Thursday, August 7, 2008
Day 44 - August 5th - Confluence to Bedford
(photos: bike weather vane atop bike shop on YRT; Meyersdale historic train depot; monument in Berlin cemetery)
Slept well, likely due to the constant sound of water movement from the river. At 5am or even 5:30, it is still dark out. Bit by bit, Riders emerge slowly from their tents - headlamps on - and make their way to the bathroom. It's an amusing sight. At dawn, lightening bugs go to bed and flickering headlamps take their place.
Camp breakfast (granola with milk, banana, yogurt, coffee, cream cheese on a mini-bagel) at the truck. The sky was cloudy and wouldn't commit to a storm or clearing. We were advised to carry rain gear - just in case. The day's route had 2 options: 26 miles of steep rollers, including reaching the summit of a Mt. Davis (the highest point in PA), or 30 more miles on the trail. Only a handful of vigorous Riders opted for the climbs - most were glad for the trail option. The balance of our 78 mile route included sufficient rollers to work off a 2nd breakfast and other spontaneous meals.
The bike trail ended in Meyersdale, where many Riders (hill and trail folk) coasted through town to Missy's Cafe. Another case of overwhelming one wait-person (though she had help in the kitchen). Service was slow, but we didn't mind. I was very hungry and ordered a Full plate: chicken-friend steak, 2 poached eggs, potatoes and toast. Split a bottle of juice with Rosie. And drank several cups of "coffee".
Back on the route (under partially cloudy skies), the roads pitched and dropped. There were a few level sections on ridge tops or in valleys, and then more climbs and descents. Stopped to take photos at the cemetery in Berlin. Captivated by the metal statue atop a monument for a soldier. Civil war casualty. Headstone for his wife was adjacent, with "Mother" in large letters. Why not a statue of her in full dress too?
Stopped for soft-serve on the final stretch. Finally arrived at Friendship Village campground on the fringe of Bedford by late afternoon. This was a KOA campground - complete with "office", game room, laundry facilities, shuffleboard court and other enticements to keep you hanging around for weeks on end. Park your motor home, extend the awning, roll out the astro turf and get ready to Kamp!
Cleaned off my bike and did some laundry. Given the recent weather forecast, I staked my tent well, and guyed out the sides. Just in case.
Sharon and the dinner crew grilled hamburgers for dinner. At last, sufficient food: she knows all too well how much we can put away. Some Riders stayed up for awhile, their active laptops illuminating the pavilion.