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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Pittsburgh Bike Overnight to West Newton

5.04.2014 34m

Set out today on a K's first bike overnight, from Pittsburgh to West Newton PA via the GAP. Although all Pittsburgh trips should start at the Point, the Marathon was in progress so we parked at Station Square and departed from there.

Stopped at Big Dog Coffee because: well, because it's Big Dog Coffee, why wouldn't you stop there? Coffee and pasties and yum. Back on the trail, rode past Eagle Row and out to the Pump House. Stopped to see the season's first Farmer's Market and Artisan's Flea Market. Glommed a small trinket-sachet bag to keep my Garmin-200 GPS in when it's off the bike, that will come in useful.

Rode underneath Kennywood, saw the coasters rolling by on their first weekend. Rode through McKeesport. I am increasingly verklempt about the choice of route through McKeesport: better to stick on the published trail route, or to take the straightline from behind Police HQ to the Port Vue Bridge and skip the gratuitious ride through McKees Marina? I've developed the habit of taking the long route outbound, and the direct route inbound.

In Port Vue, we moved Beyond The Pale and crossed into new territory for K. Climbed up over the Durabond Bypass, and descended into Dead Man's Hollow and got to see, for the first time on this trip, what the surface of most of the GAP looks like.

Stopped in Boston PA for cold Cokes and a peanut-butter cookie. On the eastern outskirts of Boston, came across this sculpture in a metalworks yard and I don't remember it being there before. If memory serves, I think this was once installed at either a deaf-school or a blind-school in Pittsburgh.

Stopped at the Dravos Campground, once known as the Dravos Cemetery Campground. They've really developed this nicely. Tremendous firewood supply, one Adirondack shelter, water pump, SST, lots of camping space. Continued riding, and we saw the White Waterfall and then the Red Waterfall.

Continued to West Newton, home of (among other things) the best trailhead on the GAP. Rode a bit further, got two Cokes and sat by the river for a bit. Rolled back to the Bright Morning Bed and Breakfast, which is a place I've wanted to stay for a few years but I've never had occasion to overnight in West Newton before.

Bright Morning was great. Excellent condition, lots of hot water, fast wifi, everything just like you'd want. After we cleaned up we walked over to The Trailside restaurant for dinner. Food was excellent, service was very good, price was reasonable. K busted out and tried an IPA, Curious Traveler which had a lemon edge to it and it was very good.

We walked back to the B&B. The bikes were under cover on the rear patio. It was a really nice ride.

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