Then again, there are those sections of most bike trails that blow us away. The GAP IS beautiful. It has been lovingly planned and executed by local communities with lots of help from dedicated volunteers and some serious money from contributors large and small. The surface is great and the signage on all the twisting back roads makes it easy to find hidden trailheads. But this section, from Garrett up and over the Continental Divide and through the Big Savage Tunnel has all the great structural sites crammed into one section. There are 1900 foot viaducts that soar over valleys , curving viaducts leading to old iron bridges spanning creeks, the Continental Divide, for crying out loud and then the Tunnel which is nearly 3/4 mile long and COOL in every sense of the word. At the South end of the tunnel is a view that sweeps all the way back to the beginning of the trail in Cumberland, Maryland. (On an autumn day, when the steam train that carries sightseers up to Frostburg is pumping out white vapor, you can trace the path as it curves and climbs.) PROFESSIONAL photos in the earlier links will show all this to best advantage, but here are a few personal ones.
This family from Vermont camped with us the night of the great rain. Lots of funny stories there. They are riding Pittsburg to DC. She is eleven and he is barely seven and last year they rode “The Little Train” Trail near Montreal. They usually go 30 miles, but since the last 20 miles from where we snacked with them to Cumberland is DOWNHILL, They will do more today. Then it’s pool and Hot tub says Mom.
“And STEAK!”, says the little guy.