GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE AND C&O CANAL

Introduction

Introduction   Itineraries   2006 Trip Report   2010 Quincy to Chicago   2010 Pittsburgh to Boston   2010 Boston to Connellsville   2010 Connellsville to Confluence (Ursina )   2010 Confluence to Meyersdale   2010 Meyersdale to Cumberland   2013 Trip Report   2015 Trip Report      Return to Main Page

For 2006's family and friends tour, I chose the Great Allegheny Passage / C&O Canal route from Pittsburgh to DC. Jeanine and I rode Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr and Capital Limited from Quincy to Pittsburgh, changing trains in Chicago. We met my sister Paula and her friend Karen at Carlow University in Pittsburgh. Later my brother Gary and his wife, Lynn, met us in Cumberland for the C&O Canal phase of the trip.
From the time we purchased folding bikes, I considered a shorter trip such as Connellsville to Cumberland. Since folders go as carryon luggage on Amtrak, you don't have to have baggage service at your end point

The cancellation of June 2010's Northwoods Tour caused by our daughter's wedding made it necessary to plan a tour. So I settled on Pittsburgh to Cumberland in early September. When I first announced the tour Jeanine said that she might not be able to make it since it would be in the middle of harvest season. But the desire not to be left out triumphed over gardening. And since everyone else I could think of were working or otherwise engaged, it was just the two of us.

I was determined to bike the whole route without shuttle help around the gaps in the trail near Pittsburgh. This went against the recommendation on the official GAP website and consensus opinion of Yahoo's GAP Group members. I was encouraged by an email from a contrarian who recommended a route and that I go for it.
I had been waiting for two events to occur before undertaking another Pittsburgh to Cumberland ride on the GAP: Both happened during the Summer of 2013, so I planned a tour for September 2013. I was able to recruit my sister from NC, our son and son-in-law from Denver, and Becky, a friend from Quincy, making the ideal group size of 6. My wife, Becky, and I took the train from Quincy to Pittsburgh, My sister drove up from NC the night before the start of the tour, and my son and son-in-law flew into Pittsburgh because of time constraints. My wife and I with our folding bikes returned from Cumberland on the train while the other 4 took a Grouseland Tours shuttle back to Pittsburgh.

There were only two minor deviations from the 2010 itinerary: in order to distribute the miles between Pittsburgh and Connellsville more evenly, we spent the first night at the John Butler B&B just outside Buena Vista; and since the Riverest B&B in Ursina (just outside Confluence) had closed, we stayed at the River's Edge B&B in Confluence.
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