After a good night’s rest and a day off to  recharge, it was time to get back on the trail.   I had planned an early morning start knowing full well the weather could be iffy. I knew the start of today’s ride was a 24 mile climb up the Eastern Continental divide.  I jumped on the trail at 7:00 a.m. and proceeded out of town and begin the long journey up the hill.  My last recollection of that hill was going the opposite way and barely pedaling, just flying down.  So there was some concern about how steep the grade was and just how long it was going to take.  I should have known, there’s a scenic railway that runs up the canyon and so for the most part it was one, two, an occasionally three percent grade. The key for this morning was not getting ahead of myself.  Finding an easy gear and methodically working up to the top.  I didn’t want to burn out before I got to the top. Stopping periodically to see the sites it was better than I anticipated.  The rain started an hour into the ride and lasted until I got to the top.   Three and 1/2 hours total.  Reaching the Eastern Continental divide there was a large group of cyclists coming the opposite way looking forward to a fast downhill.  The grade from that divide to Pittsburgh is pretty much downhill so they have been traveling over a hundred miles going up.  It was doubt my turn to enjoy a long downhill.  Going the opposite way toward Pittsburgh, I’ve seen many bike packing cyclists.  I would say the majority of the riders go from Pittsburgh to DC.  The trail is amazingly wide at times. it’s as wide as a regular street road.  At one point traveling up the hill, I spotted a concrete truck, I had to stop and ask what they were up to. 

The concrete truck was the last thing I was expecting to see.  As it turns out there’s coal mine underneath a large section on the rail and it began to collapse in suctions and wash away a few years ago so now they are reinforcing it by installing concrete beams or just filling in the mine with concrete. 

I can’t even imagine how they got a fully loaded concrete truck down this trail.

I connected with Lester who was traveling my direction. He’s heading to Pittsburgh over the next few days and then getting in his car and driving out to St Louis to ride the Katy trail.  He has a few weeks off from work.  I rode with him awhile and stop to eat lunch together before going or separate ways.  

At the Mason-Dixon line ran into Sarah, her mother, and I believe her boyfriend. She rode across the US on a road bike many years ago. ago.  She took a couple of photos and we were off to finish the climb

The Potomac River disappeared at some point and now the Youghiogheny River is adjacent to the trail.

There are benches and picnic tables all along the trail. Some of the benches come with a great overlook.  The trail is very well maintained.

There’s just something about the sound of falling water whether it’s a waterfall or whether it’s a moving stream through the brooks and over the rocks. it is a sound I never get tired to hear

In fact tonight my camp spot is right next to a moving river that’s what I will fall asleep to that sound.

As I was pulling into the campground I’m at Steve who was walking in from getting some ice cream in town he offered space on his campsite for me to 10:00 because he told me how difficult it was to connect with people and make reservation which was required here.  So I took him Up on his offer and I’m camping next to his custom build conversion van that he did all himself.  He showed me the insides it was fabulous.  What a great way to travel.  Today was a good day of riding. It felt good after a day of rest.  The scenery changed again today was filled with more tunnels and bridges which broke up the day.