Day 2: West Newton to Confluence - Fall Colors Bike Tour on the GAP - CycleBlaze

October 13, 2021

Day 2: West Newton to Confluence

‚ÄčI lift my eyes to the hills

Approaching the Ohiopyle low bridge
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Are we there yet? I was a member of the backseat chorus in my youth. My dad was the driver of the Plymouth and my mother was the navigator. My mother was negligent of her job duties when we were lost, at least in my dad’s eyes. My father never quite appreciated our constant questioning of the estimated time of arrival.

View from the Bruner Run overlook
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Today’s ride included an 18-mile climb into Ohiopyle State Park and Ohiopyle. It isn't a terribly steep climb but a sustained ride. I found myself muttering under my breath, “Are we there yet?” I am not a fan of climbs. This climb happens to be an enjoyable climb with super scenery. Anyway, I got it done and felt good about my ascent.

Fall colors not quite here yet
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The morning started with a foggy departure from West Newton. The miles passed fairly effortlessly as I passed through the foothills of the Alleghenies. One of the highlights of the day was a stop at Rachel Sager Mosaics. This artist transformed a historic building along the trail into her workshop and salesroom. Her artwork went from simple mosaic jewelry to large-scale mosaic pieces. It's definitely worth a stop.

Impressive mosaic by Rachel Sager
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Connellsville is one of my must-stop towns on the GAP. It has positioned itself as a destination for cyclists. The town's formula is nice with a full-service bike shop, many restaurants, and a nice riverside hotel. That 18-mile climb came after lunch in Connellsville at the Kickstand Kitchen.

I love this area nearing Confluence
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You stop at Ohiopyle when you cycle the GAP. That's an unwritten rule It is a tourist town with white water rafting, kayaking, many hiking trails, and the spectacular Ohiopyle Falls. I often find myself off the bike and hiking the Ferncliff Peninsula on my ride. I passed that opportunity up today due to time constraints and traveling with others. Put this hike on your must-do if you are considering a GAP ride.

I earned a beer today
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Tonight's overnight is the Parker House Bed and Breakfast. I have often considered staying here by never have. It is a spectacularly beautiful bed and breakfast. The location is perfect just off the trail. The day ended with a beer on the porch and a quiet night with my friends.

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Today's ride: 53 miles (85 km)
Total: 89 miles (143 km)

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John PescatoreWe've stayed at the Parker House 3 times, twice renting the entire place for big groups. Ma Parker (I forget her real name) is very friendly and the house was great for big groups.
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