Saturday, June 18, 2011
The GAP from Confluence to Ohiopyle is all about the river. George Washington camped at the junction of three rivers (a place then called Turkeyfoot) and declared it a good location for a fort. (Then he went off and started the French and Indian war.)
Future citizens called it Confluence, but the waters still run cool beneath green wooded hills to the FALLS near Ohiopyle which turned Washington back.
The trail is wide and well drained running flat along the side hill 50 feet above the water level. The trees are tall and the sun filtering through is magic. Little waterfalls course down the hillside after last night’s rain.
It’s crowded on a Saturday morning and most riders were coming toward us from the rental places in Ohiopyle. Lots of family groups. There are also a fair number of fishermen as this is Trophy Trout water. As the sun rises, the plastic boat and raft people launched and we paralleled their progress down the river. This is the easy Upper Yoch: the big water starts below the falls.
We dally around the falls which are center stage in Ohiopyle. (The town is surrounded by 20,000 acres of State Park) Busy, busy place with outfitters and food places and lots of milling around. Taking Tom and Carole’s early morning advice, we ride past town to watch the rafts and yaks from the high bridge as they entered the heavier water.
Back in town we had a great sandwich and salad at the Firefly Grill and headed back. This color coordinated couple was on a B&B tour which would take them to Cleveland.
In camp we continue to collect stories from the fishermen and every story brings us closer to anteing up the $52 for an out of state license…
After dinner we meet a grandpa and his eight year old “stoker” on a recumbent tandem bike. They are setting up camp near us and we hope to hear some more about their trip down from Pittsburgh.