PITTSBURGH-CUMBERLAND 2007: We started the trip on the Youghiogheny River Trail (Great Allegheny Passage) at Boston, PA on May 26. The ride was to support the St. Matthew student assistance fund. Because of a breakdown on the third day, we finished the ride with two disconnected segments on June 2 and June 9. (SCROLL)

In motion leaving the Boston trailhead

This year's ride was made with an articulated triplet and the articulated quad. Our 2005 DC trail mom and her daughter returned to make the trip, along with one of our 2006 DC riders and her fellow 82-mile-per-day recordholder. Rounding out the seven riders (including yours truly) were the boy recordholder's twin brother and sister; the sister held the 2004 record, along with her older brother, of 45 miles in a day.

Pause for a rest at Smithton Beach

Connellsville, Pennsylvania, ending Day 1

Since we did not camp on this ride, our pass through the Connellsville City Park was in the evening instead of the morning. We continued, after a stop at Wendy's for supper, to the Melody Motor Lodge on U.S. 119 South. The next day we continued to Ohiopyle and Confluence.

2004 recordholders resting at overlook

Wading at Ohiopyle

We paused for awhile at Ohiopyle--actually it was longer than we thought it would be, because the middle tire on the quad went flat--a "mystery leak"--no hole was visible. The tire had sealant inside, so we cautiously pumped it up and checked to see if it would hold. It did, but the valve stem refused to straighten out.

Rest stop between Ohiopyle and Confluence

We spent the night at the beautiful Stepping Stone Farm outside of Confluence. We enjoyed sitting around the bonfire and chatting with our gracious host and hostess, Larry and Vicki Rempel.

Bonfire behind the farmhouse, Stepping Stone Farm

The next morning, happy to be staying on time and having few problems, we gathered for the shuttle ride back to Confluence.

Front porch, farmhouse, starting Day 3

It was discouraging to see that the middle tire on the quad had gone flat during the night. It seemed wise to install a new tube, so we did. We didn't leave Confluence until noon. We were greatly dismayed, making a rest stop nine miles out of town, to hear sharp hissing suddenly begin around the valve stem of the ill-fated tire. The new tube had a short life. The combination of an inferior part and the stress of climbing the heavy grade proved to be disastrous. It was something never before experienced, and we had no more tubes in that size. While the triplet team continued to Rockwood, our group on the quad limped back toward Confluence. We were rescued by some trail angels led by Bill Metzger and his wife, and spent a lovely time in and around the gazebo in Confluence, until our supporters from Pittsburgh came out to take us home to regroup. We did makeup rides the following two Saturdays, with as many riders as we could, using the articulated triplet, from Salisbury Viaduct to Big Savage Tunnel and from Borden Tunnel to Cumberland, on the Allegheny Highlands Trail (Great Allegheny Passage). Our trail mom and her daughter were not able to continue the trip.

Crossing Salisbury Viaduct with storm clouds in the sky, Day 4

Keystone Viaduct, with more favorable weather

Exiting Big Savage Tunnel in bright sunshine

Borden Tunnel, near the state line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, Day 5

Brush Tunnel, sharing the roadbed with the railroad

Being overtaken by a Western Maryland train

Western Maryland Railway station, Cumberland (steam engine watering column)

Fountain and mule statue at the beginning of the C&O Canal

Of the original seven riders, the group leader and the boy twin rode five days and finished the target total of 130 miles. His sister and another girl rode four days, and completed 110. The balance of the riders, including the older brother, the trail mom, and her daughter, completed 90 miles in three days.
The Allegheny Trail Alliance Web site has maps and many links to information on trails in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and West Virginia.

Messages: jornada AT juno DOT com