The weather started dark and cold, turned foggy-cloudy and cold, and eventually turned sunny and blue. Met S. at the Bastille at 0600, got to Connellsville and out on the trail at 0740 in the early daylight, with low clouds and fog in the river valley. It was quite cold, probably 38F, and I wore pretty much my winter kit: long pants, jacket over wool sweater over a jersey, my winter-weight Wombat gloves, and a very thin ear liner.
As the ride started it was cold and we were glad just to warm up, but after an hour we saw that the clouds were lifting and after a while some blue holes were visible in the overcast and the temperatures started to ride slowly.
We stopped briefly about twelve miles in to the ride, and just as we approached Ohiopyle the weather started clearing but it was still pretty chilly. We went into the Ohiopyle general store for some Italian wedding soup (it's a consistent hit) and that went a long way toward making things better).
We came out of the store and I switched to lighter full-fingered gloves and lost the ear-liners, and then about halfway to Confluence I took off a layer and shed the jacket and the long pants.
Approaching Confluence we were surprised to encounter two murals on the GAP by the Confluence Creative Arts Center, they were very nice and it doesn't surprise me that once again, Confluence is at the vanguard of what trail towns are doing to appeal to through-riders.
We rode to Confluence's town square and I stopped at Confluence Cyclery, it's an excellent shop with very nice people; I've been looking for a new pair of platform pedals and they had just what I wanted, great find.
We continued to Sweetie's Bakery and were crushed, just crestfallen to learn that they've gone to an off-season schedule and they're only open on weekends. No pastries, no biscotti? An absolute crisis!
Departed Confluence on the reverse course and with the sun up and the day warming, more people were out on the trail. I switched to summer gloves to complete the wardrobe tour-day-force. Stopped for a snack out of the panniers about halfway back to Ohiopyle.
In Ohiopyle, checked in at the Bakery for a bagel to go. Back on the trail, which was now dried up from this morning's conditions. There were more people out on the trail.
In the last few miles before Connellsville, the sun was getting lower again and we began to see the opposite river bank's reflection in the river.
We watched a big deer cross the river then bound up the ridge across our path, very impressive.