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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pittsburgh overnight bike trip, Confluence to Frostburg

Sat 10/08/11 #235 49miles 60-80F

First day of an overnight bike trip, 49 miles.

Rode from Confluence to Frostburg on the Great Allegheny Passage. The town of Confluence was quite busy with their Pumpkin Festival but the people at Confluence Cyclery, an excellent bikeshop on the main square, were extremely helpful, especially considering the volume of people. I'll be sure to use them again.

Departed Confluence after a cup of coffee at Sister's Cafe and rode east. Halfway between Confluence and Rockwood you encounter the Pinkerton Horn, and although I'd been here a few months ago I was surprised at the current state of deforestation being done in order to "daylight" the train tunnel.

Pulling into Rockwood there was quite a lot of activity at the trailhead. I saw they had built a "clothes changing station", that's really a great idea, you see people fumbling to change clothes in their cars this is much better-

The newly (re)built Garrett trailhead is wonderful and so is the tunnel that replaces a road crossing there.

In Meyersdale stopped for lunch at the GI Dayroom, I'm always eager to stop there, great food reasonable prices and very trail-friendly.

After a big meal and a bit of loafing it was up the hill to the trail, then on the trail to the Continental Divide. Some large boulders had fallen onto the trail, a cyclist was posing for photos:

I think the (relatively) steepest sections were from Confluence to Rockwood, and again a small section just before Meyersdale. The rest of the climb was quite gentle, and after we crossed the Continental Divide it was a very pleasant descent into Frostburg.

Stayed at the Trail Inn, excellent accommodations - not a Hilton, but friendly and accommodating, clean and nice, Wifi and Cable TV. Arrived about an hour prior to the passenger train that comes up from Cumberland, so the staff got us squared away quickly before the trains arrived and disgorged several hundred people.

The train arrival was a cool thing to watch, very much an anachronistic experience. They gave quite a demonstration as they used a turntable to reverse the engines.

There are several very good restaurants in town for dinner, there's an excellent French place, a well-regarded Mexican restaurant, and we chose to eat at Guiseppe's. This was an excellent meal, I had a mussels-and-vegetables over pasta meal and it was tremendous. The quality of the staff was excellent, they really delivered a tremendous dinner experience.

Between the Confluence Cyclery, the Meyersdale Go Dayroom, the Trail Inn and Guiseppe's in Frostburg,the excellent trail conditions and the magnificent weather, this was really a wonderful mini-adventure.

Week 38
this week:
168 miles
  [4th quarter: 168 miles]    
2011: 3432 miles

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