Friday, May 30, 2014

GAP Trip Gallery 5 - Connellsville to Mckeesport

Day 3 was the big push, 30 miles, 45 miles and then a 60 miler to finish off the day. In my Dad's case I don't think he'd ever gone 60 and I had definitely not done 30+ three days in a row.  It isn't exaggeration to say that neither of us was positive we wouldn't be calling for vehicular assistance somewhere short of our goal.  But regardless of any hesitations we set off early after a fairly unsatisfying breakfast at 0700 on the nose.

Late afternoon on Day 2, upon our arrival to Connellsville we had a burst of the most gorgeous light.  This auto store was across the street from our B&B and got lit up perfectly.

The rail yard at Connellsville is awesome to check out, not the biggest we saw but very impressive, definitely something I don't know much about.

The Connellsville B&B, friendly host and a very comfortable 2 bed room.  They very kindly moved breakfast up to accommodate our 0700 departure time upon request.  Unfortunately the baked egg in bacon cup was not really edible and the coffee was just so-so.  Honestly, a good cup of coffee was hard to come by all three days!

Leaving Connellsville we picked up an older set of mileposts that was descending in number, it seemed about 3 miles shorter than the official GAP signage but its amazing the psychological impact of the descending count.  Dad and I both relished seeing the triangular, weathered markers and continued to find the seemingly random spacing between them and the GAP markers amusing all day long.

Mile 50 felt good,  the 'countdown' to Pittsburgh started to feel more real here.  The Saluki as ever looked and rode well.

If you are an Eagle Scout candidate in these parts you build these shelters... Honestly they are fine work and we saw a dozen or more of them.  Well done to the local BSA and it's Eagle Scouts.  

The scenery was neither dominated by wildflowers nor were they ever absent. We saw some really nice flowers and I didn't stop to take pictures of many of them but these did catch my eye at a rest stop.

Ever since Confluence we followed the Youghiogheny River, wider and less wild than the Casselman and stained brown with the tremendous run off.  The clouds here looked cool on the water and dead center you can just see a yard debris fire smoking up through the tree, we had passed that yard minutes previously.  I loved following the river!

Catch up on shot's of me... I finally handed off the camera to my Dad for some mid ride shots.  I really do look like a gorilla riding a toy bike in this one!

Mile 24, the Saluki and I are doing fine. Despite the sun it was quite cold, in the 40's when we left.

Temperature see-sawed all over the place and we eventually got poured on which added some wardrobe challenges.  My short sleeves and rolled up pants look didn't last much longer than this point.  The wide and wooded t rail was a the last we would see of this kind of nature for the trip.  You really do get the feeling of leaving the Mountains as you ride north on the GAP.

Entering civilization...  the descent into Mckeesport (descent is to strong) included some taste of pavement. This kind of mixed urban cycling dominated the rest of the day. I think I'd prefer to leave civilization heading towards the Mountains given my choice now.

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