GAP: day 2

Goodbye to Lynn.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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Dravo Cemetery.
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Mailbox formation, so said the sign anyway.
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A surprise lunch stop in Van Meter, at about the halfway point in today’s ride. A sign for bicyclists on the trail that said cold drinks, ice cream and lunch could be purchased. Just put the money in the can inside the refrigerator if no one is around. Two picnic tables too!
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But there was someone around, Jeff, who brought us fresh-picked and lightly-salted cucumbers from his garden and a small bowl of wild black raspberries. JD said his bowl of chili was the best he’d ever had. Such friendly service, everyone should stop here!
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We noticed a lot of caves farther down the trail which turned out to be coke ovens.
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Riding into Connellsville, our end point for today.
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Connellsville Inn B&B – the opposite of tacky. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We were in the German room. Each room was named after an ethnic group who once lived in Connellsville. My little room with a single bed was through the far door.
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Matching bicycle pajamas, Angry Orchard hard cider, a bed big enough for all of us to sit on and watch a movie (Cake) – life is good.
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Miles=41

GAP: day 1

Our starting point.
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The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) does not begin until we cross the Hot Metal Bridge. This trail goes along the Ohio River towards downtown.
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Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Sand sculpture in progress. located under the bridge crossed.
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Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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The Point: where the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River become the Ohio River.
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There are 446 bridges in Pittsburgh, more than any other city in the world and three more than Venice.
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Ahh, a stop at Starbucks-my last for a good long while.
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The Hot Metal Bridge.
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Goodbye Pittsburgh.
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The trail is decomposed granite and really well-maintained by volunteers.
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The Youghshire Inn, the only option in (Little) Boston.
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Lynn the innkeeper said her decorating style is “tacky”. Each room has a theme: Oriental, garden, Hawaiian (my room and I didn’t like always stepping on the too-long hula skirt/bed skirt), cell block,
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and the Vegas room (Billie & JDs). It was the only room “with a view”-the wall opposite the bed was a wallpaper mural of the Vegas Strip.
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Miles=25

Montour Trail

In the afternoon, the skies cleared up so we decided to ride part of the newly completed Montour Trail.
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JD had some bad luck. First he discovered he had a flat and replaced the tube quickly. However, he put a bit too much air in and it blew up. So no riding for him, instead he had to drive to the bike shop to buy new tubes. Needless to say, he was not happy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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A tunnel with lights – this is a first! Sometimes it’s so dark, you have to walk your bike and use a headlight or flashlight.
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The skies began to darken (again), so we headed back, loaded up and got in the van just in time. Not quite enough miles to work off that cake = 10 miles.

Bicycle Heaven

You can take the name of this bike shop literally. In addition to being a bike shop, there is also a huge museum of bicycles. Located in an industrial section of downtown Pittsburgh, it was really hard to find, but so worth it.
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Pee Wee Herman’s bicycle.
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Found on a farm in rural Ohio, two bicyles IN a tree.
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Psychedelic 1960s bicycle room with black light and groovy music playing in the background.
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Rainy days

It has been raining a lot in the northeast and we didn’t ride as intended. We did find a really good restaurant very close to our hotel.

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Huge menu, fast service, and huge portions – Billie and I split meals and still got too much food. The cake display was an eye-catcher as you walked in the door.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We ate here 4 times in 2 days. JD’s Shepherd’s Pie was about 8″X5″X3″ – he finished it all!
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We gave in to temptation with chocolate almond raspberry cake.
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Roanoke to Pittsburgh

6 am and we’re out the door.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Loaded up and ready to drive to Pittsburgh PA.
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We stopped to look at the New River Bridge, the world’s longest single-arch steel span bridge. At 876 feet above the water, it’s America’s second-highest bridge.

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To get a better look, we descended quite a few wet and slippery steps.
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Canada has Tim Horton’s, The west coast has Starbuck’s. Here, Sheetz are everywhere. Made-to-order specialty coffees with about 50 choices as you enter your order on a computer screen. By the time you’ve paid, your order is ready.
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Goodbye Phyl

4 am and Phyl is headed to the airport.
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But not me. I waited around until the evening and got myself to the Greyhound station for an overnight (uncomfortable) bus ride to Roanoke VA.