October 7, 2017

Hello fellow readers.

A few years ago I discovered the Great Alleghany Passage and wanted to make the 150 mile journey. This past weekend, I did. Normally, I see the sights from the other side of the river, so I was a bit out of sort. Train whistles and solar panels helped me know my location. The title represents the day of the ride. The trip was broken into three days, ending with a train ride home.

The first day was 60 miles from Pittsburgh, PA to Connellsvile, PA. Temperatures topped out around 85 and the sun beat down. Most of the trail was shaded, with short sections in the sun. This view is of the Youghiogheny River about three miles east of the Boston Bridge trail head. Bathrooms were available at various locations and fresh water was found at Ceder Creek and Whiteset.

The GAP begins at Point State Park, where the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela Rivers meet. Across the Allegheny, Heinz Field and PNC Park can be seen along with Carnegie Science Center. From here, you can follow Duquesne  Blvd to continue on the trail just off Grant St or ride over Fort Pitt Bridge to avoid the streets. If you choose Fort Pitt, you will meet up with the GAP about three miles east at the Hot Metal Bridge.

The trail follows along Norfolk Southern and CSX train rails, with a series of ramps and bridges to cross over top the tracks. I rode through Pittsburghs South Side, Homestead, and McKeesport neighborhoods before the trail seemed to leave populated areas. I always felt safe and I rode alone.

As for wild life, one two foot copperhead and two baby snakes.

Near Suttersville, PA is a memorial for the Darr Mine explosion from 1907. I could feel the spirits watching over me keeping me safe as I rode by. (moment of silence)

Beehive ovens line the trail in Dawson, PA. These ovens are left over from coal mining and remind visitors of local history.

My husband met me in Connellsville, where we enjoyed the evening at Seams Like Home bed and breakfast. The B&B is located about three miles from the trail, offering a shuttle with prior arrangements. Our host had a bon fire for the guest. Each room has a heat/cooling unit for your desired comfort. Breakfast was delicious, pumpkin waffles and sausage.  I would stay here again.


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