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Friday, December 14, 2012

Dragon Tree, Pinkerton Landfill, Almost Chewed Out

12/14/12 48M
Well I woke up much smarter this morning, after learning among other things that when your dinner consists of the stuff in your pannier and all you have is granola bars, well, there are secondary effects.

There was a meteor shower overnight and I went out at about 0200 to check it out, but it was very cold and I abandoned after just a few minutes. Trail maven Betsy found great success in the 0500 timeframe. At about 0800 I went to the Rockwood Opera House for breakfast, had an EggAMuffin thingy and a peice of cake and some coffee for the thermos, made my apologies for missing their closing hour last night and they were very good about it. Local cell coverage would be great.

Departed eastbound. The trail surface was harder, mostly frozen. There was one bike track evident and I think it was mine from the previous night, that was pretty cool.

Dragon Tree

On a previous trip in the spring, my bike-bud CA pointed out a tree that resembled a dragon, and I thought it fitting on the first day of the Hobbit prequel to take a picture of the Dragon Tree:

Pinkerton Landfill

I was very surprised to see what has been done to the Pinkerton Bypass,although I've been told about it. The railroad has converted the entire top of the Pinkerton Bypass into a landfill, not just for the material generated by the daylighting of the new Pinkerton Tunnel but also for debris from other work sights.

Click this image to open a panoramic photo in a new window:

It's remarkable to me that they're able to use the land above the trail as a landfill. In the future, instead of calling this the Pinkerton Bypass, I'll refer to this as the Pinkerton Landfill.

Nearly Chewed Out

In keeping with the Lord of the Rings observances, I stopped for Second Breakfast at Sister's Cafe in Confluence. Very nice. Back on the trail, where I saw evidence of creatures gnawing at trees, beavers I guess:

I skipped the stop at Ohiopyle in favor of the overlook about six miles east of Ohiopyle, and finished the coffee in my thermos there. Although it warmed up to 42F, the ice persisted in the shady areas along the trail:

The car was where I left it, it started, and it was much nicer finishing at 4pm than 7.30. 48 miles today and a very nice ride.

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