Friday, July 27, 2012
July 26 - Yesterday, we started off on the Great Allegheny Passage. We began a beautiful ride through the Youghiogheny River Gorge. The area was beautiful because we rode along a winding river in a heavily wooded and almost rain forest - like area. The trail was also great because we rode across a couple of neat bridges. Perhaps, the best part of the day was the fact that we only had to bike 18 miles for the day and then we white water rafted the rest of the day. The white water rafting was very enjoyable because we had fun rapids to go over, enjoyable people to be with, and great river guides - courtesy of Wilderness Voyageurs located in Ohiopyle, PA. We were also lucky because we finished rafting 10 minutes before a large thunderstorm dumped a ton of rain on us. From our location in Ohiopyle we were shuttled to a hostel in Rockwood. We discovered upon arriving at our hostel that our power was out due to the thunderstorm. No matter, we are the Jett Ride and we easily overcame this obstacle with a gasoline grill (for cooking), rain jackets, warm clothes, and a few headlamps.
July 27 - Today, we got back on the Great Allegheny Passage and rode through the aftermath of the storm. The trail was, at first, very soggy and filled with much debris. However, the storm also had good impacts as there were a couple of waterfalls raging down the cliff-sides of the trail. We stopped at a train depot in Meyersdale, PA. When we walked inside for a bathroom break, we talked to the lady working there. She had us put a pin on the map where we were from and sign her book of traveling cyclists. Then we told her we were riding for DMD. A few minutes later, when we were outside getting ready to leave, she ran out carrying the local newspaper. When she gave it to us, we saw that a boy in a local family had recently been diagnosed with Duchenne. The father's phone number was in the article, so we called him, and he had the boy's (Jackson) grandmother bring him down to the station. It was a series of coincidences that lead to an amazing experience, and new contacts in Pennsylvania. After this, we climbed to the "suffocating" altitude of the Eastern Continental divide, a scarcely breathable 2394 ft. From there it was a long downhill to the Mason-Dixon Line, which doubles as the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. After that, it was all downhill to Cumberland, MD. Tonight we are staying in the First Presbyterian Church, only a few blocks from West Virginia.