Started in Millvale at 0800 with S., crossed the Allegheny River at the 40th Street Bridge and rode north-east out of town along Allegheny River Blvd. Stopped in Verona to photograph this veteran's mural:
Continued to Oakmont, where we expected to find a Dino-Mite Days dinosaur at Pennsylvania Street. We started riding inland on Pennsylvania Street and (inevitably) it was uphill and I was inclined to bag it, but we stopped a local police officer who knew about the dinosaur and told us, It's all the way up the hill on the 1400 block, once or twice the neighborhood kids have dragged it out and put it in the middle of the street. He was very helpful and nice to strangers.
We worked our well up the hill, passed the library and the schools where we would have ordinarily expected to find a dinosaur, and eventually came upon this:
Wow. That wins the pink flamingo contest, hands down. This is actually #97 of the original 100 DinoMites (plus one later additional Dino), and it was given the name Dino-Gold. That's not gold paint, but rather gold leaf installed by Parisian master gilder Joseph Youss-Kadri, whose other works include the restoration of the Statue of Liberty's torch flame, the prestigious monument Les Invalides, and the Alexandre III Bridge.
Back down the hill and we rode over to the world-famous Oakmont Bakery, which was quite an active place on the day before Easter. The joint was hopping, but they sure kept everything moving and it wasn't a long wait.
People were ordering multiple pies, cakes, pastries - big orders of exotic stuff - and when my number was called, I asked for a french cruller, boston cream, and a large coffee and the counter lady couldn't help but chuckle that I had such a routine order on a day for the heavy hitters.
I really like riding out to Oakmont Bakery, I think I've been out there four or five times now. It's always excellent food and coffee, first of all, but it's always pleasant, there's a sitting area with a fireplace, just a really nice bike ride destination. It's a "destination bakery".
Reversed along Allegheny River Blvd. Drivers were very courteous on both legs. Crossed the 40th Street Bridge, rode into Millvale looking for James Simon's sculpture of a Schnauzer dog. Found the dog, Pages with books balanced on its head outside the Millvale Community Library which is scheduled to open in June.
We fell into conversation with a few of the folks working there and they took us in to see some amazing ironwork from Red Star Ironworks that's bracing the overhead support beams - really beautiful structural art, with images bringing in the history of Millvale and the importance of books and libraries. It was cool to see people excited about their town and about their library.
Back to the trailhead at about noon, and by this time of day there were a lot of people on the trail - families with bikes, solo cyclists, runners; it could make you think it was springtime.
** Jill Masterson was the character in the movie GoldFinger who was killed through epidermal suffocation when the villain painted her skin completely gold, which as we all know causes certain death.