Biking the GapC&O, Thursday, to Confluence, PA

We had a great breakfast this morning at the Allegheny Trail House… Jess is a chef and also runs Shift, our dinner choice last night.
The rains caught up with us today (hurricanes in the Caribbean, flooding in the Carolinas and Washington DC, 1-3 inches expected locally), so full rain gear and a steady 8 mile climb to top out on the Eastern Continental Divide.

Euekra! ITS ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE.  We’re headed to the right on that diagram… staying in Confluence tonight.

(Three weeks ago to the day, I was standing with my brother-in-law Greg on top of the Western Continental Divide which runs through the Rockies… and over Grays Peak – see Sept 8 blog).

We immediately picked up speed on the exit from the tunnel… wow, did that feel great!
Six miles later we stopped at the Meyersdale teain depot/history museum to shake out our rain jackets, knock off some mud and dry out a bit.  The station master told us some of the story making rhe GAP – 40 years in the making

Even in the rain, this section of the trail is gorgeous… maples, oaks, just starting to change color.

Into Confluence and the Loft… our home-away-from-home above the Antique Store.  

Keep in mind this a town of a few hundred… one gas station, one fruit market, one grocery store… 

…sporting Bruce’s seal of acceptable quality:

This is maple syrup and Amish country

The Confluence FoodMart doesn’t sell alcohol, but pointed us to the other side of the square to find the beverage of our choice at Dodd’s Hotel, Tavern, Pool Hall, and Beer Store.  Here’s Bruce escaping with the loot…

It’s Gourmet Night… not to be outdone by our Frostburg experience, we’re dining in this evening… tortellini in sauce, garlic bread accompanied with a fresh salad

Highlights:

Riding in the rain, and finding out we’d planned well enough to stay mostly dry. We weren’t cold, and the air was fresh.

Finding other cyclers along the wet trail to talk to (mostly in tunnels) – a couple from Australia, for instance.

Climbing over the Continental Divide on a bike, and the joy of gliding downhill for the first time in days.

Watching another set of riders who are happy to see their support wagon pull into town (with their bags and dry clothes)… and knowing we have ours with us.

Enjoying a hot shower and a home meal, dry shoes and a few beers.
Stats: 1 deer, 5 trains, 1 turtle (sleeping on the trail, no less), no flats.  49.6 trail miles, 278 miles thus far.

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