Day Two: Biking the GAP

We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning at the campsite but by the end of the day we would be soaked. We packed up and headed out on the trail to Connellsville. Although it was chilly enough to wear sweatshirts in the morning, when we arrived to the glass arch sculpture in Connellsville we were drenched in sweat from the sun beating down on us all morning. We stopped at El Canelo’s to rehydrate on Jarritos pineapple sodas and eat lunch. Afterwards, we stopped by Connellsville Canteen to check out the newly renovated building and get espresso shots to reenergize. After talking with the staff, we realized we were in the path of an impending storm system and still seventeen miles from the Kentuck Campground in Ohiopyle.As we started back on the trail, you could see the storm clouds on the horizon and the wind was starting to pick up. But as we came across a view shed of the Youghiogheny river in Ohiopyle, we stopped to enjoy the beauty of the fall season as the weather was changing before our eyes.  As we were biking to the campsite, the loose leaves from the trees started to fall around us and the wind picked up. Even though the grade is not that much, the power of the wind had us panting in excursion.  Just as we got to the bottom of the trail leading up to our next campsite, it started to rain. As we were dragging our bikes up the dirt path someone carved into the hillside to the campsite, little flash flood rivers started rushing past us. I was about a quarter of the way up the hill when I gave up. I tied my bike to a tree and grabbed what I needed for the campsite and trudged up the hill. This was hard for me because I’m used to being strong and giving up is not an option for me. I knew though that if I didn’t leave my bike behind, I was likely to fall and bust my face open on a rock. Although the storm was intense, we made it up the hill. Inclement weather is a risk you take when going on long distance trails, and we all looked like lost, wet puppies but it was a good lesson learned in when to push yourself and when not to. Things always change and you can’t just stop living because of a major change. I think that no matter how much you prepare sometimes, something always comes up unexpected and you just have to go with the flow (pun intended). The important thing is not to fight or get angry about it because it just wastes time and energy for everyone involved. When we finally made it to the campsite though, the rain stopped. We changed clothes, ate, and went to bed beyond exhausted to prepare for the next day. Luckily that would be our short day.