Monday, June 20, 2011

The GAP–Markleton to Garrett

Truth be told, there are some parts of any bike trail that are boring --  not ugly or smelly, but just too much of the same.  This section was a little like that; the weather was cool and a little threatening and the trail left the main branch of the Casselman river (now stained by last night’s rain) and followed a lesser watercourse.  The highlight of the trip was Rockwood,2011_0621GARETT_to_SAVAGE_TUN0046 a “trail town” which does its best to welcome commerce from the trail riders.

 2011_0621GARETT_to_SAVAGE_TUN0049 (2)They were improving the entry ramp where the trail crossed the highway and we followed the bicycle symbols painted in the roadway into town.  It took a side street with minimum grade (some trail towns are perched on steep side hills) and led us to the Old Opera House shops.
Lots of shops. One vendor has pastries and serves drinks and soup.  The Next is where you acquire a sub or some pizza.  Other shops sell gifts, local food items, wood stoves, cast iron skillets, “I’m not carrying THAT” 2011_0620to_ROCKFORD0001tee shirts, decorative items—you get the idea.  We had Soup and a great sub, but the big discovery was the home baked bread.

Oh my, the Bread!

Because Al has one pannier on the bike (in a vain attempt to look a little like the “thru-bikers”), we had plenty of room for a huge loaf of bread.
When I saw the bread I was thinking ….”If this tastes half as good as it looks…..!!!”  So in the pannier it went and so light that Al didn’t even notice.    After only a few slices with our dinner that night we decided that it was as good as MiMaw used to make and better than we ever get anywhere these days.  Soooo breakfast toasted on the griddle on the stove with jelly, PB & J sandwiches for lunch…OH Nooooo only a half loaf left…..Not to worry on our ride to the next starting point we HAVE to go through Rockwood.  As luck would have it they had 2 small loaves left today, so I grabbed them and all is well.  I had to laugh….this is almost as good as Ice Cream.  This has been another small problem, we are out of ice cream and the grocery stores in Confluence CLOSE AT 5:00, and we are usually riding our bikes till 6:00.  I guess we will be making an early morning run to the grocery store.  Might need to get some fruit and veg’s too.  (That looks better at check out). :0)
                                                                                   (posted by Patty)
      Thus provisioned, we rode on with frequent stops.2011_0620to_ROCKFORD0010
  At one, by a pretty waterfall, the Fairly Grandmother was resting quietly when out of the dewy mists appeared a ….2011_0620to_ROCKFORD0013
….Water Nymph.   and a sprightly one she was, frolicking in the spray, and giving the Fairly Grandmother some concern about tumbling and lacerations and emergency helicopter rescues (and other such grandmotherly concerns). The kindly uncle and Al discussed maps, not fully appreciating the grace and mirth displayed before them.
I do not think this displeased the Water Nymph, but only shortly later, as we separated, the heavens opened and we had another downpour.  Then followed a repeat of yesterday –riding back into the sunlight, grit covering our shoes, our drivetrain sounding like a can of rocks, and a major bike clean2011_0620to_ROCKFORD0017ing.

      Each night, the campsite across from ours fills with “thru-bikers”. Al curries favor with these morally superior beings by offering to charge their electronics or other such menial tasks.  When we came back tonight, one guy we talked to last night came by to say good bye.  They had planned to ride to Ohiopyle for the white water rafting and back tonight, but their plans had changed as the water changed to brown from the big rain.  The next victims were a couple –a woman at least six foot tall and a guy who looked like Colin Fletcher,the Welsh backpacking Guru.  They watched our balletic movements as we rinsed bikes at the dump station and hung our stuff to dry and came by. Al made his standard offer of free electricity.
“ You must be the couple from Alabama (or Mississippi?) who have been everywhere…”
Ah yes. ‘Tis good to be recognized by one’s betters.. We had a great conversation with “PsychoPatty” , AT ‘03 and were truly appreciative of her accomplishment. Hope to see them again.  
    There is some discussion of our Patty adopting the trail name “CYCLOPATTY”.  (She really never warmed up to Al’s last suggestion –WELLBUTIN –” An anti-depressant with no known sexual side effects.” 
Your comments are welcomed….

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