Our destination was the Dravos Cemetery campground, an inauspicious name that suggests Zombies but it's a very nice primitive campground, with a lot of room, some fireweood, campsites and firerings, SST latrines and a good water supply. I've thought that this campground would see a lot of use now that the Sandcastle trail segment is open, since this is the closest campground to Pittsburgh (23 miles from the Hot Metal Bridge).
Although most of the company followed a route from the Hot Metal Bridge, R and I started at his house in Cecil Township on the Montour Trail, and rode around the southern arc of the Montour.
We passed through the National Tunnel, the new Morganza Road section, and at Valleybrook Road we were pleased to see a new trail segment that's quasi-open between VBR and the sewage plant. It doesn't sound like much, but it obviates the need to ride on the road in a somewhat non-bike-friendly situation.
We continued along the Montour Trail past the Arabian stables and to Route 88, where we took to the road and used Charlie F's kludge shortcut to avoid a major intersection and a bit of traffic. Then we joined the trail again at Stewart St and rode this brand new trail section across the southern edge of South Park, out to Triphammer Road, and then on another new section of trail.
Then we took the series of non-limestone workarounds: the segregated bike lanes, the quiet two lane road, and stopped at the Large Hotel for a cold drink. Back on the bike and back on another trail segment to Clairton. Back on the road to Glassport and McKeesport, where we got to take a look at the new Alleyway Trail (looks great!), stopped at a convenience store for a gallon of water apiece, and then intercepted the GAP.
Rode south on the GAP for about six miles. At the trailhead R and I met Joanne and Ray, who were only visiting for the afternoon but had the fine sportsmanship to bring and share cold beer. Soon M. and M. and a few other riders came out, and I met a friend from the Diabetes ride passing through with his daughter and took a photo of them.
We set up camp on the highground hoping for an evening breeze, while the rest of the BikePgh folks set up camp down low by the river. It was a great opportunity to refresh myself with the equipment etc. The portable shower worked well and a cold shower was a thing of joy.
After dinner the group had a campfire, and a guitar and harmonica's and some general weapons of percussion were introduced. R and I said our goodnights early, but we could hear the harmonicas on the breeze as we stretched out and it was a very pleasant sound.
There was a big, full moon and a tremendous demonstration of fireflies.
A very nice ride, 40 miles.