Changes in altitude, changes in attitude

Nothing remains much the same. Today was a twist on Jimmy Buffet’s lyrics. There was a defined change in altitude as we climbed through the Narrows out of Cumberland first thing this morning. Nothing like a 23 mile ascent to get the blood pumping and your body moving.

DSCN0294There was a definite change in the trail was we began our cycling across the Great Allegheny Passage. The trail surface is much smoother and stable. The towpath is a dirt based trail where the GAP is a compressed stone railroad base. Cycling is much easier and faster.

It was a 23 mile grind up the mountain at a 2% grade. After we reached the summit, there was a change in attitude. People are much happier sailing down the trail rather than pumping hard to make some gain. Our last 40 flat to downhill miles made for an enjoyable afternoon.

It was a day of memorable attractions. We crossed the Mason & Dixon Line. We passed through the Big Savage Tunnel. Crossed the Eastern Continental Divide. Crossing the Salisbury Viaduct is my favorite part of any GAP journey.

DSCN0298I made sure we timed lunch to eat at the G.I. Dayroom in Meyersdale. This was one of my highlights of my 2011 tour. This place is pure Americana. The food is classic diner fare. The small town staff were especially accommodating. A good meal and time was had by all.

After lunch it was a quick 30 mile flat to downhill ride into Confluence. Tonight’s accommodations is the River’s Edge Bed and Breakfast. This was also my home for a night on my 2011 tour. I give this place an A+. You can’t beat the riverside location and quality of the accommodations.

DSCN0335As a bonus, the adjoining restaurant had not opened for the season. The owner allowed us to use the dining porch overlooking the river for our evening dinner. It was a feast of pizza, salads and drinks. We finished the evening with ice cream. Could life be better?

Tomorrow we are off to West Newton. We are getting pretty close to the ride’s end in Pittsburgh on Saturday. It should be a wonderful day heading through Ohiopyle and along a very scenic river.


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