Yesterday’s ride was long and tiring. Not in a bad way, but in that way where you feel accomplished and deserve a great night’s sleep. Which I did.
We decided to get up and get moving by 8:15 this morning because we wanted to have time to stop and see the sites around plus we wanted to have a real breakfast in Ohiopyle. We couldn’t find much of anything that we expected to be open in Confluence for breakfast. Ohiopyle is the next real town heading westbound on the GAP.
As we left the BnB, it was very foggy and cool. It made for some interesting backdrop of the ride. Within about 30 minutes, the sun had risen enough to dry everything out and the fog disappeared.
Much of the trail looked like this today. Tall canopies of trees with some rock walls occasionally. When the sun is just past rising, it is bright green and beautiful.
We took many breaks today. Mostly just to absorb the beauty of the day, plus get a snack or water. Mid way towards Ohiopyle, we saw an opportunity to park our bikes and walk safely down to the Youghiogheny river. We sat on the rocks of the river for probably 15-20 minutes and just listened to the water. Very relaxing.
We pulled into Ohiopyle mid morning and set about looking for breakfast. We were all very hungry. Ohiopyle was much quieter today than when we were here on Sunday. We pretty much owned the town. We rode around the main streets and asked some locals where to get breakfast. Every place they suggested was closed. Ugh. We struck out again!
We finally settled for breakfast sandwiches. They were good, but it wasn’t quite the big breakfast we had all been hoping for.
The fact that we’ve struck out so many times on finding food has become a running joke. Every place I’ve recommended is closed. So tomorrow, the other guys get to choose the place.
The Yougiogheny river passes through Ohiopyle in a horseshoe shape, several miles across. One side of the horseshoe is right across from the main part of town. We walked over and sat for a good long time. JB went upstream a bit. I went straight over, and Billy went his own direction. JB and I took our shoes off and soaked our feet in the cool clear water. I did that for about 30-45 minutes. I called my family and did a FaceTime video call so that they could get a small taste of the wonderful views and river sounds.
It was nice not to be rushed today. We spent much more time enjoying the river and views than we did on the previous few days. This has been the most relaxing day of the trip so far.
Eventually I called out to the other guys and we decided we’d better get moving before we decided to sell everything and move to Ohiopyle.
We pressed on at a good clip for most of the rest of the day. As we passed through Connellsville, we stopped to get some water and cool down a bit. The sun started to get a bit toasty. JB has a penchant for laying down on picnic tables and resting. This one wasn’t concrete, but he seemed to like it well enough.
Pressing on, we came to the memorial for the Darr Mine disaster. It is the worst mining accident in Pennsylvania history. In 1907 a massive explosion occurred, likely triggered by hitting a large natural gas pocket along with the miners’ open flame headlamps. The blast killed 229 men – perhaps many more that were never recovered.
A few more miles and we reached our destination for the evening: West Newton, PA. We’re staying at the Bright Morning B&B. This place is right on the trail. It is beautifully restored and spotless. I’m really impressed so far. Let’s see how their breakfast goes in the morning!
After a very soapy shower, we regrouped and went down to The Trailside (again) for dinner. We ate well and then went back to the BnB to sit outside and talk for a while before turning in.
It is only 8PM but I’m really tired. I guess the riding is catching up to me. As soon as I finish my blog and Evening Prayer, I’ll be calling it a night.
Tomorrow we finish up our journey. I planned a very short 34 mile day so that we can be to Pittsburgh before lunch, do a little sightseeing, and then get home before bed tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to seeing my family.
Until tomorrow, may the Lord bless you and keep you.