Friday, September 18, 2009

September 14: Pennsboro to Wolf Summit, WV: 34 miles

We got up this morning with such good intentions for an early start... we thought the breakfast at the inn was not enough to ride all day, so we walked to a restaurant across the road and ate real breakfast... came back to pack up and found my bike with a flat rear tire. We changed it and were on our way. I did not find the cause of the flat. I guess this is why I was so tired at the end of the day yesterday--must have had a slow leak. Pretty hard to ride on soft tires.... why is it that I ALWAYS check my road bike tires and NEVER check my mountain bike tires??? You'd think I would learn.

Today's trail featured all different surfaces--we had rocks and gravel, mowed grass, tall weeds... and near the end it was a 6 inch wide rut in the woods with trees slapping us in the face. There was mud in some of the tunnels--most were unrideable and we had to walk our bikes through the rocks, mud, and gravel in the dark.

We met Bill at Salem, as planned. but right before we got to the trail parking (at another train station undergoing restoration) we passed a Dairy Queen. I had to drag Dianne to the meeting place--she did not want to pass up DQ... Bill had the same notion--it was either go to the store for bread for cold sandwiches or back to DQ, so guess where we ate???? That ice cream sure was good!

During today's ride we saw some trail maintenance vehicles, and only two other bike riders coming from the other way. The crew offered to let us go ahead of them in the tunnel, which would have been nice for the light provided by their headlights, but I did not want to breathe their exhaust fumes, so we let them go ahead... today we traveled through the longest tunnel of the trip (#6), and got answers for some of our questions--at Salem we learned that the last train passed through in 1985, and some of the tunnels had engravings from when they were built (in 1868). We saw the only whistle post of the trip this afternoon... where did they all go?

Toward the end of the day I had a low tire again--same one, so we stopped and aired it up on the trail, believing we could make it to the end without changing it, and we did.

The last section of the trail was the worst--we usually could tell when the trail was rerouted from the original rail bed, and this section was like that. We got to the end of the trail at Wolf Summit, and Bill was waiting for us in the truck. What a guy.... Whenever we needed him he was there! We loaded up the bikes and headed for Clarksburg to look for a bike shop.

And did we ever find a bike shop! Holy Moses Bicycles is named for the owner, Paul Moses, pictured above. He sold us the tires and tubes we needed at a good price, gave us chain lube, and offered to change my tire (which by now was flat flat flat)... he was a good sport about it all, and came out to the truck to see our bikes. Like everyone else who knows bikes he had some comments about our Y-22's.... He told us some good stories about the North Bend rail trail and events (races) that take place there. We were glad to have met him, and could have talked all afternoon, but had to get on the road for Watoga State Park, our destination for this night.

I'm from Detroit, and when I see that it is a 136 mile drive to the next destination, I think that it should take about 2 hours.... well, not in West Virginia! It took 4 hours on curvy mountainous roads to get to Watoga State Park. We arrived well after dark to find the key in an envelope with my name on it (I had called ahead from Clarksburg to reserve it). We drove up some more steep curvy roads to find our cabin, and it was great! 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, heat and air conditioning... what could be better than this? We got a much needed shower, and believe it or not, were too tired to even play one game of Scrabble!

1 comment:

Marie Swan said...

Your trip looks beautiful. What a scenic place. Is it your goal to ride different US trails every year? : )