Redo 2023 - Not Your Usual Jersey Shore and Redo 2023 - CycleBlaze

October 20, 2023 to October 23, 2023

Redo 2023

Pine Creek Rail Trail plus the western rim

  The Philly Boys invited me back to their annual Pine Creek Weekend. After reading about Francesca Lorandi’s route in, I decided to extend the weekend and the route. My route is a little different from hers. Like part of her route, it  goes through the gorge, above it and rejoins the Pine Creek Trail, although by different roads. Right now, I am camping out for three nights but that may change. I’ll be riding my Priority 600.

Synthetic sleeping bag on rear rack, allergies
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  I arrived late Friday afternoon in a light rain, rode nine miles to the Bonnell Flats Campground, reservations required. I grabbed an empty lean-to. The Philly Boys arrived in the dark and set up camp. They cooked, drank some beers and had fancy Italian gummy bears for dessert.

  Saturday morning two more Philly Boys, Corey and Hannah, arrived. We headed out towards Tiadaghton Campground. It was a gray day. We made our annual lunch stop at the Hotel Manor where the New Trail Hazy India Pale Ale was voted best beverage. The ride after lunch seemed especially arduous. There is a slight uphill in the northern direction. Forty surprisingly tough miles for a rail trail.

  We got to Tiadaghton Campground at dusk, set up and went on a group search for firewood. The Boys had stashed some beers. They offered me some of the fancy gummies but I’ve been cutting back on sweets, so I declined.They said they were good and kept mentioning two brands Sativa and Indica, I’ll see if the Mrs. can find them in the grocery store after our diet shows some results…for a treat night.

  The Boys were cutting loose and our few neighbors didn’t complain. I slipped into my tent and quickly fell asleep. The earplugs were wonderful.

  Sunday we parted ways since they had to get back to their surgeries, piloting, crane operations, judgeships and families. Being retired, I had no time or job constraints and plotted out an extra day.

Corey, Eddie, Beau, Ryan, Hannah, Jay
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  The weather was breezy, partly sunny. I rode north through the canyon, spied a bald eagle and headed uphill to Colton State Park. After walking to Barbour Rock for a stretch and view I found out more views were to be had further up the road without a walk.

  Colton Point has a campground but it was closed for the season. I rode through the park and the dirt roads started. I should have checked the bathroom to see if they had water. Water opportunities are like parking spots in NYC; grab them while you can.

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   The dirt roads were wide and in great shape. I rolled up and down. My route took me around creeks (called “runs” here) and past numerous trailheads and logging roads. There wasn’t much traffic and fewer homes. There were plenty of opportunities to explore gravel and logging roads. The climbing was taking its toll and I contemplated camping up on the ridge. I checked out one of the permit-required boondocking spots, but filterable water wasn’t available so I stuck with Plan A: to get to Hoffman Campground where I had a permit for a spot.

  The view to the west opened up as I climbed some of the last hills. The downhill to the creek was a screamer and I had to shave speed to negotiate the curves. I was able to make it to the campground with an hour of daylight left. Hoffman was on the river, behind a screen of trees and bushes. It had a working “untested” water pump and a mildly-offensive Port-o-San. (The bathrooms were being rebuilt.) There were about eight campsites at Hoffman and a covered pavilion. I was the only camper. Setup, dinner and sleep came quickly.

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  It was a cold night and I awoke to everything covered in frost. I defrosted my tent, packed it up and rode the trail 35 miles back to Jersey Shore, PA. The sun was out and gold leaves were glowing. There weren’t a lot of reds this year.

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  My western ridge ride was tough, with 2,500’ of elevation gain. The hills were never-ending and the view only opened up in a few places. A person could ride up there for a few days and not retrace their treads. It would be easy to stealth camp, but water could be an issue. There were dirt/gravel/logging roads everywhere.

  I can’t thank the Philly Boys enough for the invite, the company, and the laughs. Every year I learn something new about bikepacking techniques and gear from them.  I would not be on the beautiful Pine Creek Trail pushing myself without them.

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Today's ride: 39 miles (63 km)
Total: 133 miles (214 km)

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