Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Th Great Allagheny Passage on a bicycle

A few weeks ago, two of my buddies and myself went on another great adventure on our bicycles. We left Cumberland Md. and traveled over the Eastern Continental Divide. From Cumberland it is an uphill trip from start to finish and is approximately 22 miles across the Mason/Dixon line to the top, in Pa. It took us 5 hours to arrive at the top. Then another 20 miles to the town of Rockwood Pa, this time on the downhill slope. It only took us another 3 hours to reach our destination from the top. A total of 8 hours and 42 miles in the saddle. It was nice to get a camping spot, build a fire, cook and eat, relax and discuss the day. On day two, after another campfire and breakfast of pancakes cooked over the fire. We weren't sure about making the trip back to the same camp so we decided to pack our gear. We continued on the down slope another 20 miles to the town of Confluence Pa. We had our lunch at noon in the town square. I would like to personally thank the guy who was mowing the grass, while we were trying to enjoy our lunch, especially after 4 trips up and down the sidewalk past us to blow the grass off. I guess he never heard of a broom. I didn't know that city workers had to work on Sunday.
After lunch we began our trek back towards camp. The return trip is now on the up slope. It took us quite a bit longer to return than it did to arrive. We did make it back 20 miles, to the same campsite. Another evening around the fire and a good night sleep, Except for the never ending train whistles that blew every couple hours all night long. At 6 in the morning the train was so loud, I actually thought about getting up to make sure it was not going to run over my tent. After breakfast, we were packed and back on the trail at about 8:30. The climb back to the divide was just as long and just as gruelling. But after getting to the top, it was smooth sailing all the way to Cumberland. The return trip after going over the crest was mostly coasting. Only peddling now and again to keep pace with your buddies. Three days and a total of 120 miles on the trail, a couple side trips into town brings the odometer to 138 miles. What a good time.
The trip was a nice retreat and getaway.
Anyone on a fire dept. can tell you, especially if you volunteer, the pager can go off at anytime. You have to be "ready" at all times. When you get a chance to get away, you take it, even if just for a couple days. Then you can truly relax and not "be ready". And everyone needs to relax once in a while.

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