USA 2019 Day 6 from Ohiopyle to Pittsburgh
Yesterday was a bit later (and it was also a very exhausting day) and today I didn’t get up out of my mind. Although there was no breakfast in the motel, which always costs some time, I didn’t leave until half-past nine. Today’s destination is the big city of Pittsburgh, where I will have a rest day tomorrow. I booked an Airbnb for two nights. That’s not right in the city center, so I’ll have to add a few more kilometers and drive over 130 kilometers today.
In the street of the motel, there should be a small supermarket. I drove here and there, but couldn’t find him. I didn’t want to spend too much time searching, I’ll find something on the way. Anyway, I have enough water with me. From the motel to the trail it’s only a stone’s throw and we continue on the same trail as yesterday, the Great Allegheny Passage. After a few meters come to the first bridge called Great Allegheny Passage Trail Bridge. Who would have thought! I cross the Youghiogheny River on it, then the former railway line shortens a river loop and we cross the river again.
Afterward, it goes on like it stopped yesterday: Always along the river. The trail follows every further bend. Just like yesterday, the new railway line is on the other side of the river. I can’t see the trains running there, but I can hear them. It is common practice in America for trains to attract attention every few seconds, even if there is no obvious reason for this. And the things are loud when they horn, I can say that!
Relatively uneventful I tear down the kilometers. I just have to watch out where I’m going, because from yesterday’s thunderstorm everything is still full of broken branches. After almost 30 kilometers the first highlight comes: A city! I think it’s great because I’ve been on the road almost exactly two hours without breakfast and I’m hungry. The city is called Connellsville and from the track, I can see a gas station down the main road. As ordered I notice that there are also sandwiches and fresh fruit. I spend almost 40 minutes in the gas station, because inside it is nicely air-conditioned and outside it was already close to 30 °C again. So I ate a sandwich, some strawberries, and an ice-cold soft drink while keeping an eye on my bike. Yummie!
I just left Connellsville on the trail, when I happened to meet Matt again. Of course, he just screwed on his saddle again. Yes, something like that takes until he sits as he should. We drive a while chatting along the way. When we pass a small settlement at Whitsett Junction after about 20 kilometers together, we make a water stop. A resident has placed not only a table and bench under a tree but also a large cool box with ice-cold water bottles (free of charge). Super thing and exactly at the right time! Here our ways separate, Matt and I continue now in our own speed.
After a total of 96 kilometers, the trail is over. It ends on a road, which leads through an industrial area. Civilization? I almost feel like I’m in Pittsburgh. I’m not, but I feel like I am. If the bridge to the other side is called 15th Street Bridge, then it has something of a big city for me. On the other side of the Youghiogheny River, I continue on the McKeesport-Versailles LOOP Trail. Beautifully asphalted. Through the town called McKeesport. There is also a city southeast called Versailles. Hence the name of the trail. Logical, isn’t it? But I drive it in the other direction. I reach the mouth of the Youghiogheny River, which flows into the Monongahela River. What names! Indian origin, I guess.
I also cross this river, but again on a former railway bridge only for pedestrians and cyclists. It continues downstream through old industrial areas, with (felt) hundreds of factories, most of which seem to be no longer in operation. I also pass an amusement park at the river, which also looks abandoned. Two huge, empty parking lots. Everything is closed, not driving, no crying of children.
Then it is finally time, after about 120 kilometers I drive into Pittsburgh! I cross a bridge with a separate bicycle lane to the north bank of the river. Thanks to the bike lane I can stop on the bridge and take some not so good pictures. The view of the city is great, I have the whole skyline of Pittsburgh in front of me. Unfortunately, the hour is already a bit advanced and the sun is not only shining deep but wraps the skyline in a photomurdering backlight. But the main thing is that I have seen it!
We go on – who’d have thought it – along the river. Fortunately not on the road, but on our own bike path. My destination is Point State Park. It lies in a triangle at the confluence of the Monongahela River and the Allegheny River, which here in Pittsburgh form the Ohio River. At the top of the triangle, there is a large fountain and a great view of the three rivers and the city. After some time of inner triumph (It was too busy there for more) and some obligatory photos I headed to my Airbnb.
There are still about five kilometers to go, a part of it upstream of the Allegheny River. The last part a bit away from the river has a good gradient of 8%. My Airbnb is on Troy Hill. After a not so eventful but nevertheless exhausting day, I reach it overjoyed. From the host, I have a code for the door lock and in no time I am inside. It’s spacious, with a large kitchen and it even has a washing machine and dryer! Everything is clean and there is ice in the freezer. Perfect.
|6:17||131 km||20.9 km/h||1’500 m||1’610 m|