Gray, humid and cloudy out of the Park for home. Good night’s sleep and the rain held off all morning. Stopped for breakfast at a McDonalds near Scotland, and it met a caloric requirement but I’ll not go back for seconds. Something about blaring flat screen TV’s and weak coffee. Fairly easy riding through the morning and we passed lots of wet spots, but it didn’t dump on us. Had hoped for an ice cream stop at Goose Brothers in Shippensburg, but we went by too early. I’ll make up for it in the days ahead…gotta put the pounds back on I lost over the last 600+ miles.
Really glad to have ridden all of the Great Allegheny Passage now along with the C&O Canal towpath, which I’d ridden before. Just can’t beat rail trails and towpaths for safe, scenic cycling. Bike worked well (Cannondale T2000 tourer), but it needs a cleaning in the worst way and probably a new chain/sprocket. Riding the towpath and Passage is really hard on the bike because of mud and grit. For what it’s worth, the skies opened up today – Thursday – and midday we got about 3 inches of rain in an hour. Very happy for biker’s luck which gave us rain only three times on the trip, once at night and the other two for short periods. Left-hand Pic is of the Salisbury Viaduct, one of the neat attractions on the Passage. Right is the Big Savage Mountain Tunnel. Notice the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ Bicycle tour for 2015 COMPLETE!
Long hard day today, but it got us close to home. Decided to head to Caledonia State Park near Chambersburg so as not to camp on the Potomac again – tired of the bugs and train noise. Also got off the towpath for some miles on smoother roads before heading north. Last piece of the decision puzzle was the weatherman predicted chance of storms today with worse for Wednesday. Thank goodness for a strong tailwind on the trek up Rt. 11 from Williamsport, Md. to Chambersburg. It’s not often you can ride a fully loaded bike for quite a few miles at 18-20 mph. Got to the campground at Caledonia about 6:00 with lots of time for showers, dinner and hammock setup. By the way, old guys like me camp for less now…ahh, these golden years. Great night’s sleep after all the miles. Pic is a friend we met on the C&O Canal towpath. We called him ‘snapper’ and kept our distance. Bet he’s older than me.
Out of Rockwood about 9:00 AM … pretty summer day. Went over Eastern Continental Divide (long, slow climb), through Big Savage Mountain tunnel, another tunnel or two and down into Cumberland Maryland. Hot day, great riding, superb views from the top of the ridges where the big windmills live. Much drier air west of the Divide, humid and warmer on the Potomac eastern side. Nice lunch at Mark’s in Cumberland and then on to the campground. When we arrived at the camp, there were 15 canoes lined up in the middle of the campground, which was fortunately large. After setting up and preparing for the evening we were joined by about 30 middleschoolers and teachers. Nice kids, camped apart from us and weren’t too noisy after dark. Pretty lucky. Challenge, again, was mosquitos not kids. Train noise not so bad at this camp….tracks on the other side of the river.
Had to fix a rear flat before leaving West Newton. Fortunately, it went quickly and I was cleaned up in time for 8:00 AM breakfast. B&B has a floor pump, so that was a real timesaver and gift. Pretty riding today with lots of shade. Ohiopyle State Park is a really nice part of the Passage….lots of vacationers and great biking scenery. Staying tonight in ‘Husky Haven’ Campground in Rockwood….nice campground. Shower facilities are across the river in town…no problem, very clean and convenient. Rockwood does some bike art near the trailhead. Tallest bike I’ve ever sat on. Rockwood in the background on the other side of the river.
Great to have a day off the bike. Highly recommend the B&B…very nice, good breakfast. West Newton is a nice small town on a very pretty river, the Youghiogheny River. Had some ice cream, pizza, subs, etc. Wouldn’t think you could have so many meals in one day….well, spend your days on a bike and you need the calories. Got some laundry done and now ready for the ride back to Carlisle. Nice break. Went over 300 miles total on the trip going into Pittsburgh.
Very nice primitive camp, boy scouts built it up and maintain it. Right on the river…would have been a nice place to fish.
To the end of the Great Allegheny Passage today and then back east to meet Sandy. We’ll relax in a BnB in West Newton…pretty nice camping. Point Park in Ptsbrg, where the trail ends, is a really pretty park. Just across the river from Heinz Stadium. Looped the park a few times and then went into Market Square for a ‘reward’ sub lunch. The women soccer world champs were there with hundreds of young soccer players in uniform cheering. Quite the event – they had the trophy with them. Then it was back on the bike to retrace the trail back out of the city. Made West Newton and met Sandy at 3:30. Rest tomorrow and eat/explore. Start the ride back to Carlisle Sunday and Sandy will drive home. Really need a day off the bike, legs very tired. Over 300 miles on the trip as of today.