Monday, October 12, 2009

The GAP -Day 2--Connellsville to Confluence Pa.

Connelsville Pa is one of those neat historic towns that you want to spend a day in because there is a lot of interesting things to see. I only spent about an hour riding the streets before the GAP called me and I hit the trail.
At the very beginning of the GAP in C-ville is a huge church and the trail runs thru its back yard. There re several stone structures there incuding a very nice grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
above is a pic of Ned standing in the BVM grotto. That is Mary on the left.

Ned tried to take my picture in the same spot but 2 things happened that discouraged that happening. First I got a healthy electric shock when I touched the statue and second the camera froze up when Ned tried to press the shutter. Not sure what that was all about and we could not locate any priests to offer an explanation so we thought it best to head out.

Near the edge of town the trail runs by a factory that makes colored decorative glass, which was interesting especially when you could look at the colorfully decorated bins located nearby.

The camera does not do the artwork justice --very colorful.

The decoration was a combination of paint and colored glass.


So far this is a differnt kind of riding than any I have done so far. First of all I am realizing that I am not physically 100% from where I left off--more like 75% but that is OK as long as I do not get crazy and try to log the same milage Ihad taken as routine earlier in the ride. I had figured that I could average 60-70 miles a day easy but that probably will not be the case for 3 reasons.
The trail is not like riding on a road surface--the crushed gravel probably takes about 10%-15% (my guess) more effort than a paved road. Second starting from Coraopolis to almost Cumberland (150+ miles) there is a constant uphill grade between 1-2% which is not terrible but again it takes a bit more effort than biking a normal level surface . The reason for the up grade is that the railrod tracks had to climb the nearly 3000 feet in elevation from Pittsburgh to the eastern continental divide near Cumberland and although it is pretty gradual it is still a climb. It is interesting seeing on coming bikers from the east rolling aling at 15-20 mph while the westbounders are moving at 10-15 mph.
The third reason is that there is so much to see along the trail that it is very hard not to stop often to take a pic and/or just absorb the beautiful scenery and historic landmarks. If you are in ahurry this is not the path to be on.
The leaves are in full color and when the sun is shining bright it is spectacular.

I am way behind on blogging so far. I have taken a lot of pics and need to take the time to post them . Right now I am almost 2 days behind and this will be all for today because we are heading out to breakfast and then the trail. The sun is shining and it is riding time. Hopefully this evening I can put a dent in the blog.
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  1. Guys, sounds like you are having fun. I am sure the language is colorful and the snacks plenty. I think its nice that you attempted to start the ride with a hug, any good sag wagon driver knows the rider needs lots of hugs, its just part of the job. The readers would be interested to know just what sorts of snacks we are talking about; assortment of Jerky, chocalate covered items, juice boxes, seriousley just what is going on over there. The pics are awesome, looks like some nice trails out there. Have a great ride I love keeping up with the blogs. P.S. Ned likes Snickers bars, there is nothing like a Snickers.

  2. Hemme--while it is naturally expected that you and other readers would want to know details of our trip you have to understand that by mutual agreement between Ned and I what goes on on the GAP stays on the GAP
    and that includes food/snacks eaten, conversational content, what Ned does and thinks about while waiting on me at trailheads, places Ned goes with van when he does not have to meet me somewhere, the reading material Ned reads while waiting for me to ride by, what I do and think about during the rides to reach Ned, what happens in the sanctity of the motel rooms,the TV shows we see in motel rooms,the content of the steamy books on tape provided by the ladies of Worch Memorial Library and Ned'sreaction to them, the people Ned's converses with or transacts business with while I am riding ,and the 900 numbers Ned calls at various times of the day and night.
    This stuff is off limits to you and others who think they want to know.

    what you see written and depicted on the blog is our official story and we are sticking to it

  3. Guess, I'll just wait for the made for tv movie or the tell all book.