We knew it would happen.  There’s just no way you can plan a 7-day biking trip for the month of October ANYWHERE and not anticipate at least one rain day.  This was at least one rain day.

Jesse's breakfast

We started the morning with another great meal – breakfast at a nearby diner – Jesse plate was actual called the Garbage Plate – it had just about everything in it – eggs, bacon, ham, potatoes, onions, green peppers.  We went back to the room to repack and prepare for a rainy ride.  The forecast was for rain to stop at midday, so we waited as long as we felt like we could, put on the rain gear and took off (keep in mind this blog is coming to you from my laptop, so I’m carrying that in the saddlebags too).

high-tech shower cap/helmet covers

It was a treacherous ride from the hotel to the trail – busy road, downpour, no shoulder or sidewalk, unsure of exactly the route.  We finally picked it up and then started our 50 mile day. 

most of the trail looked like this today

The rain was intermittent throughout the day, but because we had such an arborial canapy it was filtered somewhat.  Today was the most picturesque so far – it’s all been beautiful, but today was just gorgeous.  There is still a lot of color in the trees and the trail goes right beside the river; except for the few small towns we traveled through, we saw maybe 8 people the whole day.  It’s really past the season, or rather between bike season and cross-country skiing seasons.  The diner/bike shop merchants we visited chatted with us about the folks they see come through.  We spent a good portion of today’s mileage traversing a state park, and the trestles crossing the river are spectacular.

a moment of reflection....

This particular tunnel had had a fire, then an internal collapse, so the trail goes around it for a mile or two.

"we can lift our bikes over..."

Lunch was at a little diner in the town of Confluence (guess what happens in that town), but before that we had this wonderful treat in the town of Ohiopyle – a chocolate/peanut extravaganza that even I, a non-chocoholic, gobbled up.  You’ve deduced by now, between this blog and the Ragbrai blog, that these bike rides are primarily about the food.  First, you really do have a voracious appetitie after riding all those miles, and second, you really enjoy all the local flavor, literally.

eating our way across Pennsylvania

Tonight’s meal was in a bar in the town of Rockwood (Town of No Internet or Cell Service) and they actually put slaw AND french fries on my burger.  What’s up with that?  Jesse had a turkey Panini that he said was great.  I ate the burger and the fries and the cole slaw but passed on the bun, since I’m ever so carb-conscious (see chocolate/peanut wad, above).

Tonight’s lodging is different yet – we’re in a hostel on Main Street.  We’re the only ones here, but it could hold up to 24 in bunks.  It’s a general store that has been restored, and we’ve even gotten laundry done here.

hostel - 6 bunks in this room, but we had it to ourselves

This post will be late; I hope to get it posted at the first opportunity we get a signal tomorrow morning.  Our waitress tonight told us that the whole town is without any cell service…go figure.

metal sculpture at entrance to town of Rockwood

Tomorrow’s highlight promises to be the crossing of the Eastern Continental Divide.  This means we’ve been on a gradual uphill for 3 days; 20 miles tomorrow will take us to the Divide, then shortly thereafter we’ll transition from a Rails-To-Trails project to the mule towpath of the C and O Canal.  This also means we go from 4 days in Pennsylvania to the state of Maryland, and it means that we begin a gradual downhill!  The surface is reputed to be much more gravelly, so it may be a bit of a tradeoff.

Watching the World Series in the hostel living room – Phillies fan.  Bottom of the 4th, 1-0, won’t make it all the way through the game.

Flat Family traveled snug in my BentoBox on my crossbar all day long – I’ll reattach them to the seat post again tomorrow so they can sightsee and view the Continental Divide – I wish all those folks were here with us for real!

The Flats

Thanks for reading!