Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 1 September 19, 2008: 60 miles. Boston, PA to Ohiopyle, PA

We had breakfast at the Yough River Manor at 7 AM, loaded up the truck, aired up our bike tires and headed out on the Youghiogheny River Trail. Lin took the photo; from left to right: Barbara, Dianne, Otis, Fred, Doris (with Schotze), me and Charlie. It was a beautiful late summer morning, and the trail was well-groomed gravel. The trail, which is part of the Great Allegheny Passage Rail Trail system, ran right along the Youghiogheny River (say: yuck-a gainey). We passed through some small picturesque towns along the way, and met Doris for a nice lunch in Connellsville.

The Youghiogheny River was ever changing along the route, sometimes smooth and placid, other times rocky and wild. We thought it looked like a nice place to kayak, and saw others who thought so too! Fred, Barbara and I stopped and looked around at the takeout for white water rafting when we got into Ohiopyle State Park. Coming up from the riverbank was the only hill we climbed all day, although we could feel the slight uphill grade throughout the day's ride. I was sorry I had looked at the elevation chart, because then I knew we would be going uphill for all of the first day and most of the second day. (As we pedaled along on the well kept trail, I thought: Kat, you could do this!)

It was evident that this was a former railroad bed--there were old mile marker posts in addition to the newer trail markings. On the other side of the river, the railroad was still in use, and trains were seen and heard frequently. Riding along the trail and hearing the trains pass so closely made it easy to picture the trail's original use as part of the Western Maryland Railroad. Photo at mile marker 56 shows Dianne. Barbara, Fred and me.

At the end of our day. we cycled into Ohiopyle to stay at the Lodge. We showered and went to dinner at 6 PM, or at least that's what we planned... we ordered drinks and dinner, and left over an hour later after being ignored (not even a salad or a breadstick!) while others who came later were served their food. We were quite unhappy, to say the least. We paid for our drinks since it was the right thing to do, and left the Pub at 7:30. We went to the only other open restaurant in Ohiopyle, and were warned that it would be a long time before our dinners came out. The waiter served us drinks, lots of yummy hot bread, and brought our salads out, so at least we did not starve while waiting for our spaghetti dinners. When the dinners came out, they were delicious, but some of us could not even finish them because we ate so much bread. We ate dinner at 9 PM, after planning it for 6:00! When we left the restaurant they were already closed. Barbara left her purse hanging on the back of her chair--fortunately for all of us, Otis picked it up on our way out... it surely would have delayed our morning's departure to wait for the restaurant to open! When Otis gave Barbara her purse she thanked him, and then asked him why her lipstick was missing! (?????)