Thursday, May 22, 2014

GAP Trip Gallery 3 - Rockwood to Confluence

Day two was the best for views and pretty much the most enjoyable overall. We both woke up refreshed and ready to hit the trail after a very nice night at the Husky Haven Guesthouse.  I highly recommend that place for anyone looking for a roof in Rockwood, their campground also looked amazing with plentiful split and stacked dry firewood at each campsite.

Our ride took us through the most scenic portions of the GAP and we were dazzled by the power of the Casselman River throughout the day as it was severely swollen with the storm water from the night and day before.  

The Rockwood Mill Shoppes and Opera House... try riding through any town within 20 miles and not seeing an advertisement for this place! We ate lunch, dinner and and attempted breakfast here during our stay at Rockwood.  In general it is a wonderful pit stop for the hungry cyclist.  The main floor has a front cafe that has a menu including sandwiches, breakfast, coffee and icecream and there is a pizza parlor in the back where they are making the pie's from scratch.  The cafe up front appear to be run by volunteers...I hope they are volunteers because while nice enough they didn't seem all that familiar with making coffee, making a milkshake, or generally taking food orders.  We had a really nice lunch at the cafe though, you just need to bring some extra patience.  At breakfast we were ready to go so I got some drip coffee and my Dad settled for a cliff bar.

I also highly recommend a trip upstairs to the historic performing spaces and some museum exhibits. Cool old building and I'm glad that cyclists help keep the place going!

Banana secure... ready to roll!

We probably got more than our fair share of amazing trailside waterfalls due to the extreme storm that passed through the night before. I'd say the wonderful view's cancelled out the sometimes damp/squishy trail conditions (see next picture)

For Day Two this is about as bad as it got, which is to say, not bad at all.  The overall softness of the trail was noticeable and cost us about a mile per hour based on our day 1 and day 3 averages.

The closed off Pinkerton Tunnel, we are both going to contribute to the re-opening though I have to say the 1.5 mile detour path was a nice and 'wilder' looking ride through the forest that I thoroughly enjoyed.

close up of the southern barricade at the Pinkerton Tunnel

GNOME - not sure what that means but the Pinkerton High Bridge was another of many awesome crossings of the Casselman River. According to our hosts in Rockwood (Husky Haven Guesthouse) the river was up 8' over it's normal level which I beleive. It was roaring and mixed foamy and brown all day Friday and Saturday.

More examples of the trailside waterworks and some trail conditions.  We would go through stretches with 4 to 6 waterfalls in a row as we rode through.  Really cool!

Speaking of really cool, it was in the 40's when we left on Friday and didn't warm up beyond the upper 50's all day.  We had both packed appropriately however and just layered up and moved on.

There are many holes from a story telling perspective in my photo's and I'll have to keep this in mind in the future, particularly our accommodations seem mostly left out.  Oh well, We didn't take much advantage of Confluence as we were intent on reaching our destination of Connellsville but I did take the time to remove my camelback, the straps were really hurting my armpits and arm circulation.  The long surly junk straps served their purpose and my hobo-rig rolled along like this for the rest of the trip.

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