The day started out at a snails pace, warming cool toes and fingers deep in the Pine Creek Gorge. I hadn’t realized until later, but I was packed and on the bike by 6:30. Not bad for not trying.
I am now blazing along, passing towns and crossroads with a rapidity that forms more a blanket experience for the area, than any particular memory. Mid-day, I had traveled over fifty miles, and I realized that Ithaca was within range, so I left a message with Josh to see if it would be worth my time arriving in town tonight. Under the influence of yogurt-covered pretzels, I decided it was time to for a big day. One day to allow all those ice-cream filled forty-miles, and swim breaks, and afternoon naps.
The Pine Creek Trail was truly spectacular, but offered no natural comparison to the Grand Canyon (they say, the GC of PA). The trail, like the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) was perfectly graded, crushed limestone and allowed quick passage, that is, with the exception of the black bear lumbering along in the middle of the trail. I waited.
I passed wooded campsites and canoe launches, kids pulling bike trailers with fishing gear, and elderly couples cycling the midweek away. And then, a older man with a dislocated shoulder. All I could do was quickly cycle ahead, for no cell reception was to be had in the gorge, and thus time was regained from my stand-off with the bear.
Turtles, groundhogs galore, chipmunks, an eagle, a deer collides with a truck; and of course, the lone, lumbering black bear.
All in a day. All in America.
Thanks to the kind man who bought me a large hoagie and coffee at 7:30 in the morning, it made the day possible. Best of luck in Mexico.