GAP – day 1

We were up early, it was going to be hot. We sweet-talked Laverne who was in charge of setting up breakfast in the lobby if we might be able to get some hot food early. She fixed us 3 big plates and asked us to sit far away to avoid other guests making the same request. We were on the road by 7, riding through almost-deserted downtown city streets – beautiful. At one point, I heard some popping. Maybe someone hitting something with a hammer? Then I heard Billie shout for me to stop. She also heard the popping sound, turned to look, and saw flames coming out of an old electric panel box on a row house. We called 911, but the fire truck was already on its way.DSC02439An exciting way to start the day!DSC02442We rode toward Point State Park. Ahead, four (Pittsburgh Steelers) yellow bridges and the lights at PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates). Pittsburgh has more bridges than Venice Italy.DSC02443DSC02455DSC02462Donna really needed to see Bicycle Heaven, but it only opened at 10 am. I was worried about how hot it was going to get, so I continued along the trail by myself while Billie and Donna went to Bicycle Heaven. I rode along the Monongahela River and crossed over the Hot Metal Bridge and a final view of Pittsburgh.DSC02464On the other side was the actual beginning of the Great Allegheny Passage.DSC02465 The river was on my left and trains on my right. DSC02471We crossed over the tracks a couple of times. DSC02472DSC02473Crossing the river, McKeesport ahead. But it’s so hot! Now the trail will follow the Youghiogheny (yock-uh-HAY-nee) River.DSC02474Relief ahead! As I crossed the blue bridge into Boston PA, the first business I spotted was Trailside Treasures: cold drinks, ice cream, a lovely deck, and blessed shade. DSC02483And the friendliest owners ever! Ralph and Barb.DSC02476I sat there for four hours waiting for Billie and Donna. It was still hot, but at least I was off the bike. At last, there they were crossing the blue bridge. I knew their ride was longer and way hotter than mine.DSC02478We sat and visited for another hour. As we were trying to figure out which nearby restaurant might deliver food to our lodging place, Ralph and Barb offered to go out, pick up 3 meals, and deliver them to us at about 6:30. That was so kind – they definitely fit into the Trail Angel category. Thank you Ralph and Barb!

Miles = 28

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