We woke up having not been murdered by the Meth Man. Two more of those bright orange birds zip past our campsite. What are they? They are beautiful.
It rained a bit overnight. Ryan had not put on his rain fly. Oops. Kevin and I were completely dry. I picked up some breakfast, fruit from the supermarket. Kevin and Ryan made coffee in camp. Ryan cooked some oatmeal for himself.
We broke camp and headed for Ohiopyle. Leaving town, the trail begins to rise, a false flat that requires constant effort for the next day and a half, about 70 miles.
Ohiopyle is a town and a state park that is to die for. Well, maybe not with Meth Man around. We stopped in town for an ice cream. Back on the trail we leap frogged with Meth Man for the rest of the day.
No wind. Butterflies. A tunnel of green. Incredible bridges over the Youghiogheny River.
We stopped at Confluence, once called Turkeyfoot where the Castleman River meets the Yough. Here the French and Indian War is said to have begun as a young colonial British officer by the name of George Washington led an ambush of a French settlement.
The trail follows the Castleman. We climb the nearly imperceptible incline. We clear the forest and cross the Salisbury Viaduct. It seems like it goes on forever. Next we reach the Pinkerton Tunnel. To our left is a rather shocking gash in the mountain, the apparent result of a highway project.
The Pinkerton tunnel has never been open to trail users, but this day we can see straight through to the other side. We can see workers toiling away preparing the tunnel for its eventual opening. We take the detour through the woods. It will be a shame if they shut down the detour because it is a truly beautiful ride.
Onward to Rockwood we encounter our first bugs of the ride. Gnats or midges or some sort of little bugs in vast swarms. They are annoying and take me out of my biking trance. In Rockwood we see Meth Man lurking on the side of the trail. We pass him by with a nod and head into town for lunch at the Opera House, now a cafe and ice cream parlor. Rains starts to fall as we go inside. It is over once we leave. Timing is everything.
Back on the trail, we leap frog some more with Meth Man. Ryan takes the lead and encounters about 15 to 20 turkeys arrayed across the trail. The turkeys scatter as he rolls through. We begin to see bike tourists heading toward Pittsburgh. They are all smiles.
As we reach Meyersdale, Meth Man lurks along the trailside. We turn off the trail down the hill into town. We check into Yoders Motel, more of a boarding house than a motel. It’s plenty cozy and has secure indoor bicycle parking. We shower and head out for dinner. Then ice cream from the parlor across the street.
We finish the night watching the Wizards lose a playoff game on the big TV in the downstairs parlor. Shiner Bocks are consumed.
We finish with another 60 miles behind us.
More pix over on Flickr.