Days 4-11? (starting to lose track...)
With camping, sleeping, biking, and the lack of internet access, it has been very difficult to update the blog. We are sorry for the delay, but we have finally found some time to fill everyone in on our recent adventures!
After we left Codorus State Park, we headed to Gettysburg where we were planning to meet up with a friend of Rich and Linda's. On our way there, we stopped at a local produce stand to stock up on vegetables and about a mile outside of Gettysburg, Kevin saw a sign that read: 'free range eggs - $2 for a dozen.' We stopped, of course, and there we met Mr. Ed the farmer. He gave us a tour of his farm, which included free range chickens, rabbits, peacocks, and turkeys. After chatting with him for awhile, we asked to buy some rabbit meat, and he was so excited about our trip that he gave it to us as a gift! Then, later that day, his daughter ended up backing us on kickstarter...another affirmation that people are genuinely good. So, if you are ever in the Gettysburg area and are in need of eggs or free range rabbit, chicken, or turkey, stop by Mr. Ed's farm. He is on Hanover Rd on the east side of I-15.
Even though we had intended to stay the night in a national military park in Gettysburg, we got in touch with Rich and Linda's friend, Chris, who was coincidentally on a bike tour himself, and asked us to join him for the evening. Chris was spending a week on a bike tour for the Brethren Housing Association trying to raise the awareness of homeless women and children. He was staying the night at the Gettysburg Church of the Brethren, and they graciously hosted us as well. We were greeted with a smorgasbord of tacos and sweets.
Words of Wisdom 3: Never turn down free food or a free place to stay
Ms. Pat Arendt, the Associate Pastor, was a very sweet hostess and made our brief stay most enjoyable.
After Gettysburg, we headed to Williamsport, MD to begin our journey on the C&O Canal (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal). It is a national historical park that is preserving a time when communities along the Potomac River would use the canals to transport goods to market. There is a bike path that goes along the canal and has campsites with water pumps approximately every 10 miles on the trail. We stayed two nights on the C&O canal. That was the first time I really felt like we were roughing it. I was devoured by mosquitos!
While we were on the C&O we met two older gentleman from Kansas - Curtis and Jerry. Jerry has biked all over the country including the underground railroad trail and the Lewis and Clark trail both of which are Adventure Cycling trails. He then informed us of the Western Maryland rail trail that was 25 miles of paved bike path and runs parallel to the C&O canal. We were happy to get off the gravel path for a bit and really cruise! Thanks for the tip Jerry! It made us happy to see someone staying so active. Kevin and I both aspire to be that way when we are older.
We finally reached Cumberland, MD where the C&O canal trail ends and the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) begins! We stayed the night at the YMCA, which was suggested to us by the brewer/biker extrodinaire at Cumberland Trail Connection bike shop. What a cool shop! They had bikes, camping equipment, maps, and anything you might need for a tour. They even sell beer brewing supplies and brew their own beer, which we were unable to taste because the keg was cashed. We wish there was something like that in Philadelphia (especially the beer brewing supplies)!
The next day we left to begin our journey on the GAP! We decided to do a short day because Kevin and I are were pretty beat and felt we needed to take it easy. So, we did a 16 mile (2% grade) climb to Frostberg, MD. There, we met another tourist who was biking from Washington DC to Pittsburgh. Nothing much to say about Frostberg except that the grocery store is located way too far away, and I ended up mailing back 10 lbs. worth of stuff I didn't really need. If anyone knows me, this is no surprise. I tend to overpack no matter what the circumstance.
The next day we got back on the GAP and headed for the continental divide. It was only another 7 mile climb before we reached the top - 2,392 feet - the highest point we will reach until we get to the Rockies!!
Then, it was all downhill after that. We were averaging 12-13 mph and headed for Ohiopyle State Park. What a gorgeous ride! As soon as we arrived, we knew we would want to spend some time here. So we are taking a few days off! The first time since we left Philadelphia.
Yesterday, we hiked around. Kevin went for a swim, and we saw some sights in the park.
Today we head to Fallingwater, which is one of the most famous residences designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It's only a few miles away! We will bike there without our gear today. I am really looking forward to that.