress on the floor, but didn’t sleep enough.   

After unloading our bikes and showering we asked directions from the owner of the inn to a nearby restaurant.  Down the ramp and up up up stairs and a hill to get to the downtown just a few blocks away.  Joan and I were both surprised at how our legs screamed on that climb.

Well it is dark and we are riding 60 miles tomorrow.  I don’t have time to fix the order of the pictures right now.  


Good night!


Friday, September 24, 2021

e the GAP West Newcom to Ohiopyle

Greetings!


We went back in Ohiopyle.  This time by bike.

And what an awesome ride!  Waterfalls and cliffs on the right, the Youghiogheny river down on the left.  Sometimes it was placid and sometimes the river was roaring.  And then it seemed all day perfect weather and a canopy of trees.  Across from the river was a busy train track.  If it came when I was in the right spot on a river bend, it sounded like it was roaring up behind me.

I had a nice chat with a couple from Sacramento, California.  



Along the trail was a memorial to the 239 men killed in a mining explosion.  As a result miners no longer wore open flames for light.
A couple trees were down.! I was able to create ramps to rolle my heavy bike over them.



We started on day one riding eight miles to the Pittsburgh mile marker about 150 mile.  Day 2 we passed mile marker 100.



Painted tanks outside a cut glass shop.



I was the first to roll out of the GAP Trail campground. I ride slower than Joan.  So sometime during the day she catches up to me and we might get lunch together.


There was only one other camper at the campground.  Since we spent the rainy day with him we got to shar some stories.  Milton works in the Navy.



Other bike tourists going from
B&B to motel tease me that my load is so big.  I have yet to use the cooking stuff, but that will come soon on the C&O which is more isolated from stores.



The cliffs have some crAzy rock formations.


We bike 47 miles from West Newton to Ohiopyle.  

We stayed in a room in an old house with the other three bedrooms full of bicyclists riding the trail.

Today was a good ride too but too long for my body.  I will have to tell you about that another time.  I didn’t sleep well for two nights, I need to sleep now.  G’night.





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