Day 57 - Sunbury to Kutztown - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 29, 2016

Day 57 - Sunbury to Kutztown

Well, there really wasn’t all that much rain last night. But, at least, I helped the downtown Sunbury economy.

Bright, Sunny Morning View of the Edison Hotel and Downtown
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I decided that I would hotfoot it through the mountains. Heavy storms were predicted and I wanted to make time. I took Old Reading Road for starters - just delightful and empty. Then I got on Hwy 61- which cut through a major gap. It was only for a few miles and had great shoulders.

Ah, Soft, Quiet Riding in a Turkish Steam Bath
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Shamokin was an eye-opener - former coal mining town. Very, very rough and hard-hit. There is no economy left. Just up the road is Centralia - abandoned. A mine fire underground has made it uninhabitable.

There Are a Few Small Operators Mining Coal, Still
(How They Can Compete with Corporate Energy Giants Is Beyond Me)
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The Streams Are Horribly Polluted
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Abandoned, Roofless Buildings in Shamokin
(It May Say "Pennsylvania" But It Looks Like West Virginia.)
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Hamburg Tells a Different Story
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More quick miles on Hwy 901 - with a nice shoulder. Plus, if you are heading east through forests - You get shade on the south side of the road. One big climb up to the divide - then whoosh!

Nice back road out of Schuylkyl Haven - Then had to get back on a busy Hwy 61 to get to Hamburg.

Ah, Hamburg - Called a nearby campground and headed out over the hills. I thought it was going to be pretty easy. The sky was almost entirely clear except for one cloud to the east. I thought I was out of the mountains.

Riding Through the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge
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Well, at least I got in a great covered bridge - - (Maybe I should have stayed in the bridge?) But the backroads were straight up and down. And the cloud to the east was moving the wrong way. Well, I might get a little shower, then, right?

Wrong. The sky completely opened up and it poured for an hour. I called the campground to cancel and headed for Kutztown. Turns out they don’t answer phones at Kutztown motels.

When I finally got into town - drenched - I asked a policeman where I might stay. He said I should just go by the motel and buzz. The owner of a local B&B was full, but offered to make arrangements for me if there was nothing else. The motel manager had just gotten back in. I paid my money and settled into a dingy, damp room.

Today's ride: 78 miles (126 km)
Total: 3,230 miles (5,198 km)

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