Pennsylvania, West Virginia into Ohio
On Wednesday, we biked up 26 miles from Cumberland to the Eastern Continental Divide. The grade was 2-3% the entire time. When we got to the top, we were a bit tired. Yet, the ride down was at a 0-1% grade util Pittsburgh. So, we rode 75 miles from Cumberland to Ohiopyle, PA. It was more than we should have done. We were both completely wiped out. Barely had enough energy for dinner and getting some sleep.
This made Thursday a shorter ride, as we rode 42 miles to west Newton, the closest stop to where we lived near Pittsburgh. The path, the Great Allegany Passage (GAP), was a nice, crushed gravel train grade with beautiful trees, rivers, towns, and animals. We were able to stop and pick wild black raspberries. Janet ran her self-planned marathon over 8 years ago and I had biked it.
When we arrived in West Newton, we were picked up by some friends and spent three evenings with them. On the second day, we were dropped off and rode 54 miles around Pittsburgh. We were then picked up again and brought back to their house. Then, we made Saturday our rest day so we could visit with other close friends from the church I served.
Today, we were dropped off at McDonald, PA, where we had paused and continued our journey. We had a nice bike path into the West Virginia Panhandle. Then, we had a long hill with over 12% grade before finding the Ohio River. We followed the river until we found a couple more bike trails to Wheeling, WV. After crossing the river, we made it to St. Clairsville, Ohio with another long hill before finding our hotel.
This entire area is very green. They get about 4 inches of precipitation every month. So, everything grows well. Overall, the traffic and people have been great. We are finding it a bit challenging, yet that is to be expected.