Tuesday, August 21—Meyersdale to Confluence

Kay and I cycled today from Meyersdale to Confluence, PA, a distance of 31.2 miles. Ominous skies greeted us at breakfast in Cumberland, MD, and the weather continued to deteriorate in the shuttle to Meyersdale, despite our leaving the hotel early—ahead of schedule—to beat the rain.

Loading at the Fairfield Inn in Cumberland—to beat the rain

Loading at the Fairfield Inn in Cumberland—to beat the rain. Cycle on very right belongs to yours truly

No rain yet as Kay pedals up the trail

Upon arriving at the Meyersdale trailhead and unloading bicycles and gear, we peddled northward, crossing the Salisbury Viaduct at approximate mile 35. The Salisbury Viaduct is just over 1,900 feet long and crosses the Casselman River.

Salisbury Viaduct
What started as a light mist turn into sprinkles, and then into full-blown rain for most of our trip from Meyersdale to Rockwood at approximate mile 44 for the first break of the day’s ride. The fast pace kept us from viewing Wymp’s Gap Fossil Quarry between Garrett and Rockwood.

Kay asked whose idea of fun this was as the rain poured

Rockwood, in the rain
While rain jackets kept our upper torso dry, everything else got wet and muddy, including shorts, gloves helmet, bicycles, and gear; we all looked like skunks with a streak of mud on the back of rain jackets from the back wheel’s rooster tail. This continued through our brief lunch break at Markleton. The last 10 miles were ridden in sunshine until we reached Confluence at approximate mile 61, when the rain began again. Note: Confluence is also known as Turkeyfoot because the three streams coming becoming one —the Youghiogheny and Casselman Rivers, and Laurel Hill Creek—look like a turkey track when viewed from the surrounding hills. George Washington camped here.
Finally, sunshine
The bicycles got washed at a local bike shop before being loaded onto the van, and we traveled back to Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, our homebase. Back in the room, it took an hour or more to clean gear and bodies; fine sand was everywhere from our mud covered clothes and gear.
After dinner a great speaker provided a history of the GAP, and told many stories about its origin, development, and the colorful characters involved.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1816323050/embed/201855beed485bb8581fa033d17300d2593b6b20

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