Monday, June 17, 2013

Allegheny River Trail, August 2010 - Part One

My vacation for 2010 was spent on an auto tour of scenic and natural places in central and western Pennsylvania. However, I did manage to work in a short bike tour during my trip. Prior to leaving on the seventh my friend Judy and Troy "the Hobbit" from the Great Allegheny Passage Yahoo Group agreed to join me for a little trip down the Allegheny River Trail.

Friday, August 13, I left my hosts' home near the New York border early for my long drive to Franklin and the Allegheny River Trail, my next stop. I visited Bradford's downtown to see the oldest working oil well in the city, which is in the back of a McDonald's. It's been producing oil since the 1870s.

As I headed south, I stopped at several observation platforms and overlooks in Allegheny National Forest. While I found the much praised Jake's Rocks to be overgrown and unimpressive, the Overlook Rocks were much better viewing:

... and hiking. These stairs to the base of the rock formation are a very tight fit for a Clydesdale. I was brushing both walls.

Kinzua Dam was worth a few minutes of my time:

I reached Franklin by 4:00 PM. The plans I'd discussed with Judy and Troy were to meet there, spend the night at the campsite a mile down the trail, and head out from there tomorrow morning. When I reached Franklin, they'd both decided to meet me Saturday morning instead. Having time to kill, I decided to ride up the connecting Justus Trail. I found it boring, and started the processes of putting my trailer together and loading it. This took forever, partly because I had to move anything of value into the trunk before leaving the car at the trailhead for the next two days. By the time I'd finished it was 6:30, and I wobbled off.

I'm not indulging in hyperbole to say I wobbled. Aside from ten miles in Pine Creek Gorge and three miles earlier that afternoon, I'd not ridden a bike in eight weeks. And I'd not pulled a fully loaded trailer in 14 months. It took everything I had to hold a line and keep the rubber side down. When I wobbled to a stop a mile and a tenth later, I found a canoe trip of Boy Scouts had taken over the campsite. I set up at the far end of the area and spent a quiet night.

Since I was riding such a short number of miles today, I rode in street clothes. I missed my Lycra, however:


I retired early to the sound of the river a few feet from me. Fortunately the Boy Scouts were too tuckered out to be noisy.

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Allegheny River Trail, August 2010 - Part One