Thursday, September 24, 2020

GAP/C&O Day 2 - Connellsville to Confluence

 It's 1:30 in the afternoon. I'm starting this post early because I have a great deal of time to kill today.

My friend Jim is meeting up with me this afternoon to join the tour for a few days. Since he couldn't get off work on Tuesday, he rented a car this morning one way to Uniontown, and he's going to ride 20 miles or so from there to just past Connellsville, on busy roads with big hills. Then we are going to ride on the trail for 25 miles to Confluence for the night.

Since my campground was only a couple miles before Connellsville, today is been an exercise in killing time. Which does not involve much killing time on the Internet, because the cell coverage is very slow, especially for uploading photos.

So I dawdled around breaking camp until around 11:00, sitting in the nice warm sun. Then I rode into Connellsville and got some pulled pork nachos for lunch, at a nice place called The Kickstand Kitchen that caters to people riding the GAP and has picnic tables in the back. 

Then I rode around town to find a place to sit where I can recharge devices. I scouted the primitive campground right at the edge of town, but it has no electric. It does have a neat old B&O caboose, some Adirondack shelters, and it's right behind a supermarket and pizza shop. Noted for future reference.

I'm now sitting at a nice picnic pavilion overlooking the river, which has an outlet at every picnic table. It's 1:45. I probably have another hour and a half to wait. Fingers crossed that we won't be pitching camp in the dark.

(Finishing this up a day later, since there has been no Internet)

Jim texted me when he got on the road in Uniontown, so I rode out to where he would joint the trail around 3:00. 

Right by where I was waiting for Jim, there was an old Metal Post of Obvious Significance. I know this because it has a shelter built to protect it by a local Eagle Scout troop, who thoughtfully put their name on a placard on the shelter. So what's the metal post for? Beats the hell out of me. The Eagle Scouts didn't bother to explain the significance of the metal post. It must be obvious to them.

Anyway, Jim showed up around 3:15, way earlier than I expected. No problem knocking off the 25 miles to Confluence before dark.

Ohiopyle is halfway to Confluence. For those unfamiliar with Ohiopyle, it's a big center for outdoor recreation due to the nearby rapids in the Yoghiogheny River, and the GAP trail, and the Laurel Highlands hiking trail.

And it's completely deserted, which is very sad and bizarre.

So around 6:00 we got to Confluence to the Outflow Campground, which is an Army Corps of Engineers site next to a huge dam. We had our tents set up, and some local guy comes by on his bike and chats us up. "Where should we eat?" There are lots of restaurants in town (normally) but he lets us know most of them are closed either because of the pandemic, or because it's Wednesday. But there is a pizza place in the gas station in the center of town, but they close at 7.

So we hustled over to the pizza place in the gas station. We just got there in time, I got some wings and Jim got a meatball sub. We had to eat inside.

But because of the rushing around, I didn't get a chance to take a picture of our campsite until after dark.

This is a pretty nice campsite. There is a dedicated hiker/biker area, no reservation required, and nobody there to collect the $8 fee. The real great part of camping here is lots of good birds. There was a Great Horned Owl calling all night, and an Eastern Screech Owl calling before dawn.

Here is the Strava track for today:

1 comment:

Jason said...

Isn't Ohiopyle also known for Fallingwater?